I just need to first say that wordpress is making me so very angry. All I would like to do is add a fantastic picture I took as the header, but the 3o times I have tried uploading it just haven’t been successful.  So now we are all stuck with this toothpaste green background..

Last weekend was my trip to Venice.  Let’s just say it was definitely an adventure.

Friday:  We boarded the train and it was kind of chaotic, we are given post-it rip offs with seat numbers. Obviously no one stuck to their seat, so I was able to sit with my friends Annie and Tabby.

This was probably the most comfortable train I have ever been on.. So for about the first 15-20 of the ride we were in a tunnel, not much to see. Then pretty much out of a Harry Potter movie/book we come out of the tunnel and it is white everywhere! We were going through Bologna and there was several feet of snow resting on the hillside it was unbelievably gorgeous. So much different then Florence. I was in awe. But about 2 hours later we arrived in Venice! It was so incredible when we walked out from the train station and there was the canal and gondolas and strings of lights.

We got a private boat taxi ride to our hotel which took about a half hour. And then we were there. Can I just say that this hotel definitely needs to update their website a little bit. Not like the pictures at all, but it served its purpose.  So in my room it was me, annie, mirrie, jenn, and someone I just met named Celina (who laters calls all of us out in her blog saying very nasty stuff , it was mean and immature, at the same time hilarious) but for the most part it was fun staying with everyone else. so that night we freshened up and headed out for a place to eat. We left with a big crowd and eventually split up and just a few of us made our way to San Marco (the main piazza in Venice/also the main square for Carnival) and found a cheap little restaurant.. I got lasagna.  After we walked back and ate really good caramel gelato and found a gorgeous mask

met back up with the rest of the group.. We walked around and found an area with a few bars and hung out.. Walking around Venice at night  was beautiful and eerie. Not too many people were on the street considering it was the biggest weekend there. But Jenn and I were tired and not in the mood to drink so we headed back and went to bed early..

Saturday: Had to wake up at 8 for headcount and breakfast, which included cereal and bread and some pastries (not a 250 euro breakfast) but after we went back to our room and got ready for the day and the four of us (celina left) left to take pictures and see Venice. Followed the mass crowds (where did they come from?) and found our way back to San Marco. It was nuts. People already in costume and ready to celebrate.  Normally San Marco is filled with pigeons but since they set up stages and booths there weren’t as many.  But we found bread and fed them and they flew up on my arms it was amazing, they have no fear. After taking pictures and having a good time we walked back to the apartment to really get ready.. then bought some alcohol and made our back BACK to San Marco, we started drinking and most were drunk by 5-6 pm. Crazy stuff. Shorten up the rest of the night and lets just say there was a lot of drunk Americans, confusion, and vomit (not from me) after walking around all day, Mirrie and I decided to go home.. So by 2am we were in our pjs just talking about our day.


Sunday: 8am head count, breakfast. This time i headed out with Nick,Tabby, Shannon and Annie.. We headed back to San Marco to see the opening ceremony of Carnevale and watch as a woman (the angel) glide from the top of the bed tower to the main stage. It was kind of funny to watch but still very cool then we made our way across the river and went to find this church.  After we found a pub and had burgers and french fries. Definitely worth it. I miss American food too much.  But after we walked back to the hotel and waited to leave.. it was definitely an experience all right. Things I can laugh about now but I hope to make it back there one day and really explore everything. :D

This weekend was quiet, most people were in Rome for a trip and some of my roommates went to Malta, I decided to stay here and relax. Friday I finally made it to Gusta’s Pizza (the apparent greatest pizza in Florence) 100% true. SO GOOD AND SO CHEAP.. drank a corona with it.. good night. then Saturday, my roommate Anna and I went to the central market.. I got the most delicious oranges and pears.. then dried fruit, bread, and biscotti. Probably paid less then 10 euro for all of it. After we met up with other kids who stayed behind and went to the Accademia to see the David!

IT WAS AMAZING. it was mind blowing to learn about this and see pictures my whole life and to finally see it in person.  It is even bigger than I imagined. I am so blessed to be here and experience all of this! Thanks mom and dad <3

Anyway, hoped you enjoyed. Ciao!


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Next Weekend!

Sorry for the shortness in blogs!
This stuff is really hard to keep track of.. Besides the fact that im in Italy. Nothing too exciting has happened in the past couple of days.. I had a low key weekend and hung out with my friends. Although someone did drop a guitar case on my head which made things a bit more interesting (i’m fine now just a little bump on the head)
But next weekend is an exciting thing.. IM GOING TO CARNEVALE DI VENEZIA! I have never been so exciting.. All of my roommates are going, all of my friends are going. I just cannot wait to buy a gorgeous mask and dance around! We leave around 4:30 Friday afternoon and head back on Sunday around the same time.. Besides mandatory breakfast for head count.. VENICE IS MY OYSTER! I cant wait to take pictures and walk around! AHHH
I hope is won’t be as cold as it is here.. Today was the worst by far, my crazy professor Helen has us stand outside with a windchill of death and I think I lost my pinky toe.

Here are some kind of delayed pictures of the soccer game I went to last weekend, It was insane. :)

UPDATE * Just kidding none of the pictures will upload, I am kind of angry but they are all up on my facebook @ Emma Abad if you want to take a look :) I will try and get this fixed

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Pisa and Lucca

This past Saturday my Early Renaissance class took a trip to Pisa and Lucca. This is my second trip to Pisa so I wasn’t overwhelmed with everything, but this time I was able to go into the Baptistry as well as the Cathedral so it was all very beautiful. Once again this trip was headed by Helen, my art history professor and once again, she drove us to the ground. At most we had an hour to ourselves in Pisa to get some lunch and walk around… but there is nowhere really to walk around unless you want to get hounded by people asking if you want to buy a watch.. Then we headed to Lucca which I was thrilled about because my sister said it was amazing… from the moment we arrived, around 2:30 to the second we got on the bus around 6 or 7, Helen gave us 15 minutes to ourselves.. If you had to go to the bathroom, then you were screwed because the whole group would have been gone already.. it was very frustrating to not be able to enjoy this trip and walk around as we please… It was still very beautiful and reminded me of a smaller version of Florence. I’m told it is an easy train ride from Florence to Lucca, so maybe it is worthwhile taking a day trip to go back and see it the way I want to.
Anyway my roommates and I have started talking about places we wanted to travel to.. so far we want to take a weekend trip to Paris, spring break in Greece, and of course go to Venice for Carnival. I’m super excited..
Here’s some pictures of Pisa and Lucca ( I had more fun taking pictures of people who were were posing in the different Leaning Tower of Pisa cliches)

my pictures aren’t loading, I will try and add them to another blog soon as soon as I can.

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On Saturday my Early Renaissance class as well as kids who just wanted to go, traveled three hours to a fairly small town close to the coast called Ravenna. It was a pretty decent trip.
My new friends and I actually made it more fun for ourselves (we are laughing a little bit too much)
But there was quite a lot to see. We saw the San Vitale Cathedral and a lot of others. The problem with this trip is, is that my professor Helen spoke literally the entire time without any pauses. I mean it is kind of amazing the amount of information she retains, but for me I like to explore on my own and just observe for a little bit. The extend of the trip Helen is in your ear (we had walkie talkies) and she babbles on and on sometimes about unimportant facts and we really have no time to look around on our own. I guess it is going to take some time to get used to.. But hopefully she cools off a little bit and gets tired later in the semester and doesn’t talk so much.. Anyway here’s some pics. Next weekend I’m off to Pisa and Lucca

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week one.

So I have officially been in Italy for a week, and it is has already been a life changing experience. First off I have four really great roommates; Elsie, Anna, Mirrie, and Lizzy. We are getting along really well.
I am still trying to get my bearings around the city, but I am finding it much easier to navigate around. I have so much exploring to do but I have plenty of time..
With that, my Early Renaissance class is also an on site course, so more than half of our class is spent out and about in Florence touring the local Cathedrals and monuments as well as weekend trips to Pisa and Rome ect. Saturday I am off to Ravenna :)
My other classes are really exciting too, I have intermediate Ceramics, Painting Conservation, and Screen Printing.. I can’t wait to start my projects. I am obvious a little nervous but I am going in with an open mind and a creative heart.
I miss everyone already, but homesickness has not hit me yet, I really hope it doesn’t because when I am homesick, I am miserable and I do not like that feeling.’s just a taste of what I have seen so far.

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I’ve made it!

Actually I made it safe and sound about three days ago.. But with the jet lag and orientation and getting to know my amazing roommates!!! It has been a struggle to get this post up. Pictures will be up shortly. But briefly since it is almost five in the morning and I am still up…
I have a fantastic apartment that has a balcony overlooking the Duomo.. My roommates are the sweetest girls and I cant wait to explore with them..
I have met some other incredible Saci kids whom I know will share a lot of good times with..
Classes start on Monday, I am kind of nervous but extremely excited and I changed around my schedule to add Early Renaissance Art and now I have Fridays off.. :) I had to drop Batik (painting on silk) but that is alright because I am not much of a painter anyway.
Well so long for now I would like to try and sleep if I can :/

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My apologizes.

Forgive me for the lack of posts, the past couple of weeks have just flown by!

In less than 24 hours I will be boarding my plane to Frankfurt.. 8 hours later I will be in Florence, Italy. Finally it is here! I am so incredibly excited and I cannot wait to start this new experience.  Once I get settled in I will make a post of my first couple of hours.

See you soon :)

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Barcelona, Brussels and Berlin oh my!

So since I have had some time to do a little research, I have come across this website that does bus tours around Europe. This one in particular leaves from Florence, and travels to Barcelona, Brussels, Paris, Amsterdam, and Berlin. ALL FOR 6oo Euros! I might have found out my plans for spring break.


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a sigh of relief.

So, it’s been a while but…

I finally have time to breath.  The next step in this journey is figuring out how I am going to pack four months of clothes into one suitcase.  But I have some time for that.  This weekend I went into Philadelphia to get my study visa.  What a process!  The amount of paper work I had to get before I went was incredible.  Thank god the consulates website had a checklist of all the papers and forms I needed to print and fill out.  Luckily, my mom helped me out so much and I couldn’t thank her enough. <3

My appointment was at 11 so my parents picked me up and we drove into Philly.  Once I get into the Consulate office I walk over to the visa counter.  And behind this glass window is this dry, impersonal woman who spoke very little English.  I thought I signed in and then would meet with someone face to face.  No. I hand all of my paperwork through a slot to this woman and as I stand there she goes through EVERYTHING.  So my mom and I are standing there and she is reading my papers and using as little words as possible to ask me questions.  My mom interpereted a lot of it for me. There are no holes in this window to speak through so I bend over to talk into the slot so she can hear me and vice versa.  But once she finishes she takes all of the paperwork puts it in an folder and goes, “Ok” and nods her head.  That’s it! No other recognition.  So we left.  It took maybe 20 minutes.

Other than the awkward minutes trying to communicate with her, It went pretty smoothly.  The rest of the day was spent walking around in Philly with my parents and our friend Megan.  So at this point, I am trying to get through the rest of my course work and prepare myself physically and mentally for this trip…..

I’ll be back soon :)


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So many papers!

I have no idea if anyone is actually reading this. Give me a sign! But in case you are I am very sorry for the lack of posts. Life has been unbelievably hectic the past couple of weeks. I am trying to get paperwork in order because I am applying for a studying visa.  I have an appointment at the Italian Consulate soon and there is so much I have to do before then. I’m kind of overwhelmed…

Luckily it will all be over shortly and I can rest assured that in 2 short months I will be in Italy.  Scary and exciting.  I probably won’t be back here in the next couple of days but I will try my best to get things rolling.



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