Last Weekend

Ciao! I had a great, relaxing last weekend in Torino!

On Friday, I had my last architecture class, walked around downtown, and headed over to a pizzeria just below our apartment. We returned to our apartment and just stayed up talking on our apartment floor with my friends, good times!

Saturday, I headed over to the Open Market and the Chinese Market;they have sweet potatoes (the orange ones) there, the stores here don’t sell sweet potatoes. I walked around for a bit and headed back to my apartment. My roommate and friend wanted to go back towards downtown to do some shopping as their last weekend, so I went with them. Later that night, my friend Danielle made a really good ragu.

On Sunday, I got to sleep in and headed over to Eataly. I realized it would be my last sunday here and Sunday is the best day to go to Eataly as there are a ton of people walking around and it is very lively. I headed back to the apartment and cleaned for a bit. Sunday night we were planning on having christmas potluck as a way to make one last dinner before people start to leave. I made sweet potato casserole. There were a lot of different dishes: meatloaf, mashed potatoes, sushi, pasta, sangria, sweet potato casserole, pumpkin pie and bread.

Tonight is my last final. I had to do a bunch of writeups and sketches for my modern architecture class. Once I do my three minute presentation about all the places we visited I’ll be free! We are planning on going ice skating at the nearby arena where the ice skating event of the olympics were held.

I didn’t get many pictures this weekend, but it was still a fun one. The rest of this week is full of hanging out with friends before they leave, cleaning, packing, and running some last minute errands. I leave for Dublin on Saturday morning. Have a great week! I won’t be posting next week since I’ll be in Dublin, but maybe at the airport!



Last Italy Trip


I hope your weekend was a good one! I was pretty busy this weekend, both saturday and sunday I took a day trip. However, on Friday, I had my architecture walking tour for my class and met up with my two of my friends to have some lunch at this piemontese restaurant. I got linguini with vongole (clams). Afterwards, my friend and I walked around the city center and decided to head back towards Lingotto. Neither of us wanted to go home, so we saw Hotel Transylvania. It was in Italian, but I managed to understand what was going on and being said; only some vocab I didn’t know. We later met up again and went to this place that my friend, Danielle, had been to before. We got some desserts. I got affogato which is gelato with café. We went back home because we both had to get up early since we were heading to Aosta the following morning.

On Saturday I went to Aosta, which was a lot of fun. It’s a small town 2 hours away from Turin up in the mountains. I was there earlier in the semester, but the weather was rainy and foggy. I’m happy I went again because I could actually see the nearby mountains! It was a cold, but sunny day. We had lunch at a café and walked around, found a christmas market and headed back to Turin. From the train station, we went to a pizza restaurant I heard about on my Architecture trip from Friday. We both split a pizza and a 1/4 liter of wine. Our friend and her friend joined us later and I learned that Italians don’t really drink wine with pizza, they drink beer! Both Danielle and I were tired from the day trip and the cold, so we headed back getting gelato on the way.

Sunday was my last trip in Italy to Bologna with Ye Seul and Danielle! When we first got there, we had lunch. We were going to go to this osteria that is supposed to have good lasagna, but apparently they didn’t have it on Sunday. We decided to go to another restaurant and had lasagne alle bolognese there. It was good, but honestly, not much different from what we make at home during Christmas. Afterwards, we headed towards the University of Bologna. It was interesting to see the oldest university in Italy; I enjoyed the the piazza we saw better though. We walked around for a couple hours, stumbling upon another outdoor christmas market. It was tented, so a little warmer than outside. There was a bigger market by the train station and they had self-service cookies. They had a variety of cookies in a wooden box and you could use tong and put in a bag based on weight. I didn’t go too crazy and got about 5 different cookies. All are very good.

We also heard from an Italian that Bologna is known for the Piadina. The piadina is a quesadilla-like food. It has a large tortilla and you can choose what to put in it. There is only a few things that go into it, but it is delicious. I will miss piadinas when I head back home. After that, we headed back to the train station for a three hour trip back to Torino.

I can’t believe that that was my last trip in Italy and last train ride. This week I have two finals and next Monday I have an architecture project/paper presentation. I have many things planned still to do, such as aperitivo, cafes, ect before I leave. We are having a sunday christmas potluck and I am excited for that, as well as hanging out in Torino for one last weekend. Next Saturday, I’m heading to Dublin! It’s getting cold here, so I’m excited to get back to some warmth. My definition of warm now has dropped to the high 40’s. At least this will prepare me for possible future living locations in cold areas.

Have a great week!


Lake Como and Friend’s Birthday

Hi there!

This past week was a lot of fun. On Monday, USAC staff did a lights tour of all the different lights that are put up in Torino for Christmas. It was not Christmas themed, but more of an open-air art gallery throughout the city. A lot of the stores are decorated for Christmas though. After finally finishing a paper and presentation for culture, all of us wanted to get aperitivo. We went to a new place, it was good but the selection of food was minimal. On Friday I had class till 1 and then I went to downtown to get some gifts for people. Friday night, I went to aperitivo again for another friend’s birthday. This was a lot better, they gave you the food, but there was a lot of it and I was full afterwards. We walked around and we went to my friends apartment and hung out. A few of us wanted to catch the metro before it ended at 1215, so we left a little early while other people went out. I had to wake up early to catch the train to Lake Como the next morning. Lake Como was beautiful, but cold. George clooney has a house there and I can see why. I’m sure in the summer it is packed with tourists. There was a great small downtown area with stores and food places. We walked for an hour and decided to take a train type thing up the hill to see a view of the lake. Once we got up we kept walking and decided to go to the lighthouse at the top of the hill. There was a viewpoint there, but unfortunately it was a little foggy that day. After getting back down the hill, we went to a restaurant we saw earlier walking around. It was delicious and a cute little place tucked in on a side street with a christmas tree out front.

On Sunday, I slept in for the first time in awhile and I headed over to get my friend’s present at a local bakery downtown. I headed back and stopped at Eataly to get some wine as well for the dinner. It was my friend, Ye Seul’s birthday, so she made us a Korean feast. There were 6 different dishes and all were awesome. I told her on the way back from Lake Como that I would definitely come to Korea at some point. The rest of the night, we hung out in the apartment. We had to give Ye seul our table, as 11 total people came, so they didn’t have enough space.

Overall, a great weekend and only a few more left. I have a few projects/papers this week and finals start next. 

Four Day Weekend: Florence

Hi, I hope you all had a great Thanksgiving weekend! We had a USAC hosted Thanksgiving dinner, which was good, but I missed sweet potatoes!

Anyways, this past weekend I went to Florence with my two friends for four days. We arrived at 11 on Thursday and we visited four main places: Museo dell’Opera, the Baptistery, Archaeological Crypt, and the bell tower. Each one was beautiful to visit. My favorite, though, was the bell tower. We got to see views of the city and it was a mostly clear day for it.

We decided to get lunch and went to a panini place that is supposed to be really good. It did not disappoint! We walked around for a bit and went to the outdoor leather market. We walked around for a few hours and went to gelato as well. We headed back to our hostel and went out to eat at this place nearby. The restaurant was really good; I had a pear and cheese stuffed pasta with a glass of wine, a perfect combination! We, then headed back to our hostel as we were all tired and hung out and taked for a few hours.

Friday, my friends headed to an outlet mall about an hour away to buy some Prada bags on sale. I explored Firenze ,myself. I went to Fiesole which is a hill above Florence. I was only there for about 30 minutes, but it was fun nonetheless. I headed back down into Florence and attempted to find a gelato place called Vivoli, which a friend told me was really good. I had a map, but I got a little turned around and ended up near the Uffizi gallery, which was where I started. However, I saw another panini place I read about online, and decided to eat lunch there. It was better than the other place and it was jam-packed full. I ended up walking around, saw Santa Croce Church, Mercato centrale (a large indoor food market), Pitti Palace and the Boboli Gardens, Ponte Vecchio (a famous bridge). All day I was pretty much walking to different piazzas. I had a map of all the places I wanted to see and walked from place to place. I again, tried to find the gelato place and while I was looking at the map I heard someone say, oh gelato, and looked up and there was the place I was trying to find! It was very good gelato, I got café and a flavor called fantasia. I also wanted to find the pizza place near café italiano that my friend told me about, it was just down the street from Vivoli Gelato.

Later, I decided to head from Boboli gardens to Michelangelo Piazza, as my friends were just leaving the leather market and it was nearing sunset, so I wanted to see the city at that time. It was beautiful and sunset, but just a little bit hazy. I walked back to my hostel and hung out for awhile till my friend arrived with their Prada bags. We were all tired from walking around all day, so we got dinner at the hostel (they provide free pizza and salad). After dinner, we went back to our gelato place that we went to the first day, it had so many flavors!

On Saturday, we went to pisa in the morning. I really enjoyed walking through the main street of pisa. It is a narrow street with nice stores along each side and about 20 minutes later we got to the leaning tower of Pisa. We stayed there for awhile taking pictures and we went inside the church by Pisa. We returned to Florence and my friends wanted to go to a famous place called ZaZa. It is supposed to have really good t-bone steak and there were a few pictures of celebrities who went there. I got a soup sampling and really enjoyed it. I had to leave earlier to go to the Academia; I had a reservation so I didn’t have to wait in line. I got to see the real david, which was larger than I thought. I met back up with my friends near the Uffizi Palace, we walked around the city center for a bit. They hadn’t seen Piazza Michelangelo yet, so we walked across the river. I got pictures for nighttime and sunset at piazza Michelangelo now.

We decided to hang out in the main city center as we didn’t want to walk back to our hostel, but we had to wait an hour till the special pizza place I was told about would open at 7:30. At around 7:15 we got to the pizza place and there were already 3 groups ahead of us and more people were coming. We got seated when it opened. This pizza place was full of only locals and then us. The Italians seemed confused as to how we knew about the place, as it wasn’t near the tourist restaurants. A friend back home who studied abroad told me about it. I am glad we went, because it was the best pizza so far. They only had 3 types. We got two of them, margherita and marinara. I took them to the Vivoli Gelato place and we walked back to our hostel.

Sunday, we woke up to head to the Uffizi Gallery. It was definitely the largest art museum I’ve been to. We spent about 3 hours there, walking around. After, I wanted to try a waffle with gelato, so we headed back to the same place near the duomo. The Florence Marathon was going on, so we got to see that as well. We later walked around a bit more, went to a chinese place and to the Santa Maria Novella Pharmacy. It is not really a pharmacy but a fancy place with soaps, face wash, ect. it was founded in 1200. The picture of the christmas tree was inside that pharmacy. I headed to the train station at 4:30.

It was a very fun weekend, but I’m also happy to back in Torino. This week, I have a lot of school work to do and a presentation on Wednesday for my culture class. This weekend we are taking a day trip to Lake Como and are celebrating my friend, Ye Seul’s birthday on Sunday.

I hope you are all rested up from these last few days and have a good week back!

Far Too Long

Hi there! Sorry I have not written in a long time, my computer stopped working and I had no way to get my pictures from Verona or Aosta, as well as blogging. I got a cheap laptop here, that I will use back at home next quarter.

Anyways, I went to Verona a few weeks ago. It was one of my favorite cities so far in Italy. I went with my friends Ye Seul and Danielle. It was a gorgeous sunny day on Saturday when we went an we walked around all of Verona. We bought a verona card so we could get into the many museums, the most preserved roman ampitheater, as well as Romeo and Juliet’s house. After walking around the main area, we went to a palace up on a hill that had beautiful views of the city and Verona. The next day was cloudy, but we wanted to relax since we walked so much saturday. I met someone from Dublin; she emailed me a lot of tips on what to see and we will probably meet up with her at a pub at some point while we are there.

The next weekend (after verona, two weekends ago), I went to this small alps town, called Aosta. It was very dreary weather so I couldn’t get a view of the alps, but it was fun nonetheless.

This past weekend I relaxed in Torino. I went to the Open Market on Saturday and Sunday had a lazy day of doing random errands/relaxing. On Friday night I went to this pub by downtown with a friend, and I really enjoyed the atmosphere there, very lively. On Saturday night, my friend Brynn’s Italian friend came over and made us some delicious pasta and appetizers. I was very full that night.

This week we have thursday and friday off for Thanksgiving,so I’m headed to Florence! I printed out a map and starred everywhere I want to go. There is supposed to be great gelato there and I found a place online that supposedly has really good, cheap sandwiches. I am seeing the real David as well. Before that though, USAC is holding a Thanksgiving dinner for us. There is going to be all the traditional dishes except Pumpkin Pie, we will have panetonne instead. I can’t wait for Thanksgiving dinner and Florence to come. I have a lot of homework to do tonight and after Florence because many projects are due at the same time. Time is still flying by!!

Below is a slideshow of a few of my pictures from verona and aosta, along with some random food pictures (we found a good chinese place here as well)


Salone Del Gusto and Sunday Adventures


This weekend was a great one, full of friends and exploring more of Torino. On Friday I had another walking tour for architecture and for 20th century art I went to this presidential exhibition for US. Later that night, I went to the Pub with a couple friends since they hadn’t been there before. It’s nice to chat with friends and hang out.

On Saturday, I went to the food festival, Salone Del Gusto, that I’ve been waiting for since Summer! It was held by the SLOW Food Organization. It was huge! Imagine a nearly Target size building filled with booths of food samples, drinks, chocolate; but there were three of rooms that size. Then, there was also an international building for non-italian countries. Each building had different areas of italy. Sicily, Piemonte, Lombardia, ect. My friend and I were very full from all the free samples so that was our dinner and lunch. It took us 5 hours to go through all of it. I also got to be a judge at a food cooking competition, but that’s because barely anyone was there. Later on Saturday, I got to meet my friend’s language partner and her boyfriend and his brother. They drove us to a pub that a lot of local people go to. It had about 20 different Mojito options and hot chocolate options. It was fun to talk to Italians and it was very crowded. Unfortunately it’s a little hard to get to by bus, but I’m happy I went.

Sunday, I woke up and went to the Café Al Bicerin with my friend, Danielle (who I also went to Salone del gusto with). It was crowded and it seemed like a great Sunday morning tradition for other Italians. It’s gotten a lot colder here and on Friday it was raining all day. However…that makes for snow in the alps! So, after Bicerin, we went across the Po River and to this Mountain Museum. The walk there was beautiful. The walk was on a path up to the hill that the museum was on and the  leaves were very colorful; full of orange, yellow and red. We got into the museum for free and at the top there was a viewing terrace. Although it was cloudy, we could still see the alps covered in snow. It was a perfect, cold, fall day. We walked back and got some roasted chestnuts from a street vendor. I’m heading out to eat at a restaurant near my  house that I have yet to go to, but it sounds delicious. Tomorrow I have cuisine again so that should be fun!

IMG_6872 dinner

IMG_6880 church on the architecture walk


IMG_6896 presidential exhibition

IMG_6897french toast saturday morning

IMG_6899 salone del gusto outside

IMG_6900 cooking competition

IMG_6905 inside of the festival

IMG_6912 mini cone with chocolate liquor


IMG_6914 100 euro balsamic vinegar

IMG_6918 chocolate and chocolate and chocolate

IMG_6923 biscotti

IMG_6924 italy’s hot chocolate (pretty much melted chocolate)

IMG_6925 huge chocolate chip panettone

IMG_6933 pastries


IMG_6938tomatoes from Sicily

IMG_6940 bees for honey



IMG_6949 fair trade chocolate

IMG_6952 mojito fair trade?!

IMG_6953 nougat type bar from Germany

IMG_6956 after

IMG_6959 bicerin on sunday afternoon..yumm! chocolate coffee and cream

IMG_6976 view of Po River..and mountain museum

IMG_6980 walking to the mountain museum in the park (cold, but beautiful)

IMG_6987 view of alps from the museum

IMG_7007mole, alps…love this city

IMG_7018 chocolate store

IMG_7021 cover band of beatles

IMG_7023 roasted chestnuts on the street.

Auto Museum


I had some time in between going to the auto museum and class, so I wanted to write another post for this week. Tuesday, my friends and I went over to another friend’s apartment and had dinner and played some games. Last night I had art class till 8:30 and then hung out with my neighbors. One of our friends wanted to go to the Pub down the street, so we joined her. I split a delicious nutella crepe with  my friend. We met some italians there and it was interesting to meet two italian guys who didn’t like soccer. In Italy there are types of guys called mammone who live with their parents till their 40’s or till their parent’s die. My roommate was talking to one of them, so that was interesting. One of the guys said that it was unacceptable be living with his parents at his age, but the other guy said it was fine and normal. An interesting conversation about the different ideas of ‘normal’ in Italy. The bartender at the pub knows our names as we go there a couple times a week. It is a fun place to hang out and talk if we don’t feel like being in the apartments.

Tonight, I have architecture and then a friend is making dinner and dessert. Tomorrow I’m going on a walking tour for architecture and then a visit to the President’s Museum (relating to american presidents since the election is this year) for art.

I can’t wait till the food festival Saturday! There’s about 5 events or tastings happening every hour. I will definitely be there all day! Have a great rest of the week and a fun weekend Smile 

IMG_6780 IMG_6781 my dinner and daily coffee from the vending machines at school. Very small cup. IMG_6784IMG_6785 korean dinnerIMG_6789 dinner with friends (some missing from picture)

IMG_6797IMG_6798IMG_6799IMG_6800IMG_6805IMG_6809IMG_6811IMG_6812IMG_6813American military jeep

IMG_6814IMG_6816IMG_6818IMG_6820IMG_6821IMG_6823IMG_6824IMG_6825IMG_6829IMG_6830 car graveyardIMG_6831IMG_6832IMG_6838IMG_6839IMG_6841IMG_6845IMG_6853IMG_6854IMG_6855IMG_6860IMG_6862IMG_6864IMG_6868IMG_6870 molding before paint