“Vedi Napoli e poi muori”

I’ve lived in Napoli since January 2018. I’ve tried to explore as much of the city as possible, but I think you could live a lifetime here and never see it all. You can read my love letter here.

It goes without saying that the food is unreal. There’s a list of favoured places here. I’ve put on a few pounds since I moved here, any regrets? Nope.

The quote is “See Naples and die” so I’ve compiled a few places that I love.



It is essential that you view Napoli from a good vantage point. Here are a few good places.

  • Certosa di San Martino: 6
  • Castel Sant Elmo: 5
  • Scale del Petraio: Free
  • Parco Floridiana: Free
  • Parco Virgiliano: Free
  • Capodimonte: Free
  • Lungomare


Churches & Resting Places

The Duomo – A must see. Try to go during a service, but respect the silence. You can’t walk around the outside of the Duomo, you can only see the facade. Visit the crypt under the altar. 

Gesu Nuovo – Don’t judge a book by its cover. A behemoth of a church, brutal from the outside, opulent as anything on the inside. 

Santa Chiara – Modern church built within the ruins of an ancient church. Beautiful cloisters with original Majolica tiles and access to the remains of a Roman Bath.  

Sansevero Capella – The most incredible sculptures you’ll ever see. Book tickets in advance to beat the queues. 

Cimitero delle Fontanelle – Bones. Piles upon piles of bones. Read the history before visiting. 

San Gaudioso Catacombs – You must do the guided tour, the story of the preparation of the bodies is pretty intense. 



Plebiscito – a beautiful, expansive Piazza, the church in the centre of the curved columns is stunning.

San Domenico Maggiore and Piazetta Nilo – where the students hang out. Lots of bars and places to sit and take a pause.

Piazza Bellini – another favourite with students.



Porta Nolana Market – vibrant food market!

Pignasecca Market – fruit, fish, clothes… it’s full of hustle and bustle. 


Instagram Spots

Doll Hospital 

Santi Marcellino e Festo 

Palazzo della Borsa 

Palazzo dello Spagnuolo 

Metro stations!


Museums and Buildings

MANN – Archeological Museum, lots to see. 

Madre – Modern Art Museum, can easily be seen in around 1.5 hours, but worth a trip. 

San Carlo – If you can’t see a show here, make sure you do one of the guided tours. It’s the oldest theatre in the world.

Palazzo Reale – The staircase in the Royal Palace is incredible, as is the private theatre. 

Castel del’Ovo – The ‘Egg Castle’ in the sea is a beautiful 


Napoli Tips

  • Scooters – Don’t jump out of the way of scooters. They’ll go around you. 
  • Crossing the road – You must be brave and simply walk out on the road, otherwise you’ll be standing there forever. 
  • Metro – It’s useful for long distances, but it’s often quicker to walk. 
  • Coffee – At the bar is cheaper than at the table. Amaro = no sugar. The cup will be v hot. 
  • Taxis – They are incredibly expensive. Always check the price against the chart on the back of the Driver’s chair. 
  • Language – A little ‘grazie’, ‘buongiorno’ and ‘buonasera’ will get you a long way. Neapolitans are incredibly friendly and fiercely proud of their culture. 

Questions and Expectations

“Ooh Paris, is he going to propose??”. A question asked by a woman, around the same age as me, who I’d met a mere half hour previously. I’d been with my boyfriend for four years and I hadn’t really thought about marriage and kids. Yes, it’s something I wanted, but I was a couple of years into my career and only mid-20s.

This was just the start of seven years of questions. It’s intensified somewhat the past year or two. I attribute this to moving abroad together, and because my sister (younger) had a baby last year.

“Now it’s your turn…”

“When are you going to get married?”

“Karen’s made you an Auntie…”

“Have you spoken about it?”

“Give your wee Nephew a cousin…”

Just a few things I’ve heard. Then there are the unspoken prompts. The look of pity, confusion, when you tell say that you’re not married, but you’ve been with your partner for ten years. It’s painful and leaves me in an unfavourable mood.

The pressure of pregnancy is real. Magazines, served ads, questions from friends, relatives, and strangers… It’s without malice but leaves a sour taste. Getting pregnant isn’t an easy thing. It’s not something we’ve tried personally but from knowledge from friends and friends of friends, it’s not a certainty.

Every proposal that’s come round has been a celebratory moment, but I’d be lying if I said that there haven’t been waves of deep pain, jealousy, and frustration. This invariably leads to me giving my Boyfriend the cold shoulder, without him knowing why. We’ve spoken about it and he is of the opinion that we’ve missed our moment and he finds the process very old-fashioned.

As a woman with feminist values, I should take the bull by the horns and do it myself. As someone with anxiety, poor self-esteem and a deep need for external approval, this is something I just can’t bring myself to do.

Then I think… Is this something that I want, or is it something that I think I want because it’s expected?

Do questions make me feel awful? Yes.

Are we happy? Yes.

If anyone reads this and empathises, please know that you’re not alone.

If anyone reads this and ever asks questions like those above… Stop and think before you ask because you never really know what people are going through, or how it will make the individual feel.




Look at Lucca

Lucca was an unexpected gem on our trip to Italy. A walled city in Tuscany, a short train journey from Pisa and Florence, full of charm and history. We jumped on two wheels (sans motor) and started exploring.

Our first stop was for a Marmalade Cornetto and Macchiato on the corner of the Piazza Napoleone en route to pick up some lunch supplies. I bumbled through ordering focaccia before a cycle around the 4.2km city walls. Cycling within the walls is a bit tricky due to pedestrians, Vespas and small dogs, so watch out!

Lucca isn’t very big, it’s a chilled out city with peaceful piazzas and shaded alleyways. We cycled around the walls for around 2 hours, before despatching our bikes and making our way to our hotel. We didn’t stay within the walls, a short ten-minute walk in a stunning small hotel, complete with grand bed, balcony and ornate cornicing.

We ventured back into the city walls where we enjoyed Aperitivo in the Piazza dell’Antiteatro, before having dinner at the Local Food Market in a beautiful courtyard. The food was spectacular, local cheeses and honey, pasta, followed by perfect pannacotta.

The next day we climbed the Torre Guinigi to take in the beautiful red roofs and Tuscan hills in the distance.

We were there for only one night and two days, and I’m looking forward to returning at some point in the future.





Intriguing Iceland

Iceland is one of the most spectacular places I’ve ever visited. The air envelops you with a calming embrace, meanwhile, the scenery induces oohs and ahhs. It’s been over six years since I set foot on the island that caused travel chaos around the world, and I’ve not been able to shake it from my mind since.

Over two trips, I’ve spent a total of eight days visiting, I’ve only seen the South West pocket of the country. However, I’ve waxed lyrical about its beauty and encouraged many friends to visit.

So. What makes Iceland so special? It’s otherworldly. An isolated place, with incredible history, culture and open people. The moon-like, Volcanic terrain and unpredictable geysers stop you in your tracks, visually. The epic landscape has featured in Game of Thrones, and thus increased the country’s popularity amongst tourists.

If you have a limited time, I’d recommend hiring a car. We took the Golden Circle tour with Reykjavik Excursions and while it was really interesting (the tour guide gave us a brief history of Iceland), the freedom to move about more and travel further afield would have been good. Gulfoss, the Geysir field, and the stunning Pingvellir Lake were included in the round trip. We visited the Blue Lagoon (obvs) and it was a relaxing experience if a little pricey. There are many alternatives – less touristy hot springs you can visit – the Blue Lagoon gets a lot of flak, but I liked it.

My friend is a whale fanatic, so we donned full body cozy overalls and ventured out on a whale watching excursion. The whales weren’t playing ball and we only saw them briefly, but it was a pretty special experience. If you’d like to see Reykjavik from the sea, experience some of the coast and drink the best hot chocolate, book yourself on. It’s around 3 hours and it’s a thoroughly enjoyable experience.

Post whale watching, we had lunch in the harbour. I had fish soup and it was a euphoric experience. Hofnin is a smart restaurant overlooking the small boat harbour, quaintly decorated, serving traditional and fusion dishes. The fish soup was a rich, glossy, brown broth with tender langoustines and shavings of fennel. The bread… Crispy sourdough with smoked salt butter. Six years on and I can still taste the first spoonful.

When we returned a couple of years later, I was saddened to see that the restaurant wasn’t open for lunch, so I ventured round the corner to the Sægreifinn round the corner where I ate another delicious, if less refined, bowl of fish soup. Low and behold, when I left, Hofnin was opening up. That was the day of two lunches and I don’t regret a single moment of it. 

Other things of note in Reykjavik… The church, Hallgrimskirkja is quite imposing on the outside, but warm on the inside. Take a trip up the tower to see a spectacular view of the city. The Opera house (Harpa) is amazing for a wander, even round the atrium.

Top Tips

  • Download the ‘Appy Hour’ app, it shows which bars are hosting happy hour and at what time.
  • You can only buy alcohol (stronger than 2% ABV) from the Government run alcohol store Vinbudin.
  • The Blue Lagoon is near the airport, so tie in a trip when you’re arriving or departing.
  • Bonus supermarkets are cheaper than 7/11 stores.



It’s not how good you are, it’s how good you want to be.

IMG_6710.jpgIn my personal life, 2019 is the year of getting sh*t done. I’ve signed up for my second half marathon, getting my backside into gear (and trying to shift the pizza weight). I’m going to tend to my much-neglected blog, learn how to use a D-SLR properly, actually use the big ol’ box of craft supplies I schlepped over from the UK, and finally, read all of the books I’ve had lying next to my bed for months.

When I was back in the office after Christmas, I had a look through the agency library for some inspiration. I read a lot of blog posts and industry news sites, but I’m pretty poor at reading industry books. I flicked through Paul Arden’s ‘It’s not how good you are, it’s how good you want to be.’ and decided it was a good place to start. I devoured it in one evening. I’ve subsequently gone back to pages to remind myself of the guru-like advice printed on them. Here are some of my favourite parts with my own spin on the advice.

1. Begin thinking and behaving like a winner. It’s easy as a Scot (or British person) to be apologetic about success. Not a culture to generally ‘big ourselves up’ we often shrug off compliments. However, businesses need winners to succeed. I’ve been guilty of thinking about low-level achievement in the past, rather than reaching for the big guns.

2. Do not seek praise. Seek criticism. A contrast to the last point, but as an industry, we generally don’t like being told what’s wrong. Some of the best people in the industry have come from the ranks of the toughest people. In the past, I’ve been guilty of seeking praise versus criticism. However, in my teaching role, we are given constructive criticism and I believe this has improved my skills immensely.

3. Don’t be afraid of silly ideas. Silly ideas provide the perfect antidote to the seriousness of the industry. They can sometimes provide the best solution to the brief too. #Fanny

4. Get out of advertising (adaptable for other industries). Sort of linked to the last point, talk to people not in the industry (you work in) about a brief or project you’re working on for external perspective. Read a book, listen to a podcast or watch a series that’s popular amongst your target audience.

5. Rough layouts. We’re obsessed with the finished product. Something polished and perfect. However, if it’s finished, you can’t provide any input. I’ve taken this advice and applied it to docs, placing what I want to say on each page then go back and polish. The amount of time I’ve spent stuck on one page, rather than focusing on the flow of a presentation, is ridiculous.

So, why is this helpful to 2019 being the year of getting sh*t done, I hear you ask?

  1. No longer worrying about status, concerned that I can’t do it. I can do it. I’m talented, I have experience, energy, and I’m a nice person.
  2. With everything I do in 2019, I’ll be asking for constructive criticism. Both in my personal and professional life.
  3. We’ve all had silly ideas that we’ve shrugged off in the past. Well, no more! Silly ideas will be shared, and we’ll see if there’s scope to turn them into success.
  4. This goes for any industry, not just advertising. I’m applying to both teaching and brand development.
  5. I’ve already vastly cut down the time I spend building presentations (or fretting over projects). The quality hasn’t reduced, only the time spent.

Paul Arden’s book is not new. It was first published over 15 years ago. The man knew what he was talking about and it remains just as relevant now. I encourage you to buy (other good bookshops are available) or borrow a copy and read it.



Leave the woman alone!

First of all, Holly Willoughby was deemed to be ‘abandoning’ her children by going to Oz to co-host ‘I’m a Celeb’. Now there’s outcry as she’s informed the press that she’s taking her children out of school for the duration, so they can live with her in the land Down Under. The woman can’t win! I believe the kids will, though, and here’s why…


For around 10 weeks every Autumn my Dad worked as a Sheep-Shearer in Norway. From the ages of 0 – 10, we went with him. Mum home-schooled us and when we returned to school in November we were always ahead of our classmates.


Mum made sure we had a mixed curriculum. We’d cycle into the local town, a 5-mile round trip, every day. We weren’t short of arts and crafts materials and Mum taught us how to cook and bake. We’d go out for walks in the evenings and weekends and Dad would tell us about different types of trees and we’d collect Blueberries amongst other things as we went.


At no point did I ever feel like I was missing out. Quite the opposite. I believe our time in Norway and what could be considered an ‘unconventional’ childhood/approach, has helped shape who I am today. From a young age, I communicated with peers without a shared language. I was surrounded by a different culture. Encouraged to try new foods.


I loved it.



When I moved to Napoli I had a range of things I was pretty set on. That’s part of the reason I started the blog, to share my experiences and use it as a little online diary for myself and to share tips for places I’ve been to.

I wanted to throw myself into learning Italian. Run or exercise every day. Be a more conscious eater. Drink less. Cook more and use my phone less.

My Italian comprehension isn’t too bad, I can stumble along through ordering, answering questions, but I really haven’t put the effort in. I guess starting two new jobs and adapting to life in Italy has taken up a fair bit of time.

I’ve definitely increased my alcohol consumption and the food has been too good not to indulge and enjoy. I have cooked more and following my holiday in August, I am now ready to wipe the slate clean and exercise more.

I was without a phone for around three weeks (it was stolen) and it was astonishing how much free time I had on my hands. Now, I obviously had that free time before I was phoneless, I just chose to scroll mindlessly through ‘content’, skim reading articles and watching countless videos of cakes being iced.

I’ve neglected myself, my learning and my writing. I’ve always been pretty terrible at keeping New Year resolutions, so instead of the Gregorian calendar, I’m going for the academic year approach… wish me luck!