Australia Travel Diary – Part 2

I cannot believe it has taken me this long to make the second part of this post, but here I am and I have a lot to say. Here you can find part 1.

There are also photos taken at the beach that I posted on another post, right here, in a swimsuit review.

For the rest of our trip I took pictures of the scenery and of all the beaches we went to. For example, we went to a pretty private beach, called Golden Beach, with very little sand but great water. Unfortunately, again thanks to the jellyfish alarm, I was too scared to get in.

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Another place we visited was a hill near Maleny from where we could see the Glasshouse Mountains, which are very dear to the people native to Australia.

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We also went to Point Cartwright where I sunbathed a bit and then took some pictures of the ocean.

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Our flight back was less eventful and I could not wait getting back home. It was an amazing and fun trip with family and if I ever am to come back to Australia, I would have to stay for at least a month to really enjoy it as it should be enjoyed.

Thank you for reading.

xx

Australia Travel Diary – Part 1

I finally decided to make this blog post and I am terrified of how huge it is going to get. I have to divide it in at least two parts in order to not bore you guys, so bear with me.

As some of you may know, I left for Australia at the end of December for my winter holidays, along with my grandmother. This whole trip happened because my uncle and his family live there and grandma has not seen them in years. Therefore, it was high time we got a move on.

We left on the 21st of December from Fiumicino Airport in Rome at 8:45pm. Of all the airports I went to, Fiumicino is the best organised, in my opinion. We bought our tickets with Qantas, an Australian company, but all the flights were operated by Emirates.

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I tried to dress somewhat casual, since we had to go from very cold temperatures in Rome to very warm ones in Dubai and then Brisbane. I wore a simple pair of leggings with a camisole and a long shirt on top, while keeping my bomber jacket in my backpack, which was my hand luggage.

The flight to Dubai was 6 hours long and it was not too bad. We had dinner on the plane and I tried to sleep, but my main problem is that I cannot sleep unless I am extremely comfortable and this was not the case, since we were flying Economy.

We got to Dubai, where we went through customs again and we went to our gate for our 5-hour layover. Weirdly enough, this layover did not seem so bad. I went and got Burger King (which was not as good as I am used to) and just waited. The way currency works in this airport is that you pay with whatever currency you have (I am not sure they accept all currencies, but the main ones yes) and the change they give you is in their own currency, so the dirhams.

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Next, before boarding the plane we had to pass through additional customs to make sure that we had no liquids. Next, our 14-hour flight started. This was the roughest for me, since when we still had 6 hours left I got very bad heartburn from something I ate (pro tip: do not eat things that you so not know for sure you react well to). I had to go and ask the cabin crew for some medicine and finally, after two pills I felt better.

The flight seemed infinte, but we finally made it to Brisbane, on the 23rd of December in the morning. It was of course very hot, since it was the middle of summer. Our family lives an hour away from the city, in a town called Landsborough, not really in the middle of nowhere, but close. They live near the mountains people of Australia hold saint. We made a quick stop at a fruit store and I loved all the colours.

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My uncle’s house faces a forest where hundreds of birds are heard singing everyday, and I must say I am not used to any type of noise, besides cars passing through the city.

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On Christmas Day, our second full day there, after catching up on much needed sleep, we went to a beach, Mooloolaba, which ended up being amazing. We only went there in recognition the that day and we walked around its shore.

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Everybody is extremely kind and welcoming there, I noticed. The day after, the 26th, we went to the Australia Zoo, which is property of the Irwin family, Steve Irwin’s legacy. It was very interesting, huge and well kept. The ticket does cost quite a bit, but it is worth it, since you have access to every show and facility.

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On the 27th, we went to Brisbane to spend the night. We wanted to take the train from Landsborough, but the railway was not working so they offered us a free bus ride to a farther away train station and we took the train from there.

Once in Brisbane we visited a square and then a “shopping centre” which was in the open and that is where I stocked up on gifts and souvenirs.

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Then we checked in at our hotel, the Urban, which was very neat, with very nice beds and bathrooms, but if you want to go there for the pool and hot tub you will be disappointed. Anyways, it was very accommodating.

We ended up having lunch and cocktails near the river, at a very busy and young place, the Bavarian Beer Café.

I loved it.

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This is part 1 for now. I will add a second part to this for sure, since I bought a camera there and had fun with it.

Thank you for reading.

xx

Life Update – December 11, 2016

These last few months have been pretty intense and full of experiences. Plus, the rest of December and the beginning of 2017 are also going to be interesting.

So, first thing’s first : I passed my driving theory exam! I felt so relieved, since I have been stressing myself out ever since I started studying in July. Good things take time and I feel so happy. I have been practicing driving for the past month or so and I think I will take my exam in February. I am not bad at driving, but I can always get better and if I am to get a license, I want to be a really good driver, so that I can actually take on that responsibility.

Next up, I got accepted to participate in a diplomacy program put forward by the Italian Diplomatic Academy, which will culminate in a trip to New York to take part in a simulation of a meet at the United Nations headquarters. This will happen in March and I cannot wait. I went to the first three hour lesson last week and, despite it being gruelling, it is totally worth it. I think that this whole course and final experience will serve me as a lesson for my future.

Another thing I am very proud of is that I finally donated blood! I say finally because I tried to donate right after I turned 18 at the beginning of the year, but I was told that my blood pressure was too low. A week ago I tried again, since the guys who take care of these donations came to my school, and I succeeded! It took me 5 minutes and 32 seconds, which is very fast. They will analyse a part of the blood I donated to make sure that it is healthy and they will send me the data in a month. I really wanted to donate, since there is a high chance that my blood type is 0, which means that everyone can receive my blood. I also want to make this a habit, because I think that it is a moral duty and there are no consequences for you, besides being tired on donation day.

Probably the most exciting thing this month has to offer is that in precisely 10 days I am leaving, with my grandma, for vacation in Australia! My uncle lives there with his family, so we are going to stay about 2 weeks with them, to spend the winter holidays with this part of our family, at the beach. I am trying to prepare myself for the long trip, but it will be worth it 100%. I cannot wait; I have already started packing and shopping for the trip.

Thank you for sticking with me until now and get ready for travel posts.

xx

Capitoline Museums – August 19, 2016

This post, which will mainly contain pictures, has been a long time coming. Lately, I have been lacking motivation and determination to keep this blog running, and with school starting again, time has been a resource I have a hard time getting enough of.

Nonetheless, I will try to post every once in a while, especially when I have interesting content to put out.

I hope you enjoy this post.

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These are my favourite pictures I took of the works of art on show there. Getting through the museum took ages, since there is so so much to be seen. I highly recommend you checking it out.

Thank you for reading.

xx

Corsini Gallery – August 19, 2016

I was eager to visit this gallery, since I prefer viewing collections which are exhibited in a more private setting rather than a museum. This gallery is located inside the Palazzo Corsini and boasts works of art from the Renaissance onward. It is not as vast nor as imposing as the Doria Pamphilj Gallery, which I spoke about here, but it is very pleasing nonetheless.

Getting to the building is a bit trickier, since it is located on a not so busy street on the other side of the Tiber river. I advise you to either ask for directions or use the Maps iPhone app or similar, if you decide to visit.

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To buy your tickets, you must first go up the flight of stairs and get to the main lobby, where you can find the workers. The ticket was not expensive, costing only €5. The architecture is beautiful and the stairs as well, although I am slightly obsessed with stairs in general.

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I did thoroughly enjoy the white theme of the building itself, although the gallery was certainly more colourful. The main entrance to the gallery is a wide but short sort of hallway, where there are a couple of works hanged.

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Unfortunately, the light was not used well enough, since taking good picture became quite an effort, or it was simply the wrong time of day. If you want good pictures, do not visit galleries in the morning.

The gallery itself is mainly made of paintings hanging on hallway and room walls, since this used to be a private palace.

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I enjoyed the various rooms and how their walls were all painted different colours, giving a different feel to each room.

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There is only one floor to the gallery, but there is another flight of stairs which leads to a couple of locked doors. How I wish those doors were open; locked doors in galleries which used to be private residences fascinate me a great deal.

I took the elevator down, which gave me a pretty view of the vast garden downstairs and the landscape behind it.

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This is it about my trip to this art gallery and I highly suggest you go visit it if you are staying in Rome for some time. I also visited the Capitoline Museums, which took me way longer, but that deserves a whole post to itself.

Thank you for reading.

xx

Doria Pamphilj Gallery – August 12, 2016

I finally got around to visiting Rome again, and this time I decided to walk a lot. I took the train mid-morning and got to the station at about 11am. I decided to not take a bus and walk towards the Isola Tiberina, which is an island in the middle of the Tiber river.

Of course, I had to let something guide me, that something being the Maps iPhone app. I swear, it made me lose so much time, because it made me take quite external routes, only to end up in the same place I would have reached more easily myself. Regardless, I explored some new places of the capital, where there were no tourists to be found, only old buildings.

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Of course, every turn I made led me to an inclined road. That app led me to a knot of small streets, where there were literally no people. I reached a tiny street I had to take, only to notice that said street was blocked due to construction. On this day I acquired a new ability : finding new streets. Yes, while the voice from the app was trying to make me turn back and take that street, I completely ignored it and found my own way. So much independence.

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I then finally reached the tiny island. The river is not known for being clean, but it was a very nice day, so even the water looked nice. The island hosts two hospitals and two churches, which I did not visit.

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I then started making my way back towards the centre of the city and only stopped because I saw this statue on my way.

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I finally reached the Doria Pamphilj Gallery, where I payed an €8 fee because I am under 26 years of age. The Gallery is located on Via del Corso and it is very easily reachable. Also, there is a free audio guide in more than two languages, if you want one. The building surrounds a tiny garden.

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To reach the actual Gallery, one must first go up a couple flights of stairs, where you can find various busts and even the family coat of arms, since this building is still privately owned by the royal Doria Pamphilj family.

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Firstly, I entered the Poussin room, which held a great number of landscapes, mainly works of Claude Lorraine. It was probably on of the most visually pleasing rooms in the Gallery, because of the contrast between the walls and the paintings.

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Adjacent to this room, there is a smaller red room, which also holds some paintings and a huge mirror. Of course, I could not help myself and had to take some shameless mirror selfies.

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Next up another small room, this time mainly yellow, which from what I gathered used to be the ballroom, was mainly empty, but the tapestry and lighting were amazing.

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The Gallery also has a chapel, where the family saint is buried. There is no dome, but there is an optical illusion on the ceiling resembling one.

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After this, I entered the real gallery, which is an ensemble of four corridors filled with paintings and some statues. I was excited to see some works by Raphael and some other artists I studied, like Titian, Caravaggio and Veronese.

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My favourite part was the small hall of mirrors, which resembles the one in Versailles. It was so pretty I even published a picture on Instagram.

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There were also smaller rooms which held a few paintings, where natural light was reduced.

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There is also another huge room which holds three paintings by Caravaggio and one by Raphael. I was very excited when I saw that there was also a painting by Vasari, who, if you have ever studied the Renaissance period, always had a lot to say about every artist in Europe.

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This museum trip was successful and I plan on going on a couple more before school starts in September, even if I have to go by myself. I hope you liked this post and thank you for reading.

xx

 

Lake Albano – 31 July, 2016

I finally got around to coming back to this lake and it has been great. Lake Albano is a lake in Lazio, of volcanic origin and with extremely clear water. It is the deepest lake in the region. It is in the town of Castel Gandolfo, where the papal summer residence is. So, if you want to get to this lake, all you have to do is get the train from Rome to Albano and stop at Castel Gandolfo. The ticket costs €2,10 so very inexpensive. Or, if you live nearby you can get there by car.

The thing I like most about this area is that, despite its touristic potential, it is not very busy with people. Yes, the part of the lake shore arranged to accommodate people was almost full, but everybody knows the owner there, so they are regulars. On the other side of the lake though, there are some houses hidden in what remains of the volcanic walls and, from the looks of it, a hotel.

The water is very, very clear and the sand is almost black. There are tiny boats that you can rent and last year there were various ducks around, but this year I did not see any.

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I wore a bathing suit that I got from Zara some time ago and that I cannot find on the site.

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I also want to talk about how I protected my skin from the sun. As you may have noticed, I am pretty fair, therefore I get burned more easily. Before putting on my bathing suit that morning I applied a sunscreen scary, so I would not have to bother when I got there. I also reapplied that sunscreen once more during my three-hour stay. It has SPF 30 and it is from a brand called Frais Monde. The only problem was that the first time I applied it, it sprayed wide and evenly, while the second time it was more concentrated in one spot, but it worked regardless.

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On my face and on my tattoo, I used a Nivea Sun Kids lotion, which has a 50+ SPF, as I do not want premature wrinkles.

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I also used a tanning oil on top of my sunscreen. I know it may have not done anything, but I wanted to tan safely. I got all of these products at the pharmacy, so they all have a very pharmaceutical smell, but they do their job. I found the oil here.

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Now, last and not least, my favourite product. This after sun milk spray left my skin so moisturised and soothed. I love it, but I could not find where to buy it, although the product’s page is here.

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So, this was my day and thank you for reading.

xx