Travel Diaries: Milan
For those of you who may not know, I studied abroad in Ireland for the spring 2010 semester for five months. On New Years I boarded my flight and took off for the adventure of a lifetime.
But this post isn’t about Ireland or the 7+ hour flight or the goodbye to my parents. It’s a little continuation of my trip in Italy.
I had the entire month of April off for spring break (kind of like our winter break, but you have finals in May) so I booked myself some flights, made some plans, and prayed like I was a nun that my bank account and my life would survive.
This picks up after my trip to paradise in Cinque Terre with my sister. You can read about that here.
From Cinque Terre, Vernazza to be exact, we boarded a train and made our way to Milan.
The weather was on our side and it was the perfect time to leave Cinque Terre (if there ever could be a time to leave such a place) because the forecast was on the rainy side.
The train ride was uneventful, except for the interesting character my sister was fortunate enough to sit next to.
To each his or her own, right?
We were exhausted from all the hiking and walking we did in Cinque Terre so we were planning to lay low in Milan. It worked out that we would only spend one night there because my sister’s plane back to NY was leaving from the Milan Airport and I was headed on a train to France from the Milan Train Station. It coincided just fine and it gave us an opportunity to visit another city in Italy.
After a quick mix-up with our hotel and my sister and I thinking we were being swindled, we finally reached our hotel room safe and sound. We then set out to explore a bit and walk around before the rain hit, since ominous clouds followed us from Cinque Terre.
I have to admit that my opinion of Milan is that if you’ve been to NYC, you’ve been to Milan. At least in the district we were in we mostly just saw tons of outlets and shops and fashion boutiques. It was an interesting change from seeing hills of vineyards and ocean front cliffs, but we had fun just walking around and laying low.
Of course we had to go to Duomo di Milan or the Milan Cathedral.
That, my friends, was out of this world.
I couldn’t get over the architecture! It was beyond incredible. The details and the intricacy was unlike anything I had ever seen before. To think that mankind built it was shocking and left me awestruck.
What was even better was that my sister and I got to go Mass there! Even though we didn’t understand Italian, it was so breathtaking and beautiful inside. The Gothic design made us feel like we were in another century!
It was a bad idea, though, to go to Mass on an empty stomach. We assumed that Mass would be at most an hour, give or take, but then two hours passed and we both looked at each other, coming to the same conclusion at the same exact moment. We realized this wasn’t just any Catholic Mass. No. people were getting Baptized, Confirmed, and some were even receiving their First Holy Communion.
Now I’m all for celebrating the Sacraments, but I have to admit that my stomach was making it hard to concentrate. When the Mass ended, we all but ran back to our hotel and scouted out a place to eat.
The ironic part?
We went to an Italian restaurant owned and operated by a Chinese family.
Gluten, you say? What’s that? I convinced myself gluten didn’t exist in Italy.
I ordered a pizza with tuna and onions. I know, RIGHT? Tuna? On pizza? Who would have thought?
I have to tell you, anyone who likes tuna fish and pizza will LOVE this. I couldn’t get enough of it. It was one of the best things I had ever tasted in my life, I promise.
I devoured the entire thing. No joke. And good thing, too, because the next day all chaos would ensue and little did I know how much strength I would need.
To be continued…