Italy 2016

3:58 AM

I honestly miss traveling and I can’t wait for the day I get to explore another new country soon! Getting to discover the beautiful stories that a country has to tell and also having the opportunity to immerse in their food and culture will always be something I look forward to every time. 

So I realized that I never continued my Euro-trip story after the Swiss Alps so today I’d like to share with you all our next stop which was Italia

To be honest, our first few moments in the country was rough, starting with arrogant and stubborn locals who didn’t want to give us directions to our hotel in Milan. We also experienced a really bad Airbnb incident in Rome which made us spontaneously book a hotel last minute.  Other than that, my brother-in-law was a victim of pick pocketing and we almost missed our scheduled & paid tours. Our first impressions of the country wasn’t good at all but it eventually changed when we stayed in the country for six days. 

We were able to visit 3 different cities with their own unique stories and memories. We were able to visit Milan, Sorento, Venice, Vatican and Rome. It was in this country where I truly appreciated my spiritual, creative and historical sides all together. Every step, moment and experience was one to remember and no doubt, a place to visit if you’re all in for adventure, fun and thrill. 

First Impression: Crazy but Most Memorable 
Weather: Sunny and Rainy 

Here’s a quick breakdown of what we did in each city. Hopefully you too can visit these places soon: 


1. Santa Maria dela Grazie 
This housed the original Last Supper of Leonardo da Vinci and I was at awe to have had the opportunity to see it in person. I was amazed of its history- from the struggles of Leonardo to finish his masterpiece up until its strong foundation even during the bombings it encountered. What really caught my attention was how detailed each element was and how each segment of the painting was carefully planned by Leonardo himself. The time, effort and hard work put into it, made this artwork a story to tell in itself. It was so beautiful. And if you notice the actual painting, each apostle had a story and Leonardo depicted it really well. 

2. Sforza Castle 
This housed the Pieta, an unfinished sculpture by Michelangelo Buonarroti. Before seeing it in person, I only learned about it in my college Fine Arts class. To see it in person, was a lucky opportunity. Just like Leonardo, this was also done in very much detail and the reason behind it being unfinished is another story to tell. 

3. Caffe Dante 
This was our first take on authentic Italian pasta and it did deliver! It was delicious! A plus was that we were seated in the main street of one of the busiest places in Italy so we got to see everything. 

4. La Voglia
If you know me so well, you’ll know how much of a dessert-lover I am so trying our first ever authentic Italian gelato was important to me. It was so creamy and dreamy. I couldn’t believe we were actually in Italy holding a cone of gelato. 

5. Duomo di Milano
I was at awe just looking at its intricate architecture.

 6. La Pizza Al Pomodoro Spontini 
Really good authentic Italian pizza (P.S. I had hot sauce with it. It was cheesy) 

Despite the smelly canals, this was one of the most beautiful places I’ve seen in Italy. Even if weather was so bad and we only went for a day trip, the overall experience was still beautiful. What really made this city stand out was how their mode of transportation was just by boat. It was so cool to see less cars and more water transports. 

To get to Venice from Italy, all you have to do is take a train to Venezia Sta. Lucia Station and then board a ferry at Ferazia to go to Rialto. 

1. Gondola Ride
DEFINITELY A MUST in Venice. It’s best to book in advance since it’s always full. To actually experience an actual gondola ride while exploring the ins and outs of canals in Venice was an actual dream come to reality. 

2. St. Mark’s Basilica and St. Mark’s square
It was the busiest place in the city yet it was the most outstanding view to see families and friend all together. 

3. Cafe Florian 
We tried the famous hot chocolate and if you love pure chocolate goodness then this is a must try! 

Lighting was so bad in the restaurant but this is what it looks like. 

4.Panna in Ghiaccio 
Yup, you said it! I got to try another unique treat in Venice and it was by far one of the best ice cream sandwiches I’ve tried EVER. 

Just like what Lizzie McGuire said, this is what dreams are made of! Finally got to see pictures in reality and got to experience moments to cherish forever.

1. Trevi Fountain
YUP, WE HAD OUR MOMENT wishing in the most iconic fountain in the world. Rain or shine (even it was intensely rainy most of the time) , it was still imperfectly perfect. THIS IS A MUST VISIT for sure! 

2.That’s Amore
Just around the area of Trevi, we celebrated my sister’s birthday in this quaint restaurant known to be one of the best restos in Rome! We were lucky to have tasted a classic that has been running from generations.  . The risotto and the fetuccini were super good. I highly recommend it. 

Lighting was bad inside the resto but the food was so good. 

3.Gelateria Valentino
NO gelato is enough especially when you’re in Italy! This was our second take on authentic Italian gelato. It truly didn’t disappoint. 

4. Spanish Steps
It was under construction when we came but we saw photos of it and it was beautiful. 

5. Pantheon
A beautiful Roman temple in the heart of Rome. It was a wonderful experience. 


Simply beautiful to see the Pope’s city in person. At that moment it wasn’t just text book terms and words anymore, it was a real moment. 

1.Musei Vaticani, Sistine Chapel and St. Peter’s Basilica 
I definitely recommend you take a tour to visit these beautiful spaces! My favorite part was when we entered the Sistine chapel. It was really cool to see the actual space where the pope is chosen. We couldn’t take pictures even if some were rebels but it was beautiful. To see the painting of Michelangelo  in the ceiling with pinpoint to detail and meaning was just amazing. NO WORDS COULD DESCRIBE IT. Another great moment was when we actually entered St. Peter’s Basilica. There were a lot of interesting things inside this sacred place and one major stand out was the incorruptibles. It was kind of creepy but really amazing.

We couldn't take photos in the Sistine Chapel so here's our Tour Guide explaining to us the art in the ceiling. The concept and story behind it is really interesting. 

2. View from the Sistine Chapel 
This was the craziest climb up to see the view of Vatican. Imagine steep steps, a really high climb and claustrophobic spaces…. 2e numerously caught out of breath but there was no turning back. We climbed 320 steps. The view wasn’t that great but the experience was one to remember. We survived and conquered. 

3. Gustando Roma 
Our third take on gelato. The sweetness never ends when you’re with my family. 


1. Colosseum 
YUP ANOTHER MUST IN YOUR BUCKET LIST. It wasn’t just in the movies or textbooks anymore, it was real. It was so cool to actually see the original space where gladiators used to play. Also  I DEFINITELY RECOMMEND THE NIGHT TOUR. You actually get to go down where the gladiators used to go to and also see actual cages where the ferocious animals were placed and even the trap doors. The tour even imparted me new facts that I didn’t know about like the reason behind the numerous holes around the colosseum because slaves used to steal metal and tried to climb up just to watch the games. 

Colosseum at Day 

Colosseum at Night (This is one of the coolest experiences I've ever had. The tour was SO WORTH IT. ) 

2. Palatine Hill and the Roman Forum 
This was just across the colosseum. It felt like you were in the ancient times. It was surreal.

3. Piazza Navona
We got to see the fountain of 4 rivers, another known fountain in the area. 

To get here we took a train from Garibaldi to the port in Naples and then we rode on top of a boat to Sorento.. We only took a day trip here. 

1. Limoncello
Famous drink in Sorento which had a huge % of alcohol. It was really good though, definitely a must try! 

2. Chill walks by the bay 
We spent the day chilling out and just enjoying the beautiful view of the ocean.

Overall our trip to Italy was like a trip to the past. It was definitely amazing to witness the artworks of some Ninja Turtles (yup, i saw two in Italy and two in Paris! woohoo) and well to witness in person the rich history and culture of the country. I mean honestly in every corner and every turn, there’s definitely a story that awaits to be heard! Every corner seems so precious and you see that in the architecture and tourists spots.


All photos taken with: Canon EOS550D 

* Disclaimer: No watermark was added to the photos to preserve the creativity of the shots. All photos are owned by Rachel Yupangco. Any reproduction is forbidden.

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