Monday, 29 August 2016

Sicilian adventures: Day 4 - Messina, Milazzo, Novara di Sicilia

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Back to my Sicilian adventures, the fourth day is something I'll never forget. We started the day with a long drive to Messina. Messina is a beautiful city, I particularly loved the fountain in the Central Square, I couldn't stop taking photos there haha. There was also a really cool souvenir shop nearby.

Next stop was at the lighthouse which is closest to Italian shore, you can literally see Italy right across the sea. Then Milazzo followed. It's a magical city, such a pleasure to walk on the seafront on a Sunday afternoon, the breeze was everything. We stopped at the Washington Bar, which seemed like a really pro pastry & bakery shop, it was so hard for us to choose from the variety of desserts, both traditional and international! I chose a Tartufo and I was so happy about it, such a divine flavour!

After Milazzo, came the real adventure. We went to Novara di Sicilia, a village up in the mountains, famous for the view- you could see both the sea and the Mount Etna from above. We thought we'd never arrive there, there was this crazy serpent road. Little did we know about what was about to follow. As we entered the village the roads were getting narrower and steep and the GPS failed for the first time on our vacation. We got to the point where a street was at an angle of over 45 degrees, my mom and aunt refused to go by car out of fear, that's how crazy everything was! I was just praying the engine won't die on us, and it nearly did at some point, talk about something I'll always remember! Naturally, when you climb something you also have to go down, and we were to scared to choose the same road we came from. We listened to the locals and took another way down, which was even crazier! The street was so narrow it could barely fit the car and the mirrors (now I get why everyone has the Fiat 500 there) and at the end of it- an even narrower serpent road! Can you imagine the amount of manoeuvres it took to make a double U turn when your car can barely fit? Especially when the car is a rental and there are buildings everywhere, left and right? I still wonder if that street really was meant to be for cars, but we just listened to the locals! We were absolutely terrified so we stopped when the road of horror was done. And what do you know, we ended up at the place with the best panoramic view of Novara di Sicilia! (all the photos on Google are taken there actually). It was truly an unexpected reward which made us recover from the shock . Looking back it's the panoramic views that come to my mind first about Novara di Sicilia, which is an amazing thing!

I wore a Primark dress that is very close to my heart because it's that one dress which looks good on you regardless of your weight fluctuation. I swear I sometimes believe this dress is magical, I've had some days after too much pasta and cannoli which were saved by this pretty dress! I have my aunt to be thankful for this, she got it for me from the UK and it truly made my summer!

Thursday, 18 August 2016

Bday no. 21

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♪ Blessings - Big Sean, Drake & Kanye West ♪

Every year I like to do a photoshoot on my birthday and post it on my blog so I can remember it. I always get emotional, because after I post it I start searching my old birthdays on the blog and see how much I've grown up. This one's a little late, my birthday was on the 12th of August, but due to the fact it was between the Untold Festival and the Rihanna concert in Bucharest I attended, I did a small celebration this year, surrounded by two of my best friends and family. Still, from something meant to be low key it turned into one of my favorite birthdays ever! It was a day full of surprises. I woke up to a giant bouquet of roses and an Iphone SE (I had no clue or need for a new phone). It's the perfect iphone for me because it's basically an Iphone 6S in a body of an Iphone 5 => it has a 12 MP camera instead of 8! It really makes a huge difference, looking back of all the photos I took at the Untold festival with my old phone vs. the Rihanna concert with the SE I still can't believe how lucky I am to have it! 

The roses were my dad's work of art, he got the idea when I got a day earlier from my birthday a small bouquet of roses- he went and got seven of those in different colors and arranged them together in a box - it's my favorite flower arrangement ever (may I add he has no idea about the box of roses trend that's been going on lately? haha). I also had the best cake, it's from the same bakery I got it two years ago, but this year they put more forest fruit cream between the layers, divine! I was finally able to wear this Zara lace skirt on my birthday! I say "finally" because I've been looking for the right top for it for four years now and this summer I found it in the Mango summer sales.
All the other gifts I included in the post from my cousins and my best friends made me so emotional and grateful, I honestly don't know where I would be right now if I wasn't so blessed to have so many beautiful people in my life! As I grow older, I come to the conclusion that birthdays aren't really about gifts for me, they're about celebrating with the people most close to my heart, the ones that are always there to support me, make me laugh and hold me down. I just want to say a big "I LOVE YOU" to mom, dad, my sister, my cousins, my aunt&uncle, my best friends & you, my dear readers, who chose to follow my journey from time to time!

Thursday, 11 August 2016

Sicilian Adventures: Day 3 - Taormina & Savoca

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♪ Paradise - Big Sean ♪

I know I still got many posts to write about Sicily, but the reason I'm behind schedule is the Untold Festival which I attended in Cluj Napoca (I can't wait to also write a post about it, it was an incredible experience!!).

Tomorrow I'll be 21 (Where does the time fly?? I remember being 15 when I wrote my first post for this blog!) and I'm glad I'm sharing my favorite day on my Sicilian trip on this occasion!  Whenever you ask someone about their favorite spot in Sicilia, they instantly reply: Taormina! Naturally, it ended up being our favorite place as well, we went on three different days there and I would still love to visit it few more times in my lifetime.

I loved the streets just as much as I loved the streets in Florence and Paris 
(therefore, they made it into my top 3 list) probably because of the multitude of colorful flowers and beautiful buildings. The Botanical Garden is also breathtaking, but what really stands out is the Ancient Theatre of Taormina. It's a view I'll never forget, we just really couldn't bring ourselves to leave it!! You had the magical theatre, with the sea and the Mount Etna in the background. I just felt infinite staying there and contemplating. At some point, we stopped to get some refreshments and I finally tried the famous cassata Siciliana - I took it as personal challenge because it's told to be the sweetest dessert in Sicilia, and I'm never one to back down haha! It's actually a sponge cake moistened with fruits juices and with ricotta cream between the layers (the same recipe for the canolli filling cream) and covered in marzipan (green usually). Everyone found it to be too sweet, but I went crazy for it! In Taormina I also found the wallet of my dreams, at Furla, on a sale, which I got for myself as a birthday present.

After Taormina, we went to Savoca, a mountain village where scenes from Godfather Part 1 were filmed ( Michael's wedding was not actually shot in Corleone, as it's stated in the movie) and we actually had a delicious lunch at Bar Vitelli , the famous bar where Michael meets Apollonia's father (who owns bar Vitelli in the movie). I've never heard of crostone before, and I love it! I didn't find it in other parts of Sicily and Bar Vitelli also had the best strawberry granita I've ever had in Italy. Aside from Bar Vitelli, it was also beautiful to walk on the roads Michael and Apollonia would walk (with the horde of aunts behind them haha). I chose a light blue dress from Zara for that day, which was a birthday gift from my best friend last year, which made the heat bearable!