TGIF #53: Something About Europe

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It’s Friday again. It’s been a while i haven’t been blogging on Fridays. So, it’s Thank God. It’s Five-Day time!

When i was a little girl, I have a complete set of Walt Disney encyclopedia at home, and i was fascinated by the beautiful photos of places and buildings in different parts of the world. I always wonder if i can see these places for real. Was it possible?
I guess, we all do have our dreams to travel; to go “beyond the fence” and explore.

Fortunately, i was swept away here in Europe way back 1994. Italy, to be exact. Born and lived in the Philippines for around 22 years, obviously almost half of my life is now here in Italy.
But, of course, that didn’t stop me from dreaming. I love conquering new countries, cities and places. Too many bucket list. But, i’m taking it one day at a time.

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I still dream of travelling to USA. But Europe’s great, i need to explore it first. I have been loving Europe for the last 18 years! A lot of my friends tell me, “i want to see Europe. i want to see Italy, i want to go up the Eiffel Tower”..etc. etc. Yet i never ask them “Why?”

That’s the basic question to ask. Why do you want to go to Europe?
I’m not an expert about travelling at all, but i guess i can share some tips or hints based on what i know, what i see, and what i have experienced.

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Reason No. 1: Learning History

If you have kids, it’s a plus to visit Europe, exposing them to art, history, old buildings and places. But, even if you don’t have kids, you will find yourself be fascinated by the grandiose monuments, church and buildings’ architectures, as well as European culture. Take Italy for instance. Rome has been the ancient city of civilization. Who didn’t study world history about Romulus and his twin brother Remus? See the Vatican City. Think about how Venice was built. Be curious of Leonardo Da Vinci’s Last Supper painting in Milan. Florence, where you can see the most beautiful masterpieces of the greatest artists.
Ibiza in Spain, the most picturesque party island in Europe. The powerful Buckingham Palace in England.
See how tall the Eiffel Tower in Paris. Wonder of Mona Lisa’s smile at Louvre Museum.
The charming old squares of the known cities: Prague, Amsterdam, Warsaw, Bruges, Tallinn, Krakow, Nice or Rome.
There are lot to see and learn for sure.

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Reason No. 2: European Cuisine

Despite the fact that there a lot of McDonald’s food chain, European cuisine can never be outweighed by them. Everything they cook is crazy delicious and as much as possible, healthy. pizza, spaghetti, Parmesan cheese, Greek potatoes, prosciutto, lasagna, white Swiss sausages, crepes, waffles, etc. If you lived in Europe, you’d sit around drinking espresso all day too. The coffee is phenomenal. Though i’m not a coffee drinker, i came to the point that i’d already loved cappuccino. A lot of european says, Italy got the best gelato (ice cream). I can attest to that. Not to talk about the red and white wines, fantastic!

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Reason No. 3: Outdoor Fun

Europeans love whiling away the day at outdoor cafés. On the sidewalks of Athens, Marseilles, Milan, and Barcelona you can see caffeterias side by side. Europeans love to walk, wander and just hang around the city.
For Europeans—far more sensitive to subtlety and nuance—those 90 minutes are the most sacred and profound of the week. I’m talking about soccer. Almost everybody loves that game in Europe. I’m not familiar with that ball game when i first set foot in Europe. Now i’m a big fan especially during the World Cup, cheering for Italy.
Reason No. 4: Foreign Language

Almost around the world, the word “Ciao”, “Au Revoir”, “Bon Appetit”, “Bedankt”, etc. are commonly used, mixing with the english or other languages. You will always love the sound of Italian, French & Portuguese. They’re sweet and romantic. German and Russian were a bit difficult to learn and pronounced. Of course, every foreign language is difficult. I speak Italian so personally, i can tell Italian is not that hard to learn. It’s a mix of Latin, English and Spanish. If you have watched the movie, Eat, Pray and Love, you would notice the Italian gestures. Italians wave their hands most of the time when speaking. It’s an expression. You don’t need a word if you know what it means.

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Reason No. 5: Fashion

You will always think of Europe when you talk about fashion. Milan, London, Paris, Barcelona, Moscow, etc. All this stunning models on catwalks, were almost from Europe. When you think of famous brands; Armani, Gucci, Prada, Ferragamo, Versace, etc, almost all Italian! Rich Asians, Americans, Australians, come to Europe just to shop around. Celebrities bought villas and houses in every parts of Europe as escape from their busy lives.

Ok, so i bought a house too. Could i be…..? Hahahaha!
Forget about it, im not rich and i’m not famous. I’m just an ordinary Pinay who happened to live here in Milan.

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Just a piece of advice, Europe is inundated with stampedes of tourists during warmer months, especially during July-August, so expect the fully-booked hotels, crowded museums and restaurants. If you’re not in a hurry for summer sale, visit Europe by September or early October, the weather is a bit cool. Nicer to roam around with boots and light coats. No sweating around and bagging the stomach with cold water and ice cream.

So, enjoy the trip!

ARRIVEDERCI!