31 Mar | Jackie Batanglo | No Comments

Monday, March 31, 2008 | Florence, Italy


My spring break is over and its back to reality.

I had a great time with my family, but it went by so fast. I took them to see the Leaning Tower of Pisa, we took a bus tour to San Gimignano and Siena (which was really beautiful but it rained most of the day).

We also went to Easter mass at the San Lorenzo church. We had planned to go to the Duomo but we got the times messed up but we got out of the earlier service in time to see the massive fireworks display!

Another day was devoted to my dad and brother and I set up a guided tour of the Ducati factory in Bologna which was really cool!! If you decide to go its free, but make sure you make an appointment ahead of time or you cant go in.

Their last day we hung out in Florence and the weather finaly cleared up so I had them climb the duomo while I walked around with my grandma. Afterwards my mom took me shopping and I got a pair of boots finaly after searching the entire city for soo long!! It was very exciting to see them and it was great to have a good dose of family.

After they left I had the apartment to myself for a few days while my other roomates were still away, which was nice and relaxing. All in all it was a great week, but now I feel as though its making me miss my family and boyfriend even more.

I posted pictures on of my trips all around. Take a look and I hope you enjoy:

See ya,
Jackie B


21 Mar | Jackie Batanglo | No Comments

Friday, March 21, 2008 | Florence, Italy

Hey Guys,

Uggg… Midterms were this past week which was a drag and, of course, pretty stressful.

This past week my boyfriend came to visit me so we had a great time together and it was great being able to see him again after so long. We went on a trip with my cooking class to a winery in San Gimignano – the Chianti town – and it was really beautiful and they let us do some wine tasting and then we got to buy some of their famous wines. The village was awesome. It is some of the only ancient land that still looks the same way from before WWI. I definitely suggest taking a tour of that place.

That saturday I took my boyfriend to Venice for the day and we walked around, saw Murano with the glass blowing again, and I finally got to go on a GONDOLA RIDE!!! I was soo excited and it was a lot of fun. Make sure you bargain with them some were charging 100 euro but we got one for only 60 euro, which is still a lot but its one of those experiences you need to have before you die. haha.

I just got back from the airport to see him off and now my parents are coming for my spring break and I’m really excited to see them. Its feels good to have a dose of family while you’re here.



10 Mar | Jackie Batanglo | No Comments

Monday, March 10, 2008 | Florence, Italy

Hey guys,
School is getting stressful in preparation for mid-terms like usual. This weekend was really fun though because I just got back from the school’s Nice trip.

We woke up at the crack of dawn and ventured to the bus and made our way to Monte Carlo. The teachers that semi-chaperone the trips were awesome and told us some history and little facts about each place that we went.

The first day rained, but it was pretty to see none the less. We spent the night in Nice, tried to go to the casinos but I’m a dummy and forgot my passport and they won’t let you in without the original. Needless to say we found a really cool bar and chilled out – more fun and no risk of losing your entire bank account.

The second day was better weather and the sites were amazing! We went to Cannes, San Paul Devance, and then we went to a perfume factory in Eze. The towns there were really awesome because they were built in the huge cliffs off the coastline. The people there definitely are loaded!! All in all it was an awesome trip – great sites, great food, and we came back Sunday night.

Ciao for now!


4 Mar | Jackie Batanglo | No Comments

Tuesday, March 4, 2008 | Florence, Italy

Hello again,
Let me just start out with saying that Venice is amazing!! It is definitely a place that you have to see with your own eyes. My friends and I went Friday and Saturday and had a great time.

We woke up really early and took a 6:30 a.m. train there (we are cheap so it took us about 4 hours but only cost us 18 euro). We had the whole day in Venice which worked out really well. We walked around quite a bit just to get a feel for the place and made our way to St. Marks, only to find out that it costs 6 euro to get in and so we decided just to sit outside and admire it from the outside. haha.

We had a lot of fun running through all the pigeons and people were going crazy with them and they would land all over you. We stumbled on this great park and sat down watching a group of little Italian kids playing and just relaxed. Our hostel was really far away and turned out to be a camping ground, which we found completely hilarious, but at least it was clean and quiet and was really cheap.

We had bought the 24 hour boat and bus pass (which I highly recommend) and used that all day friday and then it came in handy for saturday when we wanted to go to Murano to see the glass blowing and then to Burano to see all the brightly colored houses. It was great and it was fun to go inside all the glass shops and see all the gondola men in their striped shirts and hats all over.

Classes have been going good, but starting to get harder since mid-terms are coming up. It’s hard to really think about homework when you only have classes three days a week and are traveling most of the time. But then again, traveling is also the reason why you study abroad, so take advantage of your opportunities.

I found out recently that I can make my own postcards out of my own pictures that I take right here at school, and they cost about the same. So I was really excited about that and made a bunch for my relatives. Next weekend I am off to Nice, Monte Carlo, and the French Riviera with the school so I will report back and let you all know how it goes.




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