Travel Diary: Adventures in Spain and Italy
I am here to tell you all about my once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to spend two weeks in Europe! I am lucky enough to have two friends who I met in college, living in two different cities in Europe. I was able to extend my Spring Break a little bit this year (oops!!) and spend 14 days adventuring the streets of Madrid, Spain and Florence, Italy. I did all of this on a college student’s budget! I had always thought that visiting another country would be something I could never afford until I was more settled in life, but I was so wrong. I will walk you through my trip so if any of you end up visiting either of these breathtaking cities you will have a list of things to do.
Obviously, being there for a week, I can not tell you about each and every place I saw. But I will tell you about my favorites.
Buen Retiro Park
This is one of the largest parks in Madrid. It belonged to the Spanish Monarchy until the 19th century, so there is a lot of culture here. It is sooooo green with many sitting spots along with a huge fountain, similar to Central Park! We brought wine, cheese, and prosciutto here and had a lovely picnic on a warm afternoon.
This was one of my favorite restaurants in Madrid. It has an amazing, traditional Spanish brunch option and very modern decor. The downstairs is an indoor beach and the bathrooms are “Beetles” themed. You feel like you are stepping outside of the city of Madrid into a beach shack. Cheap prices as well, I got an entire brunch, coffee, and juice for 15 euros.
The Royal Palace of Madrid
To be honest, my friend Alex (who I traveled here with) and I are not big into history or museums. But this is a must see! Walking through it (6 euros for students and 11 euros otherwise), you get to see the entire inside of the royal palace. The architecture is unreal and it was a nice event to get in the A.C. on a warmer day.
Last but certainly not least: El Jardín Secreto
This is a rooftop garden restaurant that is a “secret” because it is hidden above retail stores. It is the most relaxing place to eat lunch, surrounded by colorful flowers and tropical drinks.
Now.. onto my next adventure
This is probably my favorite place that I have ever visited. It is a quaint city with so much culture, FOOD, and beautiful sites.
This is the main church in Florence. I did not get a chance to go inside, but from the outside, it looks like it was made by the angels themselves. The delicate architecture and structure of the building are like nothing I have ever seen. Plus, surrounding the Duomo is all of the best gelato, statues, bodies of water, cafes, and street performers.
Wear your comfy sneakers for this one- it is somewhat of a hike with a BEAUTIFUL reward at the end of it. At Pazalle Michelangelo you have a view of the entire city, and you are surrounded by restaurants, shops, and a huge lookout area with seats.
At this bar, you get served drinks by an Albert Einstein lookalike who has a charming personality, to say the least. These are not normal drinks, but special shots made with unique ingredients. We ate an orange dipped in coffee grounds and brown sugar, followed by an unknown shot, followed by a banana dipped in rainbow sprinkles. Surprisingly.. Delicious. And the best part is that Einstein won’t tell anyone the secret to these shots! Also- only 4 euros!!!!!
So, that is my adventure in a nutshell. Of course, there are so much more things to do and see- but these were some of my personal obsessions. I hope you all enjoyed reading about my trip, and I strongly advise to make a trip out to these cities one day!