Have I Really Entered Adulthood?

Physically maybe, but mentally probs not.

To kick us off here, I would like to formally announce that I did actually graduate Pennsylvania State University with a degree in Public Relations + Digital Media Trends and Analytics. Huge accomplishment. *que a bottle pop* Plus I did it in 4 years (which I think my mom is more excited about than I am).


To follow that up, I received an offer from a global PR firm located in Pittsburgh, PA, where I am currently living. I really didn’t have an idea of what I wanted to do after graduation, I just really really wanted a paying job. And I got one! I work on accounts daily, I get to interact with the media, and I am getting agency experience which is key in the PR world.

Everything is new and exciting and scary all at the same time. I have never been one to question my decision making. I go with what I think is best and I don’t turn back, after all isn’t your first choice usually the best one? But now, I have entered real life and become a second-guesser.

Everyday I find myself asking: Is this what the client wants or am I totally messing it up? Do I pay for my parking with cash or my card? Should I apply for that job or am I not qualified? Is maps right or should I go another way? What do I wear? Can I end this email with a smiley face or is that too much?

College was the time to learn who you are and what you want, yet right as I left, I feel more unsure of myself and under prepared than ever. For example, after my first week, I called my mom crying in a Trader Joe’s parking lot because I am scared I won’t make friends here. Anyone else right there with me?

As time progresses and the weeks pass, I am slowly getting my bearings around the office and the city. I am getting better at anticipating what people need, I can (usually) get around without a GPS, and I feel more comfortable being me in a new place with new people and new responsibilities.

As I learn to embrace the challenges of a 40 hour work week, I am happy to be where I am learning something new everyday. From what I hear, each experience is a great building block for anything to come. And hopefully, I get to know this new me who now has a job and asks people what they do rather than what is your major.

love, payton




On Location: Venice

This is coming on a slight (or major) delay but here it is!


A couple weeks ago my roommates and I ventured to Venice for the day. We spent the day eating, wondering through side streets and canals and taking a gondola ride. Is there any other way to see Venice?



Following lunch we went on a hunt for something sweet. We settled on fritoles (both crema and nutella) as well as gelato. For those who know anything about my experience in Italy, they know I only eat two flavors of gelato: lemon and mint. The mint in Venice was to die for.



Our train was set to leave Venice at 7pm, thus we were able to catch the sunset over the canal. Before finding this man painting the sunset, my friend and I climbed one of the bridges to get a better view. It was one of the prettiest sunsets I’ve ever seen in a city.

Venice was a great day trip, after all that is really all you need there. The people are nice, the atmosphere was fun and lively and Venice keeps the decorative lights up at night!

love, PT

January Update

I am THRIVING. Coming to Florence may have been the best decision I have ever made.

After thirty days, I have accomplished a lot. For example:

Travels: Bologna, Venice, Lucca, Pisa, Chianti, & Verona

Best Meal: The zucchini risotto & four cheese gnocchi with truffle at Osteria Santo Spirito and lasagna from Parma a Tavola in Verona

What I Miss (If Anything): American candy!! There is an abundance of chocolate and pastries in this country, but no candy! All I want is Starburst or strawberry sour straws or Laffy Taffy maybe even Sour Patch Kids. I could go on and on. ( @Dad please bring me some!)

Lessons Learned: Never wear necklaces outside of your clothes when walking down the street–someone will steal them! Trust me.

Overall, Florence has brought out the best Payton in me. I feel more confident in myself and my decisions, I noticed I’m becoming more fearless in who I talk to and how I present myself to strangers and potential new friends. As scary as it was to be dropped into a country where I don’t know the language or any of the people, I have never felt more free to be myself and to explore everything around me.

With all the new fun and excitement, there is still a part of me that misses home, my family and my friends, but that part of me is so small I almost forget that entire world exists anymore. I think that when you move across the world, you leave your worries behind and find yourself living in the moment. There is no point in dwelling on things happening 7,000 miles away. I’m enjoying myself and I don’t plan on stopping anytime soon!

I have officially become the cliche, study abroad student.

love, PT

On Location: Chianti

Ciao ciao! I am returning from my Italian hiatus to bring you On Location: Chianti.

Last Friday, January 12, my study abroad program took us to Chianti to go on a wine tour. My roommate and I went to Tenuta di Liliano. It was beautiful!


From the top of Villa Medicea di Lilliano, we had a 180° view of the Tuscan country side. A guide showed us around the grounds including the wine cellar, garden and rooms that date back to when the Medici family used the villa as a country escape from Florence.

According to the guide who works for the winery, this rooftop patio was used to enjoy the sunset, weather, dinner or a cocktail before a meal.



This courtyard connects the servant’s quarters with the main part of the villa where the Medici family would live and stay when in the country. The courtyard was surrounded by a staircase leading to the rooftop patio. Pomegranate trees were all over too!



Villa Medicea di Lilliano treated us to lunch as well alongside a wine tasting. The first course was a meat and cheese plate accompanied by bread with olive oil made onsite. It was incredible and after a long day there was nothing better than sitting down and relaxing with good, homemade food!

This plate was served with a light, red wine. The owner of the winery was able to come and she taught the group how to properly taste the wine. A quick crash course: hold the glass by the stem, spin the wine (its all in the wrist!), a quick smell and sip. Make sure to hold it in your mouth and really taste the flavors.


Now, this was the star of the food show for me. The pasta was a simple sauce with tomato and onion. It was mouthwatering. Stacy (my roommate) and I had four servings each and I wish I had more.

This plate was served with a dinner wine. It was aged longer and had a slightly heavier taste to it. One of the school leaders told us, “If a red wine makes you slightly sleepy, its a good one!” After the pasta and wine, my entire table was sleepy, full and ready for a sweet treat!


The day concluded with homemade almond biscotti and a desert wine created by Liliano. The biscotti was delicious! Stacy and I might have put a couple in our bags for the ride back to Florence.

Thank you to Villa Medicea di Lilliano! It was an absolute treat and a wonderful way to dip my toes into what Italy has to offer me while I am here. I will be back don’t worry!

Italy is everything I could have dreamed of and more. I am living my best life yet!

love, PT

P.S. I would really love the sauce recipe for the pasta! Please Villa Medicea di Lilliano!!

Alessandro Michele Does No Wrong


Gucci is a lifestyle. Gucci is a love. Gucci is everything to me (and no that is not being dramatic).

Florence is home to ancient wonders, impeccable food, fashion and Museo Gucci. On January 9, 2018 Gucci released a new exhibit titled “Gucci Garden” filled with an exclusive collection and curated pieces intended to honor and bring attention to the relationship between the House of Gucci and Florence. So of course I had to go.

While walking through a piazza, myself and seven roommates stopped as we spotted an eye-shaped LED light glowing blue on the side of the building screaming, “you have arrived at Gucci: The Coolest Place Ever”. Entering the museum was an experience in itself. Each employee was dressed in Gucci slides, black wide-pant slacks and a custom calf length jacket. I will not lie, this made me question whether or not I should quit college and apply for a job here.

Each floor is filled with curated pieces from the early days of Gucci to recent collections created by Michele himself.



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With the help of an artistic director, Michele created murals special to each floor of the exhibit. The first floor included a wall of Gucci themed graffiti similar to that of his previous collections while the second and third floor took on a more whimsical and garden-esque murals. The one below was my favorite.


The art did not stop there. Each staircase was filled with quotes from well known collections, pieces and inspiration for the brand that is often portrayed in street style. This was one of my favorite details as it added a surprise aspect that anyone would find entertaining as well as a nod to Michele’s influence.

All in all, this has been one of my favorite things in Florence yet. Its a mix of pop culture, fashion and history all in one place that feels like a constant moving piece of art. I HIGHLY recommend anyone in Florence go.

I even saw Massimo Bottura waiting for Gucci Osteria de Massimo Bottura to open! He smiled at me!

To sum up Museo Gucci: basically this was the coolest experience ever and I want to go back.

love, PT

Live From: Florence (Finally)

Ciao! I am writing to you from my new room in a new apartment in a new city with my window open listening to the quiet bustle outside. It is my European dream.

The first two days have been filled with exploring, eating and more exploring. I am absolutely in love with my neighborhood, San Niccoló. San Niccoló is filled with local restaurants and bars and a view of Piazzale Michelangelo. My roommates and I are on the hunt for a neighborhood joint so please leave recommendations! Our apartment is next door to San Niccoló 39 and the view from my bedroom window is their courtyard all lit up for dinner service. It is beautiful.

Really, everything in Florence is beautiful (just ask the four people I facetimed in front of the Duomo).



While I was saying goodbye to my parents in the Toronto airport, I was worried I had made the wrong decision to move abroad, however in these first two days here I am 100% confident that Florence will prove to be more exiting and adventurous than I ever could have imagined.

love, PT





Hi! Welcome to Payton, Pasta and Her Passport, I’m Payton!

This January I am moving to Florence for six months. I cannot express how nervous I am as I have never been out of the country (by myself no less) for longer than one week. Though I am nervous, I have never been more excited to try new things and experience everything Florence and Europe have to offer.

While in Florence, I will use this space to share my adventures, lessons learned and experiences regarding everything from myself, food, travels and friends. Italy is one of the most beautiful and culture-rich countries in the world and I can’t wait to call it my new home.

love, PT