Friday, 27 October 2017

Vigevano, Lombardia

We'd spent a number of days in Milan, comprising of shopping, sight-seeing and an awful lot of walking. It seemed like there wasn't much left to do, except maybe find some good restaurants. So instead of doing more of the same, we booked train tickets to the nearby town of Vigevano. I'd certainly never heard of it, and didn't expect much, but boy- was it pretty.

We found it to be a lot quieter than Milan. The shops closed and opened at unusual hours, and many of the paths had few people on them. It was peaceful, and the food we had in the main piazza was really delicious. Having found Milanese food a little underwhelming, eating in Vivegano was such a treat.

From the top of the Bramante Tower, we got a good view of the small town. All of the orange-y roofs in the heat gave a beautiful picture of Italy. It was special to see it really, the sun beating down on us.

The cathedral was magnificent, again, a quiet spot. It was a perfect demonstration of devotion; it was so clear to me how much the people who built it wished to glorify their god, and the mood of the place was very sacred and peaceful.

I really enjoyed our day-trip to Vigevano. It was calming and pleasing to the eye.

Monday, 23 October 2017

Fjällräven Kånken Laptop 13" Review

So, in September I began my first month in university. I needed a new backpack badly, and didn't know where to look. So many of the ones I could find that had a laptop compartment were bulky, ugly and expensive. I'd heard of Kankens (I mean, at this stage, who hasn't?) but I didn't know you could get ones with laptop sections and I also didn't want to jump on the bandwagon just for the sake of it.

But upon further research, I decided I'd just go ahead and order one. They weren't as expensive as other laptop bags I'd seen, nor as huge, and my friend had one and really liked it. So in the end, I bought one from Amazon UK and chose to go with the green colour.

When it arrived, I was suitably impressed. It's pretty! I like it a lot more than I thought I would. It's lightweight yet sturdy, has padded shoulder straps (unlike the usual model) and a very discreet laptop compartment. It's small looking, and doesn't look like it's just another schoolbag. Even though it was originally designed for school children, it's stylish.

So what do I like about it?
-The shoulder straps are comfortable
-The bag claims to be good for posture and the back. How true this is I'm not sure, but it does feel well supported.
-The handle clasp. I didn't realise how useful this would be, but when you're in crowd, shops or public transport situations, it's great to be able to comfortably hold your backpack in your hand.
-The padded laptop compartment (I'll stop saying that phrase, don't worry). I trust my laptop in it, and when you're wearing it, you wouldn't even notice there's a big computer in it.
-The way the main compartment zips all the way down- no more rooting around for stuff!

Things I don't like:
-The side pockets are extremely tight. It is cool to be able to be armed with an umbrella at all times, but it's impossible to fit a standard water bottle in, which I had hoped I could.
-The front pocket is pretty tiny. I don't mind this so much because my wallet is small, but you couldn't fit a longer wallet in there.
-The size. Ish. I'm glad it's so neat, and I can fit almost everything in it, but the dimensions are too small for a narrow A4 binder, which would be useful for class.

So, would I recommend this bag to you?
Absolutely. It's so stylish, and adorable and simple. You're probably not going to lose stuff in the bottom of your bag because it's easy to access every pocket. There's a seating pad with it which I don't keep in there all the time, but it's comfy and would be good if you're looking to sit down on grass and don't want to get dirty. My recommendation for college students would probably be to get the 15" model because it's just that little bit bigger. However I'm happy with mine, as I know my 13" laptop is nicely protected, and smaller is nice when you're not that tall!

What bag do you use for class?

Anna x

Saturday, 21 October 2017

Milano // the art scene

My second day in Milan was focused on culture, and involved a step just outside the centre. As soon as we had decided we'd be going to Milan in the first place, I got incredibly excited at the prospect of seeing Leonardo Da Vinci's great work, The Last Supper. It was, however, really difficult to secure tickets, as the website only released bundles of them at seemingly the most random of times. At last, we had our tickets, and I could not wait.

On the way to see it, we walked past a beautiful café with the most glorious looking cakes in the window. Naturally, I had to stop to photograph them.

Seeing The Last Supper was truly incredible. We only had 15 minutes there, in the church of Santa Maria delle Grazie. They thankfully allowed photography (provided flash was not used) and I am so glad to be able to have photos to look back on. I'd studied this particular work in Art History in secondary school, so seeing it in person was such a treat. I was able to tell my parents beforehand about some features to look out there, but ended up being educated further myself by some of the tour guide's information. Even seeing it revealed more detail than I'd ever gathered from looking at other people's photographs and reproductions.

In the same day, we visited the Brera Art Gallery. We followed the guidebook to see the top 20 or so pieces of art they held there, spotting some other fascinating works along the way. I was incredibly exhausted after a long day of walking, but delighted in seeing 'Super at Emmanus' by Caravaggio amongst others.

Overall, my second day in Milan was wonderful, and one which I'll treasure for a long time to come. I saw some classic Italian beauty in the architecture of buildings, in art and in food. I miss it already!

Please let me know how you're feeling in the comments. I apologise for my absence- the start of college has been crazy, but I'm eager to start posting again!

Love, Anna
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