My Italian Summer

I can’t believe it, it’s September already! I have to say I’ve been back less than a week and the Manchester rain sure does have a way of reminding you that Summer is over ๐Ÿ˜ฆ Yet again, I have had the most amazing time with some amazing people and I cant wait to write all about it!

Milan

The day after my birthday (August 26th just so you know for next year ;)) my partners in crime- mum, dad and I kicked off our Italian (and a bit of Swiss) adventure by firstly flying out to Milan. I had only ever been once before and I have to say- I didn’t know weather could make such a difference! When I went back in December it was cold and I was so shocked at how few people there were. It’s just such a good job I was with amazing company! However this time it was more of what I expected and it’s definitely a summer place! From our hotel we decided to walk into the centre which really wasn’t far. My parents and I love walking- especially in good weather.

If you’ve never been to Milan just be prepared- for when you get into the main square you’ll be confronted by the magnificent Duomo Di Milano. The building is truly breathtaking. Construction began in 1386 and the cathedral was completed in 1805 meaning it took 419 years to build! We went to the famous Terreza Aperol where Instagrammers go for the notorious Aperol picture (I didn’t have any unfortunately- I can’t stand the taste :/) We then went shopping in the beautiful Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II home to luxury brands and beautiful restaurants.

Although I love visiting Milan- there isn’t a whole lot to do so I would recommend pairing the city with another in order to make your trip more worthwhile.

Tirano to St Moritz

My parents have always spoken about this one train journey through the Alps that was unforgettable and I couldn’t wait to experience it! From Milan we drove to a small village called Tirano and checked into a local hotel. By the time we had settled it was pretty dark and late so we went to a local restaurant and had an early nigh in preparation for the next day. In the morning when we set off walking, the sun was shining and the air was so crisp and fresh- not like what I’m used to living in Manchester and Dubai!

The train was called the Bernina Express and we had large panoramic windows in our cabin. The line was built in 1910 and passes the highest summit of the Eastern Alps (4,093 m). The train itself was actually so long that when it turned a corner, you could see the back of the train while we were at the front! The views were just stunning. No words or pictures can describe it. The thing that shocked me the most is that the train went so high that you could actually see snow on the mountains! The train made a quick descent to the town of St Moritz, Switzerland famously known for skiing. After a satisfying lunch at the Carlton Hotel we made a move back on the train, crossed the border back into Italy as we wanted to travel to our next destination in daylight. It was definitely the shortest time I’ve ever stayed in a country but it surely was beautiful! I’d definitely make a plan to go skiing there one Winter. As if we hadn’t travelled enough for one day, once we got back to Tirano we made our way over to Como.

Lake Como

Lake Como is everything you see in pictures. It is a beautiful place in the Summer (again I would not recommend going in the winter- it was miserable!) The lake itself is surrounded by small towns and because it is a dog tooth shape, its sometimes easier and shorter to take your car on the ferry across the lake rather than drive around the coast. We went to a town called Bellagio famously known for having George Clooney’s Italian villa and no- sadly I didn’t bump into him! We took one of the cute choo choo road trains around the town which was very quaint and quite residential. After lunch by the water we made our way back to the hotel ready for the wedding ahead.

The Wedding

The whole reason of coming to Italy was for my parents to attend the wedding of Adam and Charlotte Kamani. I actually didn’t know I was going too till the day before and had to make do with whatever clothes I had in my suitcase! The wedding was just perfect from beginning to end and was carried out so tastefully and elegantly. The first two days were hosted at the beautiful Villa Erba in Como and the last event was hosted in another stunning villa close to the centre. I had such a lovely time catching up with old friends from back home and meeting some amazing new people. I was later informed by people back home that the Daily Mail had taken my photo from Instagram and put it on their article http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-4850270/Fashion-heir-marries-1-million-Italian-wedding.html You can find photos on Instagram #KamaniEverAfter. It was such an amazing wedding and I truly wish the groom and stunning bride a lifetime of health and happiness.

Verona

So straight after the wedding, the Italian tour continued as we headed to Verona. Looking back I don’t know how we had the energy- no wonder I’ve been exhausted ever since I’ve been back! If you’re a fan of literature you’ll know that Romeo And Juliet by William Shakespeare was set here in Verona. We visited the famous Juliet balcony and saw stickers of love and promise from visitors stuck around the turned that led to it. I was shocked when I saw what resembled a mini Collusseum where I found that out famous opera singers perform here from all over the world. It was a lovely city full of historical and well maintained buildings.

Venice

Venice. I have to say this was my favourite city of all. Well in the morning as we were going down for breakfast I fell down the stairs :/ I was in so much pain it was unreal (this happens every holiday I swear) I still wanted to explore though! After a bit of rest set off for our adventurous walk to St Mark’s Square. There are so many alleys and dead ends where the path will would just stop and lead straight to water! It was quite fun reading directions from the wall on random buildings in the small streets but after an intense hour we were definitely tired. St Mark’s square is stunning and is home to another magnificent Cathedral. St Mark’s Basilica is even older than the Duomo in Milan and was firstly constructed in 828! I remember looking at it thinking how bizarre it was to be stood to a building so old.

I had been warned about the smell of the canals in the summer but honestly, it wasn’t that bad it just smelt like a normal harbour in the summer so don’t be put off as I was initially. As I said the place is like a maze so make sure you’ve got Google Maps fully installed and sufficient battery!

Just a note to finish with Venice- the shopping there is great ๐Ÿ˜‰

Florence

Next stop- Florence. Florence in a lot of ways was like Verona- a small city with historical buildings. Once we checked into the hotel we climbed the hill to the highest point and got an amazing perspective of the city. There were hundreds of spectators gathered up there just in time for the sun set. Once the sun had gone down we made our way to yet another famous cathedral. I know I’ve mentioned others from different cities however for me, this one was by far my favourite. I just loved the whole architecture of it and its grand gothic design. in the evening mum and I went for a lovely dinner just outside the cathedral. It was an amazing evening. A bit of advice though- although nothing was taken from me, just be extremely vigilant with your possessions as there are a lot of pick pocketers surrounding touristy areas.

Pisa

So we all know Kanye’s Famous lyrics “Flying out to Pisa, just to get some pizza”…well that’s exactly what we did! I’ve not given food a mention yet which is surprising (as I ate my body weight in carbs) but the authentic Italian dishes are AMAZING! Everything is so fresh. Anyway so when we got there it was absolutely pouring with rain- so grim! My dad had been getting an ice cream (or two) a day and it was even too cold for him to do so. I was fascinated by the leaning tower and the whole history behind it. However my dad as a property developer did point out that the the angle of the top didn’t quite match the base. Hmm? We still managed to get our pictures despite the rain, you can just see the umbrella thrown onto the grass so we wouldn’t get it in! My actual favourite comb had to get in the picture though, I’m actually joined to it! You can find the comb and other amazing hair products atย https://leylamilanihair.com/

The Italian Riviera

After a crazy tour of the country, we decided to spend our last few days at a resort in a small on the Italian riviera. It was full of older Italians enjoying the final days of summer. There was barely any British people but I liked that. There were many boutique hotels and local restaurants- absolutely NO fast food places at all. No wonder they were all slim!

One morning I woke up at 6am for a run and it was so interesting to see the market stalls being set up for the day. I had left my earphones at home by mistake which I was later glad about as I got to witness the communication and banter between the stalls. They’re so passionate and shout about absolutely everything- I loved that. One couple tried to include me in a conversation and when they saw that I couldn’t speak a word of Italian, they gave me an apple! It was so nice to relax by the sea and I definitely made the most of it knowing that I would be welcomed back by the miserable English weather.

There are many personal parts and memories of this holiday that made it so special. If you know me well, you’ll know how close I am to my parents- it’s like going away with two best friends. I am truly blessed to have such amazing people in my life that have my back no matter what.

Overall, feel free to comment, drop me an email or DM me on Instagram (rukayax) if you have any questions about the places I visited ๐Ÿ™‚ I hope you enjoyed my Italian adventure!

With love always,

Kaya xxx

 

When In Rome…

If you follow me on Instagram you’ll see that I’ve posted about a billion pictures of my recent trip to Rome with my best friend. I can honestly say there’s never been a time we’ve been together and something hilarious hasn’t happened.

So it all started at the airport. 5am. Neither of us had been able to sleep and literally an hour before the 3am alarm went off did we finally catch some Z’s. Typical! So as you can imagine we’re literally sleepwalking through the airport dragging our luggage along- when at last we reach the priority lounge and have chill time before the flight.

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As I was happily helping myself to a croissant, one of the ladies at reception came up to me with some weird blue, yellow and white gross scarf thing. She asked if I would wear it as a sarong as my shorts were not knee length (um..no! And sorry didn’t realise we were in Saudi!!) I politely declined and said when I sit down I would put my jacket on my lap. Of course I couldn’t sit still. the whole time! My friend had an idea that I wrap my jacket around my waist every time I got up and I swear I’ve never had such a hideous outfit in my life!! It ended up looking like some weird skirt thing and I bet people thought I was wearing it on purpose :((

Of course though we found it absolutely hilarious, took pictures and cried about it for about an hour till we got on the plane. You’ve got to laugh at yourself sometimes- especially in that attire!

The plane was gross. I hate Ryan Air- it reminds me of one of those Despicable Me little minion things in transport form. Anywayyy so we landed in Rome where it was BOILING. Little did we know the week we were there, there was a massive heatwave. It was so bad that the city was silent in the afternoon as it was so hot and people couldn’t bear to be out. We finally reached the hotel, checked in and I headed out to get room snacks whilst my friend chilled in the room. After stocking up on kinder, crisps and nesquik bars I got back to the hotel my friend was frantic with the receptionist. When she saw me she ran up to me and told me that when she got into the bed there were hugeeee ants all over the place all crawling around. DISGUSTING. The hotel were moved us to another room. By this time neither of us wanted to stay in and rest so we decided to head out to Sephora (initial priorities in European countries ;)). It was at the train station so we decided to grab a restaurant around there. As many know, I am obsesseddd with chilli food so when they had chilli flakes on the table, I was definitely pleased and poured a load on my chicken.

Big. Mistake. These were the most lethal chillies I have ever consumed. I can’t remember a time when I had my mouth burning that badly! Obviously again although I was in so much pain to the point of tears, yet we still found the situation absolutely hilarious and decided to take videos for snap chat. Let’s just say..we were both extremely careful with those crazy chillies for the rest of the holiday.

Day 1: The Vatican. So we had made our way over to the hop on hop off bus where we had an 11am booking for The Vatican. Little did we know there was SO much traffic- I guess because people run their earlier as it’s cooler and then hide away mid day. So I rang the Vatican office, informed them we were going to be about 15 mins late but the woman was having none of it. After the phonecall my friend was on her phone (extremely silent) which NEVER happens and after about 5 minutes she handed me her phone and asked what I thought. It was the voucher…but it said 12:00 instead of 11:00?! Turns out she had been sneakily editing it on Instagram and the funny thing is when we got there- it actually worked!

The Vatican Museum was stunning. It was so beautiful you wouldn’t know where to look because there was so much to see! After wondering around, mingling with the crowds we ended up at the Sisteen Chapel where the whole ceiling was painted my Michael Angelo. I couldn’t help but chuckle to myself when my friend got caught taking a sneaky photo and the guard was there trying to argue with her to delete it (least she had Snapchat backup!!) After that we went into the city, had gelato and made our way back to the hotel ready for the evening.

On our way to the Spanish Steps, we studied the map we figured it would be quicker to walk 40 minutes up and down hills than get on that ridiculous snail of a bus. So off we trotted in our heels making our way to a well deserved dinner. We reached just at sunset which was a lovely time to soak in the atmosphere! We had dinner at Hotel De Russie followed by Shisha at Mandaloun where my friend worked on changing our 11:00 appointment for The Colosseum to 12:00. again ๐Ÿ™‚

Day 2: The Colosseum. So after my friend managed to changed the time yesterday, we figured why not try our chances again? No matter how early we left, we’d still be waiting in traffic. They did however question us here as they scanned the voucher and the times didn’t match up. It was all good though- we just pretended we didn’t know why this was! Another hot day. Inside The Colosseum was boilingg!! There was literally no breeze. After enough time viewing the rocks (it was just a load of rocks tbh) we made a swift exit and cooled down at Aroma where we had a light lunch. The view was stunning and had a great view of the Colosseum. We saw that there was another terrace restaurant just opposite the Colosseum and booked that for dinner before heading back to the hotel to rest and change.

The dinner was delicious as expected and the view was something else! Another sunset with an amazing view

After that, we made our way to Piazza Navona and sat there for a drink. There was a woman- extremely drunk acting  sat at the front of the restaurant with a cigarette in one hand and a drink in the other being very noisy to passer byers and waving her arms in the air. After about 10 minutes the table next to us became available and she stumbled over and took a seat next to me. I don’t actually remember how it all happened but she started a conversation with us and all of a sudden she was part of our table. This lady was one of the loudest I have ever come across. She was from LA and had a very strange mixed accent claiming it was because she had lived all over the world. The lady kept calling the waiters over as if they were her best friends saying that we should all go the disco together! My friend and I kept awkwardly looking at each other wondering how we were going to get out of this situation!! At one point she gave one of the waiters her number and then said in French- “Don’t give this to ISIS!” Like.. where does that even come from?!! As crazy as she was (and even though she kept hugging me, squeezing my face and trying to set me up with her son) she was actually such a genuinely nice person and definitely added to our eventful holiday.

Day 3: Okay so we had no bookings today so no need to fiddle with vouchers. We made our way to the Trevi Fountain which was sooooo busy! Honestly I swear- it was like a swarm of bees around a drop of honey. We got our photos (of course) , went for lunch and made our way to The Terrace at The Sofitel Hotel. It had had a spectacular view but it was just toooo hot to sit outside for long period of time which was such a shame! We then made our way back to the hotel the final time because it was our last dinner ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

I’ve been very unwell recently and whilst I was getting ready, collapsed in the room. I’m so so glad I had my best friend there, she was so good in the situation! But nothing was going to spoil our last night. We still went out for our final meal, had a lovely shisha and laughed about the little personal things that had made our holiday so special.

I can truly say I had a phenomenal time with my best friend in Rome, although eventful- it made it so much more memorable as we just laughed off unfortunate situations which is the best way to be in life!

Lots of love,

Kaya  xxx