Milan Travel Diary

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I’ve been back in the US for exactly one week, and the nostalgia is already hitting me hard. I’ve had a serious craving for pecorino cheese and spicy salami–so much so that I willingly went to Wegmans on a Sunday afternoon to check out their selection. Italy was everything that I hoped it would be, from the friendly people to the amazing food and scenic views. Our first stop was Milan, a city that I obviously loved for the fashion.

EXPLORE

Duomo di Milano: It’s no wonder that Milan’s cathedral is one of its most famous landmarks. The weather was gorgeous when we arrived–blue skies and in the low 60s–so we left our luggage at the train station and headed to the city square to enjoy the sunshine. We first toured the cathedral, taking in the intricate architecture and beautiful stained glass windows, then climbed to the top for panoramic views of the city.

Teatro alla Scala: If you ever have a chance to go to the Teatro alla Scala, you must go! We went to see the ballet and it was amazing. The accompanying music was by Bach, which was incredible too.

Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II: The Galleria, a glass and iron-roofed arcade, houses many flagship stores, like Prada, Louis Vuitton, and Gucci.

Via Montenapoleone: Possibly the best shopping in all of Italy, Via Montenapoleone is a street in Milan lined with designer shops and boutiques. We spent the afternoon walking up and down the street, admiring the storefronts with beautiful displays and stopping in a few places.

WEAR

The locals in Milan were so effortlessly chic–I found myself inspired by the street style and constantly taking mental notes. I tried to pack as minimally as possible (though I still had a suitcase that weighed in at 51.0lbs…), so I brought versatile pieces that I could easily transform throughout the week. A leopard print clutch pairs surprisingly well with a lot, and a classic trench coat is functional yet flattering. As soon as I saw this belted dress (under $70!), I knew it would be a great piece and couldn’t wait to wear it in Italy. I was also finally able to wear the newest addition to my shoe collection, being sure not to ruin them on the cobblestone!

trench (similar) // belted dress // heels // leopard print clutch // watch

EAT

Luini: Oh my gosh. The small bakery is best known for its panzerottis, fried dough filled with mozzarella and red sauce, and they were one of the best things that we ate on the entire trip.

Park Hyatt: After the ballet, we went to the Park Hyatt for cappuccinos and tiramisu. The bar had a cool, low-key vibe that was perfect for unwinding after a long travel day.

CioccolatItaliani: We waited in line for over 30 minutes, but the gelato was well worth it. Creamy, expertly scooped, and friendly service!

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Milan 1

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trench (similar) // belted dress // heels // leopard print clutch // watch

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Up, Up, and Away

Jimmy Choo pumps

When you come across a flight to Europe for less than a pair of Jimmy Choos, you can’t pass up the opportunity to travel. My sisters and I cleared our schedules without hesitation and are leaving tonight on a redeye flight to ITALY! It will be my first time in Europe, and I’m so, so excited to explore a new culture (and obviously eat gelato for ten days straight). I’ve gotten pretty good at the spontaneous trip thing, but planning for an international vacation within a matter of a few weeks required serious cramming. If you have any recommendations, I’d love to hear from you! In an attempt to make room for an extra set of heels, I’ve left my computer at home, but you can follow along on Instagram, Twitter, and Snapchat (@colleenkoches).

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4 Reasons Why I Love the iPhone 6 Plus

IMG_8039A friend on Twitter recently asked me to share why I chose the iPhone 6 Plus over other models, which made me think about how reliant I am on my phone. I’m not the most tech-savvy person, but if you’re in the market for an upgrade and considering the larger device, I highly recommend it.

SIZE

At 5.5 inches, size is obviously a key feature of the iPhone 6 Plus. I previously had the iPhone 4S, so it was a huge jump for me. It definitely was an adjustment, but not anything that I didn’t get acclimated to in a matter of a few days. I can still text with one hand, and it fits in almost all of my pockets, though I typically keep it in my purse. The larger screen makes it extremely easy for me to access various apps on the go while using my smartphone as a substitution for my MacBook. I often draft blog posts, edit documents, update my calendar, and respond to emails from my phone. Because I don’t sit in front of a computer all day (and some days never use one at all), I also spend a lot of time reading and researching content on my phone. The larger screen allows me to see visuals better and doesn’t require as much eye strain.

BATTERY

Compared to the iPhone 6, the Plus offers a better battery life (24 hours versus 14 hours of talk time). If you’ve ever experienced an iPhone that caps out at a certain percentage, it will be such a luxury to not have to constantly carry a charger to rejuice. Most days, I’m out of the house for 12 hours straight, so having a battery that can last all day was a big selling point.

CAMERA

The cameras on the newest models are virtually identical, with the exception of optical image stabilization, which is only featured on the Plus. As a blogger, the quality of photos is important to me and I rely on my smartphone to take decent pictures when I’m not using a DSLR.

VIEWING EXPERIENCE

The iPhone 6 Plus really eliminates the need for other devices and offers an enjoyable viewing experience. Before upgrading, I would transition from my laptop to my iPad to my iPhone because I couldn’t do everything comfortably on one. Now, I stream digital content on my phone which is especially helpful when I’m traveling (and doesn’t interrupt my House of Cards binge-watching, ahem).

Overall, I love the iPhone 6 Plus, but if you don’t plan to use your smartphone as an exclusive computing device, it might not be worth the extra cost. The only other downside is that there is a limited variety of cases available to Plus users. I’ve highlighted the cutest ones below, with this gilded pineapple case being my favorite.

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