Friday, 31 July 2015

Isola Polvese


Today we decided to get a ferry over to Isola Polvese, an island situated in the middle of Lake Trasimeno, which is a large lake near to where we're staying - in fact it's the fourth biggest lake in Italy. The island is uninhabited but has a couple of bars and restaurants on it, as well as an impressive castle. It was really pretty to walk round, taking about half an hour, as Polvese is about 1km square in area. 


Afterwards we came back and I had a much-needed nap, before having tea of homemade bruschetta and a tuna and prawn salad. It's our last full day tomorrow, so we're spending it around the pool, before going out for a meal in the evening.

Hannah x

Thursday, 30 July 2015

Pool day


Top - Missguided
Skirt - New Look (Similar)
Black Ring - Pandora
Pink Ring - Bought in Mallorca

Today has mainly just been spent relaxing around the pool as it's been so hot. This evening we went to a little nearby town called Panicale, where there was live music in the main square. It was an indie band and, although they only sang songs in Italian, they were actually really good.

I'm sort of looking forward to coming home now as I've got lots of exciting things coming up over summer!

Hannah x

Wednesday, 29 July 2015

Siena


Today we went to Siena and met up with some of my family there, who are also currently holidaying in Italy. Siena is a Tuscan city and is probably one of my favourites that we have visited in Italy. 

                     

 The Piazza del Campo (above) is an impressive shell-shaped town square with a huge tower and church. Every year the famous Palio horse race takes place in this square, which looks like it would be an amazing spectacle. There is also a huge duomo (cathedral) with an ornate facade that dates back to the 12th century.

We walked around the streets and caught up with each other for a while, occasionally entering some of the many shops. I made the mistake of going to look in an Italian branded make-up shop, where I was immediately accosted by a member of the staff and followed round, with her showing me all of the products. She seemed very pleasant, so when she asked if she could try some eyeliner on me I agreed. Then she insisted on eyeshadow. And concealer. Blusher. Lip liner. Lipstick. By this point I thought I must look like a beautiful swan, transformed, due to all the products on my face.

But then she showed me what I looked like in the mirror. Oh my goodness, I almost screamed - I looked like I'd been used as a punch bag the eye make-up was so heavy! But me being British, I was like "oh, it's err lovely thanks!". I said I didn't really need any of the products though, at which point she turned into the Wicked Witch of the West. I came away with two unwanted eye shadows and a sweaty face of clown make-up, before quickly going into a pharmacy and grabbing some face wipes.


After that ordeal I needed to sit down, so we went to a lovely pizzeria for lunch. I sat with my cousins and we chatted about what had been going on since we last saw each other, and then we went to an amazing gelateria for ice-cream. I chose apple and mango. I've got to say, you haven't lived until you have tried Italian ice-cream; it's amazing.

The rest of the afternoon was spent wandering around more shops (avoiding my eyes being attacked by more scary cosmetic ladies), and looking at the sights of Siena.



T-shirt - Bought in Italy 
Shorts - New Look
Sandals - Primark
Scrunchie - New Look

This T-shirt was (quite obviously) bought in Siena - I'm a sucker for anything with stripes on it. I wanted to dress quite relaxed tonight so I just put it on with my denim shorts and shoved my hair up in a scruffy ponytail.

Right, I'm off to beat my family at cards!

Hannah x 

Tuesday, 28 July 2015

Just an old dress


Dress - H&M (Similar)
Sandals - New Look


This is one of those dresses that I've had for absolutely years, and yet I still go back to it every summer (as you can probably tell by the rather attractive hole in the front... Whoops). In fact, I wore it in a holiday post last year (here). It was only cheap from H&M, but I just love the colour and the fit. Yellow is my favorite colour, as it's so happy and positive.

Today has just been lazily spent around the pool, sunbathing and wallowing in the shallows. My family and I also enjoy diving/jumping into the water together, as you can see by my Instagram photo. This is our last few days here, so I'm enjoying the peace and relaxation as much as I can.

Monday, 27 July 2015

Orvieto


Today we visited a nearby town called Orvieto. It is an Umbrian town built high on the top of some almost-vertical cliffs made from volcanic rock. The main feature in Orvieto is perhaps the duomo (cathedral) that dates back to the 13th century. The side walls are plain stripes of white and black, whereas the front facade is a complete contrast with lots of sculptures and paintings in gold and many other colours. 

Another interesting feature to visit in Orvieto is the 'underground city', which is a labyrinth of caves and tunnels. Many of the homes of noble families included these tunnels, to be used as a mean of escape during a siege. The tunnels were continuously dug over about 2500 years and the history is evident as you explore them.


After Orvieto we felt all hot and bothered and decided to have a quick dip in the pool, before getting ready for a dinner of salad and salmon pasta.

                      

Kimono - Primark
Top - Asos
Shorts - Forever 21
Necklace - New Look (Similar)

I love the colours in this kimono, and it's the perfect cover-up around the pool as well. And I'm loving anything with tassels on at the moment, so I kind of had to get this necklace!

Hannah x

Sunday, 26 July 2015

Holidays are good for your mental health


It may be the smell of sun cream or the 40 degree heat, but holidays always make me feel really optimistic and hopeful for the future.

I have distinct memories of past holidays where I've almost had 'eureka' moments and been 100% satisfied with life: the year I got 9 A*'s in my GCSE's; the year I got into medicine; times when I was just sunbathing around the pool and nothing particularly unusual happened, but life just seemed so perfect.

Holidays can put you in a state of euphoria, where it feels like anything is possible, nothing is out of reach. As well as turning you into a bronzed goddess, a week or so of relaxing and sun turns you into the best version of you. The relaxed, refreshed version that suddenly doesn't have so many worries and has control of their life.

I guess the biggest thing about taking time away from home is it puts things into perspective, and allows you to look at things from the outside. Worries about comparing yourself to others, or how to get the perfect Instagram shot, or anything else minor, don't seem to matter so much anymore (although this could be because you're staying at a totally Instagram-worthy place). A bit of distance allows the mind time to think properly, without having all those other distractions like social media or emails or your pet being annoying.

There is also ample amount of time to catch up on sleep, whether that's at night or around the pool on a deck chair. I think that the right amount of sleep is so important in regards to mental health - I always feel so much better when I've had my 8 hours.

Holidays give you a lot of time to think, and a lot of that thinking is centered around how lucky I am most of the time, in my case. Long journeys like in an aeroplane or a car also give lots of time to think - a lot of my bright ideas have come whilst travelling (in fact, I think I come up with the idea of starting this blog during a long train ride).

So I guess what I'm trying to say is that holidays should be prescribed for the good of peoples' mental health.

Not really, but how amazing would it be to just pay a prescription charge and be whisked off to the Caribbean?! I truly believe that it's so important to take time out from work, to just utterly relax and have time to think about life. Holidays were made for happiness - it's the reason so many people suffer from 'wanderlust' and take time out to go travelling.

Holidays give you that wonderful feeling when you just feel like 'I got this'. You can tackle whatever life throws at you; the little things don't matter as much as you thought they did; you know what's important.

It will be memories that you will remember when you're old, not objects. And holidays are perfect for making some amazing memories, just another reason to take some time away. Go on, you deserve it.

Hannah x


Saturday, 25 July 2015

Mermaid vibes


Shell Print Crop Top - Missguided
Shell Print Shorts - Missguided
Shell Choker Necklace - Bought in Mallorca 

How cute is this shell co-ord from Missguided? I got it for my birthday and it's perfect for hot weather and holidays. I decided to go for full mermaid vibes with this shell necklace and beachy hair. I tried to take some photos around the pool this morning but, as you can see below, they went a bit wrong because of the sun and my squinty eyes (#bloggerproblems).


 Today we drove round a huge man-made lake that is close to where we're staying, called Lake Trasimeno. It's really beautiful and we're hoping to catch a boat over to a little island in the middle of it at some point this week.

After lunch we decided to visit Assisi, a medieval town built on a hill. It is also known as 'The White City' because all of the buildings are very pale, and 'The City of Peace'. Assisi is the birthplace of St Francis, whom the largest and most impressive cathedral is named after (the Basilica of San Francesco). It's one of my favorite towns in the region of Umbria that we've visited so far, with spectacular views and some really impressive buildings. The streets are typically Italian and windy, with lots of shops and restaurants dotted around.

The thing that always amazes me about Italian towns is that you'll be walking down a normal street, turn a corner and suddenly come across a huge building, like a cathedral or a fountain, and Assisi is just the same with its abundance of churches.

I hope you are all having a lovely weekend :)

Hannah x