EUROPE TOUR '17
Vienna stole my heart on this trip. It sort of reminded me of a European New York. Always something going on, lots of people, tons of little outdoor cafes, plethora of shops (realized later that was kind of the situation at each stop), and so many charming people. They have flower stands sprinkled on just about every corner, like how us American's have Starbucks on every block. One bar you HAVE to check out is The American Bar. It sounds like it would be super cliche but I promise it is quite the opposite. Tucked in a little alley off the main shopping strip, it's the size of a shoe box. So cozy, crazy intimate, and very sexy. Paul the bartender was the best, and even walked us out to a cab (still two American girls running around at night so, it was beyond appreciated). Another must is the St. Stephen Cathedral, it is magnificent.
Salzburg is super scenic and charming. Our first day in we made the hike up to the Hohensalzburg Fortress (there is a lift that takes you up as well if you aren't able to hike, but if you are take your lazy ass up the stairs/hills and work off the the wine you've been drinking). At the top is where I took the gorgeous ariel shot below. If you are a fan of the Sound of Music then fun fact, it is where the REAL VonTrap family was hiding (watch the movie if you don't know what I am talking about). There are some breathtaking gardens, a bridge that mimics the lock bridge in Paris, and the people were very nice.
So, unfortunately, there isn't much that I can tell you about St. Moritz because we ended up there during their off season. When I say off season...I mean EVERY. SINGLE. SHOP. in town having signs in their windows saying "see you in June," along with the only open restaurants being one in our hotel, and two across the street (also attached to hotels). It is absolutely breathtaking so I highly recommend going....just make sure to look up dates for when everything is up and running.
SO COOL. We took this train from St. Moritz to Lake Como, and it was incredible. The ride was a couple hours but the scenery was unbelievable. You wind through the alps, coast through little Italian villages, and you straight up feel like you are in a post card.
Lake Como, you pretty pretty place you. Very laid back vibes here. The views were (obviously, I mean look at the pictures, they don't even do this place justice) GORGEOUS. You can eat at one of the many cafes, walk around town (a bunch of little alleys and nooks), take a boat ride across the lake. The first day we ate at a place called Why Not? cafe, and I had the mushroom and pasta dish (wanna say it was the mushroom pappardelle). It was easily the best pasta dish I've ever had. Oh, once you hit Italy, DO NOT ask for them to take the cheese off your pizza. Just don't. Somewhere you HAVE TO GO while you are there is Gatto Nero. It is a windy drive up to the top of a hill, and is tucked on the side of a hill overlooking the entirety of Lake Como. The view is NUTS, the restaurant is so nice and charming, and the service/food was killer. Another big thanks to the girl that DM'd Tori and told us about it! The Como Cathedral is another must, it is breathtaking.
I mean, it's Florence, Italy, HELLO!!! Such an awesome experience. Something to note, though. VERY crowded. And at night, the streets literally FLOOD with teenagers, so naturally we stayed inside when the witching hour struck. One thing that me and Tori had been waiting/saving up for was a trip to the Gucci store. For those of you who don't know, Gucci is based out of Florence. So naturally, we wanted to treat ourselves to something stellar in the place where it was made (I don't know, we just thought it was cool). Boy do they make it an experience. First of all, they make sure there is an associate with each individual customer. Once they are at that capacity they lock the store doors until someone leaves, and they will let the next shopper in. They handle each piece of product with gloves, and they will GLADLY get you drunk off champagne...we would know. They have a ton off little cafes lining the streets, but we really liked the outdoor restaurants that surrounded the merry-go-round on the square. Great people watching and it's a fun atmosphere. Something we noticed very quickly in Europe in general, but especially Italy, ANY time you order a cocktail, glass of wine, etc, they bring you an incredible spread of snacks. Wasn't mad about it. Somewhere YOU HAVE TO GO in Florence is the Belmond Villa San Michelle for dinner. Grab a drink out on the lawn first, then enjoy dinner over looking all of Florence. The grounds of this place were unlike anything I have ever seen. Absolutely stunning, and right out of a fairytale.
And finally, Venice. Definitely one of my favorite stops of the trip. Probably the coolest place I have been to. They are not kidding when they say there are no paved roads. A taxi "cab" there, is actually a boat. Tons of little alleys and hallways so be warned, it is INCREDIBLY easy to get lost, so be careful. But the people are so nice (and patient), the architecture with the crumbling buildings and mix of colors is exquisite, and traveling by water everywhere you go is the coolest thing ever. MUST GO stop in Venice is drinks at the top of the Hilton. We made it a tradition once we hit Italy (unintentionally) to end the stop somewhere we could take it a stellar view, and that's exactly what we did here. We mostly drank wine everywhere we went because cocktails aren't necessarily their strong suit in Europe, but the Hilton rooftop bar and a massive menu with stellar mixed drinks. I still had wine...but...I tried everyone else's drinks. Also, something cool to check out is this art installation by Lorenzo Quinn called Support. Giant pair of hands up against an older hotel...pretty rad. Definitely go on a gondola ride, it is awesome. And something random to note about Europe in general, the men are VERY flirtatious and VERY forward. I had a waiter give me a very intimate hug while simultaneously giving me a head scratch and I thought we were dating and/or I was having his baby. Neither was the case but you get my point.