Paris: My New Home

I’ve been in Paris a little over a week now and what a week it’s been. I wanted to wait to post until I had enough [positive things] to say. My first week in Paris can be summed up in one word: overwhelming. It’s been orientation week for my program and it’s consisted of a lot of stress and a lot of French.

I went from not speaking or hearing one word of French to being thrown into countless presentations all in French and the expectation to always speak French. It’s been unbelievably overwhelming and every day is a new struggle. Every day brings a new wave of “I can’t do this.” Especially given the fact that I feel so overwhelmed and I haven’t even started classes yet.

Besides the language and the process of choosing classes stressing me out, I want to talk about the positives that I’ve experienced since I moved to Paris.

First of all is my new (literal) home. I’m living in an apartment in the 11th arrondissement with a couple with grown children. Everything about this has been great. The arrondissement isn’t touristy and has a ton of cafes and bakeries nearby. Plus it’s near three metro stations making my commute fairly easy. Every time I go anywhere, I see so many different places I want to go to and I’ve even started making a list on my phone.

In addition to the location, my host family is wonderful. They’re two of the nicest people I’ve ever met and have been so accommodating and patient with me (both of them speaking very little English). When I signed up for this program, I chose to live in a dorm and because of space issues I was placed with a family. I was so disappointed when I found out, but now I couldn’t be happier with the outcome. I would even go as far as to recommend to others studying abroad to seriously consider doing a homestay rather than a dorm.

As for Paris itself, I haven’t gotten to see that much of it, but what I have seen has been great. The city is just as beautiful as I always imagined. As part of my orientation I got to take a walking tour around the city (seeing Notre Dame and the Louvre among others), take a cruise along the Seine, and go to the Army Museum and Napoleon’s tomb. All of these were great experiences and I’m really glad I got to see them all.

The walking tour wasn’t my favorite because it was long, we didn’t see that much, and it was led by a history professor so there was a lot of history incorporated, which could be interesting but given it was in French and three hours long, it just wasn’t. The cruise was great, but very very cold. We were sitting on the top level of the boat which was not covered. That being said I got to see some great views. Napoleon’s tomb was my favorite and I will without a doubt go back to the Army Museum.

It’s taken me so long to write about my arrival in Paris because there’s been a lot of struggling. It’s hard to see the good things about something when you’re as stressed and overwhelmed as I’ve been. But once I start classes and have a routine, I’m hoping those feelings go away.

Notre Dame:  IMG_7731

Louvre: IMG_7737

Eiffel Tower:  IMG_7759

Musee d’Orsay: IMG_7763

Army Museum/Napoleon’s tomb: IMG_7769

IMG_7774

IMG_7785

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Copenhagen: the Last Stop

I’m sorry to say that I was skeptical of Copenhagen and how much I would enjoy it from the beginning and my opinion hasn’t changed much.

Maybe it’s because I was alone – I will admit this is a possibility – but I stay unimpressed by a city that wasn’t my first choice to go to. The decision was ultimately made by it being a good place for solo travelers, which I will affirm. Very safe, everyone speaks English, not terribly huge so easy to navigate and get around.

That being said I have the same issue with Copenhagen that I do with Dublin and Florence: there just isn’t that much to do.

I started my first day in Copenhagen off with a [free] walking tour of the city. I figured that was a perfect way to start off my time here so I could get an idea of where I could go for the remainder. I learned a lot from the tour and it was a great way to be introduced to the city. Plus it was free so major points – very worth it.

After the tour, I walked to Nyhavn or what is otherwise known as every picture of Copenhagen you’ve ever seen – the colorful buildings on the water. And like the pictures, it was beautiful and quaint albeit touristy and expensive. I spent several hours there drinking Irish coffee and writing and eating ice cream and people watching.


It was a great way to spend an afternoon, and towards the evening street performers come to play music creating such a cool environment. Nyhavn was without a doubt my favorite part of Copenhagen.


My plan for the next day was to go to the National Museum and then Rosenborg Castle. I never made it to Rosenborg because the museum was so huge. I was there for several hours, and it would’ve taken me all day if I had looked at the remaining floors with careful detail like I did the first one.
Again, another amazing and free museum – a common theme throughout Europe. There were a ton of artifacts and it was very interesting to learn about the prehistory and medieval era of the area.

  
My only complaint is the museums almost too big! There’s too much in one place and by the third exhibit, hours had elapsed and I was exhausted.

So I went back to my hostel and after some relaxation, I went to get dinner and more exciting than that: liquid nitrogen ice [salty caramel] cream from Istid which is quite possibly the best ice cream I’ve ever had.


My final day in Copenhagen started with a tour of Parliament which was a good tour for being free, but overall not the best nor most interesting thing I’ve done. By a lot. It’s a fine way to spend an hour if you have time to kill, but I wouldn’t prioritize it.


After the tour since I was already at Christiansborg Palace, I visited the ruins underneath the palace of Absalon’s Castle and Copenhagen Castle. This was much more interesting, but there isn’t a ton to it which is fine considering it cost about €5.




I ended my day back at Nyhavn. Since it was my favorite thing of everything I saw, I wanted to end my trip to Copenhagen there.

Overall, Copenhagen is interesting but not to die for and 3 days is unnecessary. It’s expensive and cold and not as scenic as you’d think and again, not much to do.

The official, final ranking is as follows:

1. London

2. Prague

3. Rome

4. Edinburgh

5. Venice

6. Budapest

7. Dublin

8. Copenhagen

9. Florence

Three Weeks: Last Man Standing

It’s been three weeks since I’ve been gone and this week marks the start of my independence. This is my first day of traveling alone as I sit at a cafe in Nyhavn in Copenhagen. 

My fatigue has turned to an anxiety. Seeing the finish line within an attainable distance just makes me want to cross it all the more. I’ll be in Paris in less than a week where I can finally settle into a routine.

This month of traveling has been full of plenty of ups and downs and I’m ready to relax and get to know one city really well.

The anxiety is also caused of course by the inspiration of the title of this blog: living in a city and taking classes in a language that’s not my first and that I haven’t looked at in three months. It’s extremely nerve racking and is something else I just want over with. 

I know it’ll be tough, especially the first few weeks and it’s looming over my head. It’s like a bandaid that I want to rip off. I’m ready to go and give all my effort to learning both French and what my classes have to teach me. 

Traveling and seeing so many cities and cultures has been awesome, but I’m ready for the next chapter of this journey.

London Baby!

Four long days in London and four very much needed long days in London. I was staying at a family friend’s place and it was so nice to unwind, have my own space (see ya hostels), and I had enough time in the city that I could take it a few things per day. The pace was perfect. Especially because I got sicker almost immediately upon arrival, resulting in some down time while my friend went to see things I’ve already seen (this was my third time in London) and a £10 tesco run for medicine. 
Having been to London twice before, it was my reigning favorite city. I was eager to find out how it stacked up among the others now that I’m older. And I will say, it did not disappoint. London is still just as incredible as I remembered and will always have a special place in my heart.

The first thing I did in London was the Imperial War Museum. This is a free museum and an incredible museum – especially for being free. This is something I’ve noticed throughout Europe: very, very nice museums at no cost.

The museum has several different exhibits, focusing on World War I, World War II, spies, the Holocaust, and present day. There were also a few more like fashion of the 40s that I didn’t go to. The WWI exhibit is unbelievable. Huge and thorough starting with life in England before the war until after. I learned a lot and I love the history of WWI and it was so cool to hear it Great Britain central. America was mentioned about one time throughout the entire exhibit which is such an obvious difference compared to the way I’ve typically learned about the war. The exhibit was well done with lots of artifacts, signs to read, and even an interactive trench to walk through – complete with shadows of soldiers walking alongside you. 

That was most definitely my favorite exhibit, but the spy and Holocaust exhibits were great to. I loved the spy one because I knew virtually nothing about that going into it and I was able to learn a lot about that type of warfare. The Holocaust exhibit was just as interesting, but having been to the Holocaust museum in Washington DC and knowing much about the Holocaust, it wasn’t as enlightening as the other exhibits. 

I was disappointed in the WWII exhibit. There wasn’t very much information and just a few weapons were the extent of what you saw. Coming straight off of the incredible and thorough WWI exhibit, it came up short I’m sorry to say. Overall the museum was great and definitely worth the trip if you’re interested in any of those wars.

The next day, I went to see the Houses of Parliament and Big Ben. I was very disappointed that Parliament is in recess because I would’ve loved to have sat in on a debate or committee meeting.  

 
Then, I went to see the Cabinet War Rooms and Churchill Museum. This underground complex is where Churchill and his advisors would meet to discuss and plan for the war while London was being bombed above ground.

The price is a little steep (about £16), but it’s so worth it. It even includes a free audio guide, which I would definitely recommend. You get more information than the signs and instead of focusing on reading, you can appreciate your surroundings.

Being able to walk through a part of history was so awesome. They recreated rooms based on photographs to match what they would’ve looked like at the time of the war. I’m not a huge fan of simulations, but in this case I liked it because I was able to vividly imagine life there during the frantic days of WWII. Not everything was recreated though. For instance, they had the real maps that were used to plot German activity.

Also, there was a museum all about Winston Churchill which had a lot of interesting information and even had a lot of his personal belongings and clothes.

I didn’t take any pictures in the museum because I was too engrossed, but here’s a picture of me in front of a statue of Churchill:  

 
After that I walked to Trafalgar and Leicester Square to get some pictures and lunch from a cool pizza place called Homeslice. It was good, but a little overrated. Your options are either one slice for £4 or a 20 inch pizza for £20, so it can be a pretty good deal.

Half margarita and half salami, rocket, and Parmesan:

 
Then I made the trip to the Kings Cross metro station to cross two things off my bucket list. The first is a bookshop on a boat called Word on the Water. It was laid back and such a cool environment.  

 
Then I went to Kings Cross Station and waited in line to get my picture taken at Platform 9 3/4 from Harry Potter. It was a long line, but it produced a good picture and all in all was worth it. Albeit long, the line was pretty painless. The workers were so happy when I asked for a Hufflepuff scarf unlike the popular Gryffindor option.  

 
The next day in London consisted of more sightseeing. I went to Buckingham Palace and then walked to Piccadilly Circus.   

   
 Having seen both of these before, I was more excited to go to Hatchards, which is the oldest bookshop in London and another thing on my bucket list. I loved it. It was huge: three stories with an entire room devoted to history books. If I had had unlimited funds, I could’ve spent an entire day there buying books. 

 
London was just as amazing as I remembered. New ranking:

1. London

2. Prague

3. Rome

4. Edinburgh

5. Venice

6. Budapest

7. Dublin

8. Florence

9.

Only one more city to go!

Edinburgh and the Festival Fringe

There’s only one way I deem appropriate to begin my discussion about my feelings on Edinburgh: any city that commemorates a dog with a statue is okay by me.  

 

Edinburgh is the type of city that allows you to feel right at home no matter how foreign you are. It’s the type of city you go to and say, “I could see myself living here.” Despite the weather and the outrageous cost of living.

We didn’t allot for much time in Edinburgh on our schedule, which we immediately regretted. The city is amazing and we just so happened to be here during the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

It’s hard to describe Fringe unless you’ve seen it. Basically street performers of all different talents line the streets and entertain those walking by. If you can dodge the people trying to give you flyers every two feet, it’s a great time. My personal favorite shows are the magicians who are also hysterical. 

After walking around the festival for a bit, I went to the Elephant House which is where JK Rowling wrote much of Harry Potter. It was cool to be somewhere so essential to an important phenomenon, but overall it was overrated and overpriced.  

 
I got a hot chocolate with Bailey’s and it was delicious, but about £5. I think this would be a great place to visit for a more die hard fan of Harry Potter which I am just not. So to me, it was a crowded cafe with overpriced drinks.  

 
Just walking around the city in the evening, the beauty is striking. We were even lucky enough to see a rainbow. The old buildings and stone streets just tug at your heartstrings and you can’t help but feel happy.  

   
For my full day in Edinburgh, I started at Edinburgh Castle. Edinburgh Castle is the biggest tourist attraction in Edinburgh and they know it. The tickets are pretty expensive, and it’s an additional cost for an audio or paper guide. The audio guides were cheaper and I didn’t want to go in with nothing, so I splurged and didn’t regret it.  

The audio guides allowed me to relax and walk at a leisurely pace throughout the castle and truly take in the sights of what I was seeing, rather than hunting down signs to read. Plus, I learned a ton about the structure and history of the castle and I absolutely loved it.

    
  
We spent the rest of the day shopping around, enjoying the festival, and ending the evening at a coffee shop to get some relaxing writing and reading in.

I loved Edinburgh but I’m ready to move on to London, where I have several days and can hopefully have some time to recover!

New ranking:

1. Prague

2. Rome

3. Edinburgh

4. Venice

5. Budapest

6. Dublin

7. Florence

8.

9.

Two Weeks: Fatigue

I’ve been travelling for two weeks now and it’s felt like a lifetime. I’ve just started to get sick so that isn’t helping anything, but overall I’m just exhausted and very, very ready to not be living out of a backpack anymore. Only 4 more flights until I’m finally in Paris!

Week two has been just as hard as week one and I’ve learned even more about traveling and myself. With the fatigue and exhaustion naturally comes a lot of negative thoughts.

Becoming physically sick makes the homesickness hard to handle at times. The absolute last place I want to be when I’m sick is in a hostel with 19 other people.

It results in a lack of sense of belonging which can get the best of a person. This week has been really hard. Approaching the halfway point, feeling fatigued from traveling yet knowing there’s still two more weeks was an extremely hard realization.

Not having a true sense of home for almost a month is proving a lot harder than I thought. My advice to anyone who wants to do this would be to keep it at about 2 weeks because I’m having a hard time enjoying myself at times because I just want to be settled somewhere.

That being said, I know this experience is good for me and the tribulations I’m going through will only make me stronger and more independent by the end of this very long month.

What To Do in Dublin When You Don’t Like Beer

“I’m cold and I love it!” -my first thoughts stepping off the plane in Dublin. 55 degrees (Fahrenheit) has never felt so good. I’m wearing jeans and it just feels right. If I had to have a happy place, I think jeans and a sweatshirt would be involved. 

My first night in Dublin consisted of eating at a pub near Trinity College. Typical bar food, but prepared well considering that’s a popular option in Dublin so delicious nonetheless.

The more exciting part of the first night was definitely my 20 person hostel room and overall first hostel experience. And I can say, it’s not that bad. Not having your own room is obviously not ideal, but everyone keeps to themselves and it’s overall not a terrible experience. Plus the hostel itself gives off a very fun, young vibe which feels more social than the other places I’ve stayed so far. Final verdict: it’s not as bad as one would think and don’t discount it if you’re on a budget.

My first official day in Dublin started out with my friend and I trying desperately to find Irish coffee in the morning because the pub we went to the previous night didn’t have any. So worth it. Irish coffee is delicious (if you like coffee of course). And if you’re ever in Dublin looking for some, some pubs open at 10 am on a Sunday.

  
After that, I went to the Dublin Writers Museum. It was very small and crowded which was a turn off. Nonetheless, it gave a lot of information about many authors I hadn’t heard of or didn’t know much about (Irish literature not my specialty). There were a lot of letters and first editions of works combined with quick bios of Irish authors.

My favorite part was the bookstore where I bought bookmark calendars of Irish authors and Dracula, which was only €3. I’ve always wanted to read it and I’m very excited to start it.

Then I went to Dublin Castle. I’m gonna be honest, it’s overrated and skippable. You basically pay to see rooms reconstructed like how they would have been centuries ago. Very cool in theory, but in my opinion not something worth paying for. Especially given the lack of information. You get a tiny brochure with about a paragraph per room and there may be 1-2 more little papers in each room (only about 6 rooms).

  
After that, I went to the National Museum of Archaeology. Like I’ve said in previous posts, archaeology has always interested me and the museum was huge and incredible and best of all free. Honestly my biggest complaint is it was too big so by the time I was nearing the end, I was pretty tired of looking at that kind of stuff. 

The museum has a lot of different exhibits ranging from prehistoric Ireland to Vikings to Medieval Ireland to Ancient Egypt. The sheer amount housed in the museum is astonishing – even including several human remains. This was one of the best museums I’ve ever been to and I absolutely loved it. 

The last main tourist attraction I saw in Dublin was the National Library. After a futile attempt at finding my ancestors on their database and a 30 second look at the Reading Room, I was done with the library and ready to move on.

I didn’t feel well the rest of the day and didn’t really rally until we went to Temple Bar in the evening so I could finally try Guinness. It wasn’t bad, but it’s still beer. I could drink it if I had to, but I don’t feel the need at this point in my life. Regardless, I’m glad I tried it and got a crucial part of the Dublin experience.

  
Overall, I liked Dublin a lot less than I thought I would. And that’s not to say I don’t like it because I do! I think I just thought there was a lot more to do here than there actually is. 

Plus after coming from very culturally different cities, I think the similarities to the States are a lot more apparent and it hasn’t felt all that foreign or different.

That being said my favorite thing about Dublin is the people. They are friendly and outgoing and go out of their way to make you feel like one of them. 

Ranking:

1. Prague

2. Rome

3. Venice

4. Budapest

5. Dublin

6. Florence

7.

8.

9.

Prague Adventures

Let’s start with a negative of this city. I didn’t have enough time here. This city is amazing and I’m completely in love with it.

The bar for the city was set low when we got to our hostel and the wifi didn’t work so after a long day of traveling, I couldn’t talk to my boyfriend and I was heartbroken to say the least. That being said, even when stressed about that, as soon as I saw the city from the metro I thought, “Wow, this is cool.”

So the next day, I rallied. I put aside my stressors and decided to try to have a good day in the city. And I was not disappointed. I started my day at Prague Castle which wasn’t as big as Buda Castle (you could only go in a few rooms), but it was really interesting to see such an old, beautiful structure.

View of the city on Charles Bridge:  

 
Our tickets also allowed us access to the Golden Lane which was a little street of tiny, adorable houses. Some were shops and some were reconstructed to look like an old pub or blacksmiths workshop for example.

Also on this street was Franz Kafka’s house where I purchased my first Kafka work: The Metamorphosis. It wasn’t a work he wrote in that house, but it’s a very famous work of literature that I’ve never read. I thought the perfect place to purchase my first Kafka was indeed at a place Kafka had lived.

  
At the end of the adorable street was Dalibor Tower, which used to be a prison. The placement adjacent to the street with the cutesy buildings is ironic and slightly hilarious. Inside were various restraints like chains and a pulley system used to lower the most dangerous prisoners to the basement. 

Because we only had one full day in Prague, we had to make a stop at the John Lennon Wall. I think my favorite thing about it was that you could look at the same area twice and see something different. I got my picture in front of it (obviously) and didn’t even notice on the wall behind me, it said “Durable.”

  
To me, this is where it’s true impact lies. Seeing the picture of me with that written where I hadn’t even noticed seeing it in person was such a cool feeling.

We had some time to kill the next day before we had to be at the airport and there was one more thing I really wanted to do: the Communism Museum. It’s something that has always interested me and as soon as I knew it was in Prague, I wanted to go.

It took me about an hour total to find it considering it’s inside a weird pathway by a casino and there are no signs for it until you’re inside. I even looked for it the first night and gave up.

Once I resigned myself to going the second day, and got some reinforcements from my friends, I was finally there.

The museum was very small, but that’s part of its charm if you ask me. The museum follows the Czech Republic’s relationship with Communism throughout history and I learned a lot.

Overall, I love Prague. It strikes the perfect balance in my eyes of a thriving city and a quaint town. In Old Town Square, there’s the Astronomical Clock that people crowd around every hour to hear right next to a Starbucks.

  
The feelings I get from the city are hard to articulate, but amazing. It’s as close to perfect as I’ve come across. I’m already ready to come back.

New ranking:

1. Prague

2. Rome

3. Venice

4. Budapest

5. Florence

6.

7.

8.

9.

Call Me George Ezra: Budapest Chronicles

Believe it or not, we are now two for two on delayed flights. So here I am in the Budapest airport to talk about my last two days in Budapest.

The city is unbelievable, beautiful, and incredibly different from the other cities I’ve visited. The differences are staggering yet indescribable. There’s just something about it – a very Eastern European vibe – that you can feel.

Our flight from Venice landed in the evening so we really only had time to do one thing so we chose the most important: the Szechenyi Baths. It’s basically a heated pool in a gorgeous, old building.  

 After a small hiccup of a bus driver that spoke literally no English – major thanks to the guy who spoke a little English and helped us along – we had arrived.

The beauty of the building is at first what strikes you. It’s hard to believe what’s inside. Then being in the water is amazing. It’s so calming and the setting is beautiful. It was an unbelievable experience that I will no doubt do again if I ever return to Budapest. It’s been years since I’ve swam and it was such a cool, relaxing experience.

We stayed hours until it closed. Disclaimer: Hungarian/European women are not shy. It was like a gym locker room but 1000 times worse. I saw more vaginas then than I had in my entire life. It was jarring at first, but then my friend and I just looked and each other and made the simultaneous decision to change where we stood rather than in a stall.

I think that’s one of the things I wanted from this traveling experience- to step out of my comfort zone. And it was fine. Something that would have scared me in any other situation, really wasn’t a big deal at all after I did it.

Our next day in Budapest started with Buda Castle. And since we were staying at a cute little flat (thanks airbnb) in Pest, we got to walk along the Chain Bridge over to Buda.  

 A lot of the castle has been converted to other things like a museum, gallery, and a library. After Uffizi, I had my fill of art and avoided the gallery. But loving history, I made my way immediately to the history museum. 

It really was one of the best museums I’ve ever been to. There were artifacts and reconstructions of rooms like the chapel and the guards room – complete with beer glasses on the table. The museum also incorporated a lot of information about the things it was showcasing which was great because I don’t know a lot about Hungarian history. 

The last part of the museum was a floor of prehistoric artifacts which was unexpected but very, very interesting. 

We walked towards Matthias Church for lunch and then went our separate ways. I returned to the castle to see the library, which to my disdain was closed. I think it’s because there was an exhibit inside. I looked at the exhibit but it was very small and disappointing given that I’d rather have seen the library.  

View from Buda Castle:  

In the evening we walked to Vaci Street for dinner – a tourist attraction for the mass amounts of shops and restaurants. The food was adequate and made up for by delicious Somersby Apple Cider.

Budapest is known for its nightlife: something we had to experience for ourselves. We went to a club called “Instant” and for someone that actually hates the party scene, I’m willing to admit this place was awesome. 

It was in an old house so there were tons of rooms with different types of music and each with its own bar. We explored the place for about 30 minutes and kept finding new rooms.

After about an hour, I was tired of it. I kept getting boyfriend jokes from my friends because it was very obvious I did not care what I looked like/was not there for a guy. Let me put it this way: my friends wore heels, I wore Converse.  

 Our next morning started the best way a morning can: books, coffee, and cake. We went to “Bookcafe” and it was awesome. The coffee and cake were delicious. I had the “Bookcafe” coffee with chocolate, almonds, and whipped cream.  

 
Then I went to the House of Terror museum. It was something I was really looking forward to and I’m sorry to say that I was slightly disappointed. It was very powerful and very well done, but it really wasn’t accommodating of other languages besides Hungarian. Completely understandable given its a museum centering around Hungary, but for English speakers all you had were papers summarizing the history. Very interesting, but not the full experience. Overall, I liked it but I think I had set my standards too high.

The last thing I did before heading to the airport was see the Hungarian Parliament Building. It was so beautiful and I wished I had more time to do a tour of the inside.  

 All in all, I very much enjoyed Budapest. It’s much less of a tourist attraction than Italy which was a refreshing break most of the time. Obviously language barrier became a problem at times. I think the city is an up and coming tourist city and I would love to come back years from now to see how it’s changed. 

New ranking:

1. Rome

2. Venice

3. Budapest

4. Florence

5.

6.

7.

8.

9.

Goodbye Gelato

Although I’d like to think it’s more of a “see you later.” Being in Italy for a week, gelato was a consistent part of my diet.

I thought a proper way to pay homage to this delicious feat of engineering was an official ranking of the flavors I got to try.

Disclaimer: they were all amazing. Being at the bottom of the list doesn’t mean I wouldn’t have it again.

1. Caramel: the sweetness mixed with the saltiness at the perfect ratio bringing this flavor to #1. My taste buds fell in love and it just felt right. 

2. Cinnamon: a risky flavor given too strong and you could end up like the cinnamon challenge. But no. The cinnamon mixed in with vanilla gelato numbed it to the point that the cinnamon taste was the majority but not overwhelming. And the vanilla made it sweet enough to still be a perfect dessert.

3. Peanuts: actual peanuts mixed in with vanilla gelato. The taste of the peanuts blended into the entire dish so every bite tasted like peanuts, whether it was accompanied by a crunch or not. And again, the vanilla made it sweet and not overly salty.

4. Mint chocolate chip: not my usual go to flavor, as I’m not a huge mint fan, but this was delicious. Mint was subtle tasting and the chocolate wasn’t overbearing. 

5. Fior de latte: a sweet cream that was good, but tasted like a sweeter vanilla. Quality, but very plain. 

6. Snickers: what’s not to love about Snickers bars in the form of gelato? The only reason it’s ranked as low as it is is because of the richness that accompanied it. 

7. Stracciatella: sweet cream with chocolate chips that was delicious, but also plain. 

8. Torronita: hazelnut and chocolate (aka “We’re not allowed to say Nutella”). The flavor wasn’t super strong for a flavor that typically is. I don’t even remember much about it honestly.

9. Chocolate: always a solid choice, but a safe choice. Ranked so low because it’s boring. Be adventurous!

10. Chocolate in cream: I’m not sure what the difference between this and Stracciatella is but all I know is it was boring and nothing special.

11. Zuppa inglese (vanilla with cookies and liquor): it’s been days and I still don’t know how to describe this gelato. It tastes like nothing you would expect – like five different flavors that aren’t supposed to be put together and when they are, your brain is just confused.

12. Kinder bar: decent, but I wasn’t sure what it was and it had the vaguest taste of coconut, which I hate, so it’s earned its spot as last. 

I made it a goal to not overlap flavors and I was not disappointed. I got more adventurous as time went on and I’m really glad I did. It was symbolic in a way of one of my goals of this entire trip – to stay open minded and be willing to try new things.