Tag Archives: travel

Florentinian at Heart

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Every day I dream of Florence. I dream about walking down ancient cobbled stone streets in my Birkenstock sandals. I dream of lazily sampling every flavour of gelato, while looking across the Arno. I dream of shopping up a storm, admiring art, discovering new delights and even the smell of Italian cigarette smoke. I dream of the strong aroma of coffee that meets your nose around every corner, and the thrill of hearing gorgeous Italian words every minute.

I dream of going out for late night dinners, and passing out, exhausted, into bed. Only to wake up and do it all again the next day.

Until we meet again Firenze.style10fun

Top – Forever New (old)  |  sandals – Birkenstock (or Cape Town – Andhee Comfort Shoes)  |  Skirt – Mr Price (old)

You can see my previous posts about my outfits in Florence, as well as the best meal I’ve ever eaten in Florence by following the links.

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Tasteful Tuesday: Dream Dinner Destination

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As many of you know, I spent an incredible Summer in Europe in 2013. (Can you believe that it’ll be 2 years ago soon!)… You can read about my adventures on my Contiki Tour, or see some of my travel outfits, or learn about a couple of my European Summer packing tips.

One of my most favourite cities that I was lucky enough to explore, was Florence. I had been learning about it since I was old enough to pronounce “Michelangelo”, had been oohing and aaahing over David since forever, and obviously have a very deep love affair with Italian food. Not only does FLorence offer up a plethora of art galleries and buildings – it feels alive with secrets and history. Knowing the exact streets you walk upon were once graced with the feet of those such as Dante Alighieri and Boticelli. The Arno river flows straight through the city, the Duomo sticks up above the rest of the red roofs, every hundred meters is another piazza encircled by over priced restaurants and local gelato makers who shout offers and flavours to you as you pass by, with thick, deep Italian accents. It’s simply marvelous.

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It was while spending about 5 days in this magical city in Tuscany that my mother and I decided to treat ourselves one night. We were on a backpackers budget – mostly baguettes, cheese and ham. And possibly a shared pizza or pasta here or there. But we had heard of the famous Florentinian steaks, and decided to go in search of a place to try them out. We meandered lazily through the cobbled streets, passing homes once owned by the famous Medici family, stopping here and there to gaze at the incredible architecture that adorns the city. We came across a tiny, understated entrance with a sign reading, “Little David”. Starving from a day spent wandering galleries and lying under the hot Italian sun in beautiful rose gardens, we popped inside, and ended up having what can only be described as one of the most amazing meals of our lives.

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Little David is a restaurant, wine bar and museum, run by an Italian man who is heavily passionate about what he does. You might notice that his website is entirely in Italian, and has absolutely no options to change the words to English! It’s lucky that we stumbled onto it while looking for somewhere to eat in person, and that we didn’t google search first – it may have possibly put us off from going here. We wouldn’t have had the time to ask a local to help us transcribe the words, and would simply have looked for something easier to understand. This is definitely where some international websites fail – really, they should accommodate their holiday making patrons and have the option to turn the site into english (or at least important aspects like menus, directions and contact details). Thank goodness for Little David’s Trip Advisor page!

But rest assured, website aside this is a brilliant place to go and experience some first hand flavoursome Italian food. We ordered a pretty large steak, and finished every single mouthful. The owner was quite surprised that we, two petite ladies, had managed to scoff down so much food. Florentinian steak is served rare as rare can be (which is just my style, but if you’re not into that, I’d suggest changing your order to something else. The Italians will change for no one – and why should they when they do everything so perfectly!). We got a short history lesson, while I sipped away on a glass of soft, velvet chianti, about the restaurant owner’s love of wine. He even gave us free samples to try. An interesting aspect to his wine making skills, is that he has successfully copied the exact recipes that would have been used in ancient Pompeii – vases unearthed still had traces of wine in them, that were analyzed. The owner of Little David then took it upon himself to, using these ingredients that were pinpointed, re-create the exact wines that would have been drunk by those who were covered in volcanic ash. It really is amazing.

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I was reading Dan Brown’s Inferno while I was in Venice, and had just been in Florence, so to be able to think back on every details of his book and know what it looked like in person was just incredible. There is so much of that city that I have yet to go back and discover. The gelato is sweet, the locals helpful, and the food is simply magical.

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This was our incredible view every morning from our hostel – sparrows swooped and flew over the Tuscan rooftops, and we looked at mamas hanging out the days washing to dry.RoseView

This view is from a beautiful rose garden that is situated just below the beautiful Piazza di Michelangelo. It has a wondrous view of the city, beautiful gardens to stroll through, shade to rest your weary walked-out legs and most importantly, it’s totally free.David

David’s bum is something that is never given the recognition it deserves. I sneakily took a photo while no one was looking. (But seriously, those calves though!)

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Camp-tastic

As you might already know, I am a lover of traveling, and so is Ben. (Contiki, Paris, Pamplona, Rome, Greece… looking forward to adding Auckland to that list very very soon!). I’m currently in the UK until August, and am absolutely loving exploring different places. In two weeks time, Ben and I are off to Norfolk for a spot of camping. We have yet to buy any equipment, but we should hopefully be getting to that on friday.

The place that we’re staying at directly overlooks the beach – it’s called Overstrand Campsite and seems to have some great reviews. Although I camped all over Europe for about a month last year, I’m not sure how I’ll fair if it starts to rain and our tent leaks or something. I’m a bit of a miserable lump if I’m wet. Even more so if my belongings are wet. Here’s hoping it’s only ever sunshine and seashores for us. That’s a picture of Norfolk beach below. Ohh yeeeah!norfolk201358image via

I’ve been searching the internet for ideas to make our trip just a little more special, but have really been struggling to find creative ways to make an adults camping trip feel exciting. I’ve scoured pintrest, and Google images, but all I can really find is suggestions for children’s parties, weddings and ‘clamping’ (which just totally defeats the point of camping!). The closest I’ve come to seeing something camping inspired and unique was on A Cup of Jo – she wrote a post about Shelter Co. who have a super awesome camping service. In my mind, I imagine camping to be like the images on their site – strategically planned and dry. I know that neither of those things are feasible, but I like to keep my hopes up, especially about the weather (did I mention my hatred of rain?).

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Can you even deal with how gorgeous these are?! I mean, I’m not one to glamp, but daaaamn. I guess when I thinking of glamping, I think of a girly backyard sleepover. Or manicures in a tent. But this style of camping by Shelter Co. – I could definitely do it!

So I’ve decided to try and come up with some creative ways to make our camping trip a little more special… It’d also Ben”s birthday while we’re away, which aside from French toast for breakfast on the 16th, means it needs to be extra extra special. 26 is a big deal!

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Aztec Amalfi

While I was scanning through all of my photos from the amazing trip that I took with my mother last year, I came across an outfit that I hadn’t shared yet! This aztec dress is one of my favourites for traveling.
These photos were taken the day we spent exploring the towns along the Amalfi Coast. An area of Italy that is very close to Sorrento and The Isle of Capri. It was the first time we had managed to spend a day on the beach, and we couldn’t believe the rocks and pebbles lining the shore. I’m aware that that’s what most European beach are like, having been to Greece before, but coming from Cape Town with our white sandy stretches of seaside heaven, it always surprises me. But when in Amalfi, one must do as the Italians do – so we ate gelato, explored the cobbled streets and lay in the sunshine all day long.

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Dress – Mr Price (old)  |  sandals – Birkenstock (or Cape Town – Andhee Comfort Shoes)

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Fancy in Florence

Florence captured my heart immediately – as I stepped off the train and breathed in the coffee and cigarette air that seems to hover over Italy, it had a sweetness to it that the previous Italian cities hadn’t. I could taste the art and the history and the secrets in the air. We took these photos a few days into our stay there, in the shadow of the Basilica di Santa Maria del Fiore, a magnificent pink and green building that in my opinion, is far more magnificent on the outside than on the inside.

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Tank top – H&M  |  shorts – Thailand market  |  shoes – Tesco  |  necklace & bracelets – made myself  |  watch – Guess (old)
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Traveling Transcripts

Did I mention that I’m off to Thailand in September with my parents?

Well I am, and I’m crazy-excited about it! When I travel, I’m an obsessive journaler (Is that even a word? Now it is). I write down everything and collect every ticket stub/brochure/pamphlet/flyer/postcard that falls into my line of sight and in it goes. I always travel with my stick of glue and pair of scissors, so I can journal on the go. It’s often a really great way to pass the time while you’re waiting in an airport or on a long journey.

In Typo on Tuesday night I found this beautiful little travel diary, with the words

Let’s find someplace beautiful and get lost.

What a dream! And for only R40, what a bargain too!

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As I’m off to the Karoo in 3 days time, I thought I’d share what I keep in my handbag while I’m in places that are a little more rustic than the city life I’m used to.

A satchel is the best things to use because I’ll generally be walking through the veld (bush) a lot while I’m away, and you generally have to climb a few fences, so I’ll need my hands free. Also, It’s easier if you’re wanting to take photos. So here are a couple of NB items that I’ll be bringing with me to the Karoo…

  1. Wet wipes and tissues. I can’t stress this enough. What could be more gross that a petrol station bathroom with no toilet paper or running water?
  2. Hair elastics – I’m used to Cape Town weather, which changes hourly and usually ends each day in gale force winds, and without the trillion hair elastics I carry on me, my hair would be a bird’s nest.
  3. A pocket knife. This is super important when you’re going into the bush. They have a million and one uses, and mine even has a nail file.
  4. Chewing gum. I don’t need to reason this.
  5. Clear nail varnish. I always carry clear nail polish with me, it can be used to prevent ladders in stockings from spreading and gluing things back in place.
  6. Canon D450 camera. I was considering bring my Diana Mini with too… But then I’ll also want to pack in the instax, and then the Polaroid will feel lonely at home.
  7. Lip ice. My lips tends to crack because of the dry, inland climate. I’m used to the moist costal air.
  8. My Moleskine and stationary. Every day, every where.
  9. My huge, fabulous, offensively-sized sunnies. Just because it’s winter, doesn’t mean the sun won’t shine.
  10. Water. Source of life, defier of wrinkles, delicious and darn good for you.