ALLORA, MILANO.

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It’s funny because somehow or another, this was all the outcome of a vague plan. When I was about 10 years old I made a scrapbook for a fifth grade project. Inside I glued sloppily cut photographs along side popup stickers and glitter letters and illustrated the state of my 10 year old self and what I saw my future self looking like. I wrote about what I liked– Gucci, Prada, Coco Chanel, and the Yankees as any more eccentric fifth grader does and what I didn’t like– the Red Sox and the Jonas brothers apparently. I wrote how I wanted to be a fashion designer when I grew up as I planned to follow in my mother’s footsteps and attend FIT in New York. There was also a very intricately planned out bucket list. I wrote that one day, I wanted to live in Beverley Hills and Milan (actually spelled “Milano”). And now I guess I have done both, though technically I actually live in South LA. When I thought about Milan as a 10 year old, I thought Prada. Now, however, I see a sometimes dysfunctional but unwaveringly charming third home.

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On a whim back in October I applied to participate in a program that would allow me to live and intern in Milan, Italy. At first, I didn’t have any genuine intention to follow through, it being the lone pillar in the sea of my indecisiveness. I had just so happened to apply to the program the first day the application was open and proceeded to grind-out the three required essays that same night. I debated the idea for the next few months as I was waiting to hear back from other potential opportunities. But, as I continued to solidify my career intent in the fashion direction, the idea seemed like one of my best options to not only earn credible internship experience, but also force myself way outside any comfort zone I’d previously established and spend my entire summer abroad. The idea both excited and terrified me, but as you can tell now I went for it. 

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Once I landed, the idea of spending the next 10 weeks of my summer here was daunting and the uneasiness I was experiencing didn’t immediately subside. The frequent cappuccinos and croissants really did help me ease into this new lifestyle at the beginning, as did meeting around 30 other students in the same program as me who were experiencing similar emotions at the start. The first week here was spent learning the basics of Italian. Unfortunately I can’t say I have any tangible ability to carry out a conversation in Italian, but I know almost all of the food words.

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Here in Milan, I’m was a sales intern in a showroom that houses several different brands, catering to clients across Europe and Asia. And as a part of the program, I was also invited to attend Pitti Uomo in Florence in June. And for me Pitti was a week of intense walking, fashion, and learning some new words in Italian… yeah. Some of my other friends I made from the program were also there so we were able to taste all of the free cocktails at Pitti during the day and go out together in Florence at night. Since then, my work experience has been spending a average of nine hours a day during the week (and sometimes weekends) in our showrooms arranging the new collections and interacting with clients throughout the sales campaign. During my down time at the office, I’m here.

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I feel like I really underestimated just how difficult the language barrier would be to overcome in a working environment. For my internship in particular, there are multiple language barriers as a majority of our clients speak only Russian. And that really threw me for a loop. I still can only count to three in Russian, but I think that’s venerable progress for someone who also barely spoke Italian. Not being able to communicate had me constantly feeling misunderstood and incompetent, even as I was able to grasp the language more. But over time I still managed to get the job done. Maybe there is some merit in building confidence from experiences that, in the moment, seemed only to deteriorate it more. It would sometimes make me question my own capabilities and qualifications. I had rebuild myself in a way that would increase my adaptability, which I did by trying to teach myself as much Italian as possible and just proving my work ethic through continuous dedication.

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Some of the best experiences I’ve had have come from traveling both throughout Milan and to other countries. This summer, I’ve visited Como, Cannes, Florence, London, Cinque Terre, Venice, Positano, Naples, Nice, and Capri. Since most of my free time to travel was just on the weekends, I couldn’t venture too far outside of Italy (not a bad thing by any means) and Milan itself always has something new to offer. Very quickly, however, it became more apparent that my time in Milan was not a vacation. I tried my best to assimilate at first to mitigate the uneasiness I felt. There were many nights where all I wanted to do was go back home to my friends, my family, and air conditioning, but since our ac didn’t kick in until at least 12 AM most nights, it provided a viable excuse to stay out later.

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Slowly but surely we all adjusted. The two overcrowded buses we’d squeeze into every morning turned into a sea of familiar faces and eventually I was able to narrow down the best cappuccino & croissant combination in the city. I also like to credit myself with being way ahead of the whole “Spritz” craze that’s slowly taking over the states. Also America take note, aperitivo should be a thing (if not already). In fact, the aforementioned period of “assimilation” I described was basically fueled by endless aperitivos in the Navigli and Moscova zones: basically an 8 euro drink and an endless buffet of delicious Italian food is included. Enough said.

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Before I left, I was never lectured on the beauty of Milan. In fact, I was served more of the opposite. Milan is definitely a more industrial, business-oriented city but when I was reading all of my guide books prior to leaving, I read a memorable line that argued Milan’s beauty is less overt. Sure there is beauty in the colorful, ornately decorated apartment buildings and in the store windows on Montenapoleone, but you can also be easily distracted by the graffiti-painted alleyways and bustling streets. The truth is, to recognize the beauty here you have to look a little harder, as in behind the majestic mahogany doors of apartments and office complexes where the most beautiful courtyards are hiding. Or find the most amazing restaurants tucked in tiny alleyways. One day for work, we were able to go to the showroom for the brand Miss Sixty, which is housed in a 400 year old versailles-esque complex that took everyone’s breath away.

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I think Milan is beautiful. Sometimes you will just be driving around and stumble upon 1000 year old ruins and unsuspecting castles and compared to more tourist-trafficked spots like Venice and Rome, Milan isn’t as overexposed. It leaves much to the imagination and makes you work harder to discover. Even after spending two and a half months living here, I feel like I’ve barely scratched that surface, hopefully a bit more than barely but still. You’ll find less tourists and less English speakers, but the most incredible fashion, art, and food. And I’m so grateful that I was able to spend my time here, even when the 95 degree days unrelentingly piled up as time went on.

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Being in Italy is incredible for me period, so here’s a story. I come from a vibrant Sicilian family where we plan our next meals in ur head before we even finish our current one. My Grandmother and Papi were from Sicily and grew up on the lower East Side of Manhattan. Later they moved out to Long Island and whenever we’d visit there would always be the most incredible food waiting for us when we arrived. I was around seven years old when my Nana and Papi passed, when it was still hard to comprehend loss. Most of my cousins are much older than me and I rely on their memories to really get a better image of how incredible these individuals really were and the lasting impact they’ve had on all of our lives. I loved them each endlessly and I still do to this day. As I’ve gotten older, my admiration for my grandparents and their sacrifices to give my father, his siblings, and eventually me the life we have. They also had the most beautiful love story and were married for over 50 years. Recently, however, I’ve been more emotional about them and our family overall. I wish they could’ve lived forever, but we keep their memories alive through her handwritten recipes and countless albums old photographs. Sometimes part of me wishes I could’ve been born earlier so I could’ve grown up with the rest of my cousins in the early 90s and been apart of those times with them. But I love to tell and listen to old stories and when we all reunite, it’s all we do. Visiting Sicily is for sure the next destination of my bucket list, but even still I’m so proud of my Italian roots and living here for the past few months has reminded me of all of these things.

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You can find a home in a lot of places, and people. For me, I’ve stretched my definition of “home” first to the West Coast and now to here and soon back and fourth. I’ve gained innumerable experiences that have broadened my perspectives in both fashion and life. Although, I am sad to be leaving in just a matter of days now (this also may be posted after I return), I am looking forward to my first meal back in America, which will be the same as my last back in May, Shake Shack. Until then, I’m really really really excited to share some of my favorite spots in the city that I’ve curated from the past several months, which will be listed in another post. Thanks for taking care of me, Milan. Ciao!

Kaitlin x

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“HOMESICK” FOR LA.

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Views from the Malibu Pier 

Ever since I moved to LA two years ago to go to USC, it’s been a roller coaster of emotions. It’s hard to believe that already two years have gone by since my parents dropped me off at my first year dorm building as tears poured down my face. I was not particularly excited at the time and throughout my entire first year, the uneasiness I initially felt seemed to only intensify. I was in a new place almost 3000 miles away from home without any friends or family to lean on at first. I was on my own and the reality of that sentiment hadn’t really crossed my mind prior to that Wednesday, August 17th.

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Bottega Louie macarons from a food photoshoot

Not only was I lost physically, but also I had no idea how to approach my new life and what I wanted to do to make my time at USC worthwhile. It was incredible to be living in a city like LA, with beautiful and scenic escapes and places to explore, but what was to make of that when some days I lacked the energy to leave my building. I won’t lie that thoughts of transferring and moving back to the East Coast crossed my mind all the time. And that was hard for me because USC was had always been my dream school and I had worked so hard to even get accepted. I didn’t want to throw all of that away and potentially risk losing such an incredible opportunity. I came to the conclusion that if I wanted to be better, I needed to be proactive and ultimately change my mindset that seemed to constantly restrain me from venturing outside and doing the things I loved.

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Yayoi Kusama’s Infinity Mirrors at the Broad 

Over time, I grew out of my rut and this happened mostly during the summer after my first year. I decided to reevaluate my studies, mindset, and career goals and how I could leverage the resources I encountered throughout my first year at USC to achieve said goals. That summer, I applied to and was offered my first real internship in the industry I was most passionate about, fashion. I spent the Summer working, taking an online finance class, and spent loads of time with friends. Knowing that I could return home to such happiness seemed to help alleviate the pain I felt when I was away. Of course people change, but you find your best friends. They are the ones who you can go months without seeing and then pick up right where you left off once you’re reunited. I found them that Summer.

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Once I returned back to USC for my sophomore year, I started my internship and I became super involved in different clubs and organizations I was passionate about. I was appointed positions on the executive boards for our Fashion Industry Association and our Women in Business organization, which this coming semester I will become president of. I made some new incredible best friends and became closer to the ones I met in my first year. My second semester I even started writing for our on-campus fashion, art, and lifestyle magazine, SPEC. I was constantly running across campus and commuting to Hollywood (and then Downtown second semester), but I was so happy. I was doing what I loved and I essentially found my niche that once was nonexistent for me my first year. I also chose to move to Milan for the Summer to intern at a fashion showroom and after 10 long weeks of being here, I will be flying home to New York in just a few days.

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The past year has been a period of such enormous growth, change, and happiness for me. And I can say I’m way less terrified of change and uncertainty now that I’ve experienced heaps of it in such a short time. This is largely due to the fact that I held onto the ones I love and the places I once called home. Everything is temporary and I’m becoming more open to accepting that. In hindsight, moving to LA was one of the best decisions I could have ever made and I can’t imagine my life any other way. It makes me so happy to say that now I’m even homesick for the place I once dreaded flying back to. I’m so excited to start my junior year and see what’s in store for me. I’m continuing my digital marketing internship at BB Dakota for a second semester and then I will be studying abroad in Paris this Spring. There’s still so much to learn and improve upon with myself in terms of confidence, wellness and owning more than just a box of girl scout cookies in my apartment, but I’m ready to do it and I have the bookmarked Goop and NYT recipes to vouch for that.

See you in 13 days, LA!

Kaitlin x

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Visiting the Palisades on my last full day in LA before Summer break

AMALFI COAST, POSITANO E CAPRI.

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It had been a particularly exhausting week, but the light at the end of the tunnel was that I would be spending the upcoming weekend exploring and eating my way across the Amalfi Coast. So, that Thursday night I boarded a plane to Naples, which is the southernmost point you can fly to in Italy, and got in a car headed off to Positano. The drive isn’t very long, about an hour and 20 minutes (sans traffic), but the roads are something else. As you approach Sorrento and soon Positano you become precariously placed on narrow, mountain-carved roads that slowly wind their way along the coast. Since it was nighttime when I arrived, only the reflection of the moonlight on the sea seemed to highlight just how high up we were as we zig-zagged to the hotel. It was both beautiful and startling, but the darkness of the night helped minimize some of my fear of heights. In hindsight, a glass or two of wine prior to the drive wouldn’t hurt. Going to the Amalfi Coast was also very exciting for me because it would be the first time I saw my family in the past two months. I ordered a ton of room service that night and went to bed excited to see the sea view that was hiding in the darkness when I arrived.

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View from our room

When I woke up that morning, I was truly in heaven. Our balcony had the most insane view of the pastel hills of Positano and the Mediterranean. It immediately took my breath away and already I knew that Positano would be my favorite place in Italy ever. I took a wide selection of panoramic videos with my phone of the view, which funnily later I showed my boss and it turns out he had the same videos, from the same room in the hotel taken two years earlier. Since I was going to Positano, everyone in the showroom seemed to be very eager to give me the Friday off.

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Looking up

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We spent the first day exploring the city of Positano. We walked all the way down to the beach from the top of the mountain our hotel was perched upon. The winding streets are lined with colorful boutiques featuring beautiful sundresses and made-to-order leather sandals. We spent some more time at the beach before heading back up to eat lunch and relax by the pool at the hotel. I never wanted to leave.

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Via Camerelle in Capri
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Faraglioni

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Our second day was spent on a boat for the most part, around the Amalfi Coast and the island of Capri. Capri was crowded, but also stunningly beautiful. To get to the main town, you ride through the scenic hills in an open-air taxi and in about ten minutes you’re overlooking the Mediterranean, surrounded by streets of beautiful shops and restaurants covered from top to bottom in vibrantly-hued bougainvillea vines. After spending around two hours in the town, we returned to the boat where we traced the mountainous perimeter of the island for the rest of the day. I was truly living my ideal Italian summer dream. Capri was even more beautiful than I imagine did to be and I will be returning as soon as humanly possible.

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How you know you’re in the South of Italy
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Villa Franca
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Ambitious shoe choice

As for recommendations for Positano/Capri, I don’t have too many, but I highly recommend what I do have. For dinner we tried a few restaurants with my favorites being Da Vincenzo and Next2, both in Positano and within walking distance from our hotel. We stayed at Hotel Villa Franca, which I highly, highly, highly recommend. For Capri, definitely walk along the Via Camerelle for beautiful shopping and colorful cafes. If you’re on the water, pass by the Marina Grande and the Marina Piccolo as well as the famous Faraglioni. If you decide, travel to the Villa Cimbrone, a short drive overlooking Positano. Overall, the best way to see Positano and the Amalfi coast overall is to walk, drive, or sail to explore the hidden towns that line the coast, it will be endlessly incredible. For more information, check out this NYT 36 Hours article here.

Don’t forget the limoncello!

Kaitlin x

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10 CORSO COMO.

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If you breeze through any fashionable Milan travel guide, you’ll probably be directed to 10 Corso Como, a swanky and architecturally enchanting concept store attracting editors, trendy tourists, and me. In addition to the fashion store, there are also two cafes, a bookstore, and an area dedicated to seasonal exhibitions. A selection that truly encapsulates the concept of a “Concept Store.” The store features artfully chosen selections from the latest collections of institutions Celine, Maison Margiela, Versace that stand next to pieces from more emerging designers. In the bookstore (housed in the upper level), I was able to purchase my mom the most beautiful book, The Red Thread, which is all about Nordic Design.

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major jaw drop moment

The store itself is truly a sight to be seen. You enter through a dreamy courtyard that is overflowing with plants lining the walkways and walls. There are the two outdoor cafes that at nighttime are illuminated by rows of tiny string lights, which is all I need in life. It feels more like a secret garden than some bougie fashion institution and I would spend all of my days and nights in that courtyard if it were possible.

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Did I purchase any clothes here? No. I was tempted by a pair of sneakers that unfortunately turned out to be unavailable in any of my potential sizes, and a Versace Graphic Tee, but I opted out (and I’ve very much regretted this decision ever since). There is also a 10 Corso Como outlet, which is just a seven minute walk from the original, and there 50% off of Alaïa is just an ordinary day.

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Buildings along the Corso Como

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There’s truly something for everyone and you can check the website for current exhibitions being shown there. And not to worry if you won’t be headed to Milan anytime soon, there are also 10 Corso Como outposts in New York, Shanghai, Beijing, and Seoul.

Kaitlin x

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And Eataly is just around the corner!

CANNES.

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One of my first weekend getaways since arriving in Milan was a trip to the French Rivera that started with a scenic 6 hour train ride and ended in Cannes. Again it was completely different from how I had remembered it– which was for the better. The weather was absolutely perfect for the whole weekend; it was both a relaxing and exciting adventure to initiate my summer abroad. I was even able to practice my French, which since then has slowly become mixed with my subtle knowledge of Italian.

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Juice Lab’s beautiful interior 

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Cannes is the perfect size and most places, including the beach, shopping, and restaurants are within walking distance, including our favorite Juice Lab. Our first day was spent drinking rosé along the Mediterranean, only to fall asleep in the sun and wake up with some seriously questionable tan lines (more sunburn than tan). We would then pick up groceries at our favorite Monoprix and cook before heading out for the night. One night we ended up at what seemed like an English-style pub where we ended our nights speaking broken French with some interesting locals. Sadly all of the late night food restaurants were closed by the time we were making our way back home, so no kebab for us.

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I die

The next day we slept in and ate the most incredible brunch at the Boulangerie by Jean Luc Pele, a bakery filled to the brim with the most incredible pastries, breads, and sandwiches I’ve ever seen. In fact, I think I made two or three trips back into the store after my first just to try everything I could. I opted for the almond croissant, a cappuccino, and a Caprese-style baguette. We then continued our walk and stumbled upon the most beautiful outdoor market by the old town and port. There was a wide selection of vintage bags and luggage there as well. Our walk ended at the rooftop bar & restaurant at the Radisson Hotel, which features a 360 degree panoramic view of Cannes and the Riviera. That night, we went out to Baoli, which was an adventure in itself, but nonetheless one of the most memorable nights of our trip thus far.

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As for other Cannes recommendations, the Boulevard de la Croisette for the best shopping spanning the coastline. There are also wonderful, more bougie brunch spots at the Armani Cafe and at the Carlton Hotel. What I recommend most, and what I wish I had done more of while we were there was take more excursions to the smaller surrounding towns along the Riviera. If you go, visit Eze, Antibes, Saint-Paul de Vence (the sight of the latest Gucci show), and Cap Ferrat. And as you head up into the mountains into Provence, check out Fayence, Mons, Aix en Provence, and Grasse. 

Kaitlin x

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Views from the train ride in

PITTI.

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An early highlight from my internship tenure here in Milan was getting to attend Pitti Uomo in Florence. I was also given a pass to wear for the week with the title “Buyer,” so I felt pretty important. Florence itself is incredible, and probably my favorite city in Italy, so getting to spend time there while also working at Pitti was the perfect combination.

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Pitti, if I were to describe it simply, is the Coachella for Menswear. In reality it’s basically just a more glamorous, gelato-filled trade show that attracts personalities from all over and such an eccentric aggregation also makes for prime people watching. When we’d have down time throughout the day, oftentimes I’d just sit (sometimes with gelato in hand) and just watch the never-ending stream of fashion characters that were passing by. The range of styles represented was impressive as Off White clad photographers walked alongside polished, sartorially savvy fashion professionals. This expression of unique personalities through atelier created an environment lucrative for creativity and inspiration.

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Gucci Garden

In some light, menswear, in terms of the cut, fit, and tailoring, has heavily influenced recent trends in women’s fashion. Brands like Acne and Balenciaga have started to reflect such nuances in recent collections. For myself, I’m starting to appreciate the more oversized, understated look when it comes to everyday looks by relying more on oversized blazers and button downs as well as pairing more feminine pieces like elegant midi skirts with vintage tees. Attending Pitti, just further enhanced my interest with these looks and pushed me to incorporate them into my own style. 

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Duomo di Siena

Pitti was four long days of fashion and getting to interact with potential clients and brand managers from inside and outside of Italy. By the end of the week, we were averaging 26,000 steps daily (especially the one night we decided to go out… until 3:30 …oops) with about 3 glasses of wine at dinner; life is definitely about striking the perfect balance. Overall, though, attending Pitti was one of the most enlightening and rewarding internship/life experiences I’ve had thus far. If you’d like to see some of the aforementioned fashionable attendees, check here and here. One day, I hope to return to Pitti, preferably with a career of my own. 

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As for Florence, I have a slew of recommendations from both my most recent excursion to Pitti as well as a prior vacation with family. For local-approved pizza, go to Il Pizzaiuolo (they also have the best chili-infused olive oil for dipping). For the most beautiful and tasteful selection of the latest of Valentino, Gucci, etc. head to Luisa Via Roma, Florence’s own Colette-esque institution. For two beautiful dinners be sure to head to Il Quattro Leone for their Pear Ravioli and to La Giostra for Soldano. I’m partial to the beautiful Hotel Savoy on via Roma, where they have a large sidewalk terrace perfect for lunch or coffee. The Gucci Garden features a beautiful restaurant and museum/shop and you should definitely not miss it. If you have the time, be sure to take a day trip to Tuscany, preferably the beautiful village of Siena, which is just a short 45 minute drive outside of the city center.

Kaitlin x

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VENICE IN A DAY.

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Seen along the Grand Canal

Witnessing the beauty of Venice this past weekend surely surpassed any memories I had from my last visit. Again, I wish I could’ve spent more than just a day. Like the first time I’d been, most of my time in Venice was spent wandering through the Piazza San Marco and the streets surrounding it. There were people everywhere and I mean everywhere. It’s quite impressive just how many eager tourists can fit in Venice’s narrow streets. Despite this, we still managed to seek out some of the more quiet street corners, as well as the most amazing gelato cafe, Suso. A corner cafe situated perfectly enough so that we could sit down overlooking the canal as I devoured my second cone of stracciatella that day.

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One of the perspectives from Campanile di San Marco

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If you wander carefully enough, you’ll encounter some exquisite art galleries tucked into charming Venetian alleyways. If I had more time, I would’ve spent hours browsing them. That being said, the art scene in Venice is quite impressive, known for the most spectacular Glass creations (di Murano), Lace (di Burano, Emilia), masks, among others. And next time I visit I hopefully plan to visit the aforementioned islands, which are places my dad continues to rave about to this day.

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Nino & Friends

Venice to me is so astounding. The fact that this city is also a collection of over 100 tiny islands connected by ornate bridges and meandering canals is so intriguing. There’s even a waterborne metro system, which is what we used to navigate ourselves throughout the day. It is completely different from any city I’ve ever visited and nonetheless, strikingly beautiful. Venice has truly transcended as a beacon of artistry and mystery throughout the centuries. Serving as the Northern hub of the Italian Renaissance, Venice produced some incredible individuals throughout history showcasing nuanced innovation that continues to shine through to this day.

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As for recommendations, I would say first visiting/ eating at Cipriani, an exquisite hotel surrounded by beautiful gardens along the canal. Also the site where George and Amal were married. Cafe Florian in the Piazza San Marco is a bit touristy, although they do have beautiful pastries and coffees. If you’re looking for a vast selection of italian olive oils, chocolates, coffees, and more, check out Nino & Friends (where they also give out a ton of free samples). Lastly, definitely check out the tower Campanile di San Marco in the main square for some beautiful 360 degree views of Venice. There I was also pooped on by some rude pigeon, but that could only mean good luck. Hopefully once I explore the outer islands of the area, I’ll have more to offer, but until then enjoy!

Kaitlin x

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A FENDI BENDER.

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How do you pose naturally in front of the perfect vintage car that was so conveniently parked in the middle of the shoot? The answer is you don’t, but you can look cool while doing it. The outfit I put together in this picture was the result of me throwing random pieces of what I thought would turn in photoshoot-worthy outfits into my backpack (a lot of funky Reformation pants). For the most part, I’d say it worked out.

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I love the idea of layering and when you live in constant heat almost year round, it provides an opportunity to be creative. For me, that was pairing this sheer, sparkly black top over a lace bralette, which became a staple in my less-frequented “going out” outfit repotoire. I topped it off with my navy hat, which I coined the “Chapeau de Venice” because it probably fits better on Abbot Kinney than it does on my head. This was more of a look for me, a departure from my usual jeans and oversized tee shirt uniform.

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These photos were taking by two of the most lovely and absurdly talented girls I know, Aditi and Deanie (@aditiharish & @deaniechen). They really know how to turn my un-photogeneic-always-blinking-in-pictures self into a quasi model for the day. After the shoot, I inhaled a double double animal style from In n Out before anyone could even blink.

Kaitlin x

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ANDIAMO A CINQUE TERRE.

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It should be a crime to have only spent a day in Cinque Terre. Despite the quickness of the getaway, it was safe to say that this collection of five vibrantly scattered villages was one of the most beautiful places I’ve been to yet. We only made it to two out the five towns, though that provides more incentive to return, as if there weren’t infinite excuses already.

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Our traveled first arrived in a lively beach town called Monterosso and from there, there are smaller, more local trains that travel to and from each of the five villages of Cinque Terre. First, we decided to go to Manarola and this turned out to be a wonderful decision, especially if it’s your first time visiting the region. The town itself is lined with lively streets full of cafes offering cones of fresh calamari and other regional seafood dishes. The wonderful aroma of fried seafood guides you as you make your way down to the sea.

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Manarola and it’s insanely beautiful hills and cliffs is the image that pops up when you Google “Cinque Terre,” it’s the quintessential Italian Riviera postcard. There we explored the village and cooled off by jumping off the rocks into the sea and nothing has ever felt more perfect. After, we followed the cliff side path up to a restaurant called Nessun Dorma, which featured a menu full of bruschetta, sandwiches, and refreshing salads. I also opted for the Sangria.

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Towards the end of the day, we took the train back to Monterosso to lounge on some beach chairs and take in our surroundings as the day was unwinding. Then it was back on the train and late-night arrivals to Milano Centrale call for bowls of pasta, bufala mozzarella and in this case fried cheese “salad” from il brutto anatroccolo (a must).

Kaitlin x

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MONTAUK IS THE NEW MONTAUK.

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Growing up on Long Island comes with many pastimes, BEC sandwiches on the weekends, concerts at Jones Beach, Billy Joeland summers in Montauk. Every year, my family would make it a point to jump on the 27 out to “The End.” Only the real will know, though, because Montauk used to be the locals-only surf town left as a prize for those who managed to stay on the highway past the glitzy temptations of the Hamptons. Now that story has changed.

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Nights at the Crow’s Nest
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Melet Mercantile
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The Hideaway

A few years back when I was in Paris, I was reading a copy of Paris Vogue and there was an article on Montauk featured in the issue titled, “Montauk, le Nouveau St. Tropez” quite a title for the quirky fishing town I once knew. It’s kind of true now. Montauk now boasts its own SoulCycle, and slew of trendy nightclubs like the bayside Surf Lodge and Ruschmeyer’s. Nevertheless, I love it even more.

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Share With…

I could go on for hours talking about this town. And I have countless recommendations to attest to that. I’ll try my best to keep it to five… and maybe one or two more for good luck. For now, though, I’ll be counting down the days until I get to visit MTK this August before moving back to LA.

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Love Peace Chicken @ Joni’s
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Duryea’s Lobster Deck

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First, check out Joni’s a Montauk institution with the most delicious, healthy selection of wraps, sandwiches, and baked goods. There’s never been a trip where I haven’t gone. The Crow’s Nest is probably my favorite restaurant for dinner, and the most beautiful. It sits overlooking the bay with an outdoor patio decorated with twinkling lights and comfy couches and the incredibly delicious and vibrant mediterranean cuisine makes me die every time. The Hideaway, aptly named as it’s tucked inside the boathouse of a decrepit marina, has some of the best Mexican food on LI. As you edge closer to town, check out Lobster Roll (technically it’s still Amagansett) for a taste of the “old” Montauk. Shop at Share With … and the MTK outpost of Melet Mercantile for eco-friendly fashion or an immaculate curation of vintage treasures. Finally, end the night at John’s Drive In for the best homemade ice cream or even a basket of jalapeño poppers.

Kaitlin x

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