Italian Exchange 2014

Hey guys, for the last few weeks with my school I took part in the italian exchange whereby I was paired up with a lovely girl called Stefania de Marchi who firstly came to stay with me in England for the duration of a week, then I had 1 week before I flew to Italy to stay with her for a week. I study italian at AS level at school so when I came over to italy we spoke italian and Stefy was in England we spoke english. Not only did I have the best time but it also really helped me improve my italian.

To see a video which my friend made of the week: CLICK HERE

Day 1: Travelled to Gatwick airport by coach. Bought my first ever mac lipstick in duty
free called “Crosswires”. Arrived in beautiful sunny Venice and hauled my stuffed suitcase onto the coach. Drove to San Bonifacio, to their school and were greeted by all of Class 3D, eigerly awaiting our arrival. I was re-united with Stefy and we then drove to Soave, where she lives, which is village famous for it’s historic castle and wine. After settling into my new room for the week, we met up with my friend Amelia and her correspondent Sara. Sara and Stefy showed us around Soave which was just lovely- original stone walls, bars and gelateria’s with buckets full of character. That night Stefy’s parents took us out to a Pizzeria and I had my first italian pizza of the trip, I choose the Proscuitto- Buono! That evening we met at a bar with the other exchange students in San Bonifacio.

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Day 2:  On Sunday we had a free day where our exchanges could decide what to do with us. Sara and Stefy decided to bring Amelia and I to Verona for the day and we would meet with the others later on. We spent the day shopping and I bought a cute skirt from a shop called Stradivarius. It was a really hot sunny day which meant we could see the monuments of Verona in their full beauty and although I have visited Verona before, I re-kindled my love for the immense beauty of L’arena, colourful shopping streets and lively Piazza delle Erbe. Later on, we met with the rest of the group and visited Juliet’s Balcony, despite being very crowded this is a must-see in Verona. The walls were graffiti-ed with love hearts, adorned with chewing gum (which I can’t decide whether this was gross or creative), letters and padlocks. After that, I had my first italian icecream and I had noiccola (hazelnut) which was just devine. Then came home and ate dinner with Stefy’s family- Alessandra (Stefy’s mum) is such a fab cook.

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2002_0101scambilo0023edit .jpgDay 3: On Monday, I took a bus to San Bonifacio with Stefy and in the morning I sat in on lessons at her school. The first was an italian lesson and we chatted for the whole lesson in italian with the lovely students- it was so much fun. The second lesson wasn’t as fun because it was a maths lesson but we chatted to a few of the students, one of which was a stunning girl who goes to Milan every Friday to model! Then in the afternoon we went to Verona again and had a guided tour around some more of the monuments of Verona. This day wasn’t so enjoyable as I suffered from bad hay fever but once I bought some pills everything was better.

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Day 4: Took a coach to Milan, a lovely sunny day again but slightly colder. First, we visited a state university and it was design week so in one of the courtyards lots of modern exhibits were being set up. Then we went into the main square and ate our lunch. After, we climbed the 250 steps up the Milan Duomo to look at the stunning picturesque view out onto the city. After that we visited La galleria- it was so glamorous, with all the posh restaurants and designer shops. La scala was situated at the other end of La galleria and here we got to watch a rehearsal of the Opera and also visited the museum. We then had some free time to go shopping and I had a scrummy donut with crema. Then we travelled back on the coach and had such a laugh, not even joking I cried with laughter 10 times!

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Day 5: On Wednesday we went to Lake Garda with the Italians and also the french exchanges. Stefy and I and a few others had breakfast in a cafe before we went and I had a lovely brioche with chocolate- yum! We then had a tour around Lake Garda and visited the castle and then the town. At lunch I had a biscotto icecream and we sat in the park and ate our lunch. We then went to Garda town and sat down and ate crepes, here we came up with nick names for all the members of our group: I am “the lady in paint” because everyone thinks I look like someone from a painting, Carolina is the “chocolate dog” as that day she stepped in what she thought was chocolate icecream but it turned out to be something else after almost licking it, Amelia is “nutella virgin” as has never tried nutella before, Floss is “the mollusk”- not sure why, Molly K is “black cat”, Molly B is “4” (long story), Kate is KP, Vicky is “silhouette” and Charlotte is “shades”. That evening after arriving back we went out for another pizza and this time I had a classic margherita.

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Day 6: On Thursday we took a day trip to Venice and the italians came with us too. We took a train and everyone was falling asleep, so I tried to stay awake to make sure we didn’t wake up arriving in the middle of nowhere. Unfortunately the weather wasn’t great in Venice as it was very grey and cold but the beauty of Venice still shone through. We made our way around Venice, visited a church and then walked to Piazza San Marco. Here we had some free time and I took this opportunity to pick up some presents for my sister and mum. We also had to do a quiz but ended up asking a gondola man and he gave us all the answers haha! Later on got a cherry icecream and we hung out as a group in the Piazza. Overall, it was a fun day, just a shame about the weather.

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Day 7: On Friday I took the bus to school with Stefy and whilst we waited for the coach we did some folk dancing with the dance teacher- it was very cringey but funny at the same time. After that we took a coach to a perfume factory- it alright but we all felt a bit ill by the end of it due to the many strong scents. Then Charlotte and I went and got a thick italian hot chocolate which was delicious but had to dash as a creepy man had come to talk to us haha! Then we went back to the school and chilled and sung songs. I then went back with Stefy to her house, ate lunch and then went to the shopping centre, did some shopping and then met with the others for a crepe. That evening we had a fun party with all the exchanges.

Day 8: On Saturday we had to say goodbye to everyone and I few tears were shed. We then went to the airport and I bought italian Elle. Our flight was delayed by an hour and we also had to wait an hour for our luggage to arrive at Gatwick.

I had such a great time on the exchange and loved practicing my italian. I will really miss all the lovely, welcoming italians and especially my exchange Stefy who couldn’t have been more kind and lovely- I will miss her and hopefully we can meet again someday.

OOTD- Floral Kimono and Denim Playsuit

Today’s post is an OOTD featuring my new obsession in the form of this beautiful Mango silky floral kimono. A kimono is definitely an essential as it can be easily draped over any plain outfit, immediately adding femininity and it’s loose, oversized frame is also super comfy. I have paired it with my Topshop button-up denim playsuit as denim is a huge trend for the upcoming season, showcased by the likes of Balmain, Marios Schwab and many others in their SS14 collections. Then I have added some black tights, Hush Puppies tan ankle boots, Accessorise pearl earrings and Topshop gold stacking rings. I managed to catch the sunset when taking these photos- it was such a beautiful sunny weekend- can’t wait for more weather like this!- Enjoy!

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OOTE- Zara Print Cross-over Blouse

Today’s post is more of an evening look (I would never wear heels in the day!) and the main element of it, is this gorgeous blue print Zara cross-over blouse which I got in the sale for a bargain of £12.99- Oh yes! Due to the blouse being quite baggy and oversized, I have styled it with my grey marl trousers from La Redoute which are my favourite trousers as they match with everything and they are skinny but not clingy on the leg! For accessories I have added my silver paisley long chain necklace from Mango as I feel it works well with the deep v-neck of the blouse therefore extending the torso. I have also stacked on 2 silver rings which say “Dance” and “Sing” on them and they are from Tempest Jewelry. To make the outfit more of an evening look, I have added my black chunky heels from Red Herring but if it was for day I would add some black ankle boots to complete the look. Hope you like- Enjoy!

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OOTD-Tartan Blazer and Pleather Mini

Today’s post is a OOTD staring my mum’s lovely green and navy tartan blazer from Banana Republic and my H&M pleather mini skirt. Then I added my vintage silk blouse (as always), a vintage navy felt trilby hat, Urban Outfitter’s brouges and Fossil tan clutch bag. I feel this look gives off a preppy school girl vibe but the pleather mini gives it that extra something. In addition, the rich tan shades I think really off-set the overall dark coloured look. Hope you like!- Enjoy!

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Elie Saab Spring Couture 2013

When I first took a glimpse at Elie Saab’s Spring Couture Collection 2014 I felt as if I had been transported into a Fairy Tale, standing alongside Cinderella who beamed in her magical pastel blue gown. I don’t think I have ever seen a collection where I have adored every single piece so much since Louis Vuitton’s Spring/Summer collection 2012. Moreover, Elie Saab is one of my favourite designers and he continues to produce jaw-dropping collections from season to season like this one. My favourite piece from this collection has got to be the look with midi skirt with matching jacket both heavily embellished with cream pearls and beads, paired with sheer floral top. This look is my favourite as it is truly chic and the beading work is breath-taking!

blush pinkThis collection focuses on 8 colours with a few dresses in each- first is blush pink, then a very bright white, muted red, golden mustard yellow, ice blue (reminds me of Elsa’s dress in movie Frozen), purple, multi-coloured and black. The majority of the outfits are belted at the waist creating a gorgeous silhouette additionally contributing to the beauty of the dresses. If I ever had the chance to try on one of these dresses I don’t think I would be able to contain my excitement and giddiness- these dresses are a dream!- Hope you like!- Enjoy!

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Follow me on Pinterest

I have recently rekindled my love for Pinterest and I love finding inspirational images which make me feel warm and fuzzy inside! I would love it if you could follow me on Pinterest, you can either search Anna Lucia Mattei under Pinners or CLICK HERE to follow me! If you choose to follow me expect to see a lot of my style icons, from Audrey Hepburn to Alexa Chung, my favourite fashion bloggers, fashion quotes, gorgeous hairstyle inspirations, China Print crockery and many more. Also, I have a board on Pinterest called Vintage Vicar where I put images from my blog!-Happy pinning!

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OOTD- Life is a great sunrise

Hey guys! Today’s post is an OOTD featuring my trusty Zara oversized coat which I also wore in my last outfit post. I got ready really quickly this morning so that I could take some photos whilst the sun was rising and luckily I was just in time! With my tan coat I chose to wear my Topshop short-sleeved silky t-shirt with a check and floral half and half pattern and I clashed it with my Topshop burgundy velvet floral shorts. Then I added Zara caramel thin belt, M&S thick grey tights and Clarks black shoes. I completed the look with a plaited hair-do which is a fab solution for a bad hair day and if any one wants to see a tutorial on how to create this hairstyle just comment saying so! It’s been a lovely sunny day today and it has been a refreshing change to the horrible raining weather we’ve been having recently. I hope everyone’s having a nice weekend!-Hope you like- Enjoy!

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