A great part of the study abroad experience is that once you get to your new city, nothing is stopping you from exploring the rest of your new country. What I’ve learned is that Italy has a fairly efficient train system, and its not that expensive either! One Saturday, a group of us took a train to the Fashion Capital of the World: Milan.
Milan is an interesting city, starting with that it has so much old mixed with the new. Unlike Verona and Venice-cities that go to lengths to preserve every ounce of history they can-Milan proudly shows off the blending of old architecture and the new buildings. Take the Duomo di Milano for example: here is this ancient church that has withstood the test of time, and right across the street is a strip of high-end stores.
We didn’t go into the Duomo that day, since some of our group didn’t have anything to cover their shoulders, but we did manage to get tickets to their museum. Inside, they had a scaled replica of the Duomo, as well as the history and artifacts it used to house. Since its under renovation and maintenance. Since its under renovation and maintenance, some of the statues that used to sit around the top of it are now displayed in parts of the museum.
While in Milan, leave it to the group of college students to find one of the only Starbucks in Italy. The building the Starbucks was built into is another example of Milan saying, “Yes, we can embrace the new without forgetting the old, thank you very much”. The Starbucks Roastery Reserve was built inside the historic Poste building in Piazza Cordusio, and everywhere you turn, they are paying homage to the Italian artisans and Milan’s history. After living on Italian coffee for two weeks at this point, it definitely wasn’t a let-down to have something that tasted like home (even though my drink was hands down better than when I get it in the States).
After our coffee break, we walked back toward the Duomo and checked out the mall close by. Most of them we only walked by the window. It was one of those experiences where you see the store front, look inside the window for a few minutes, and keep walking since there aren’t any prices posted.
Overall, Milan is another beautiful city you should try to see if you can. It’s one of those cities you can tour on your own at your own pace and still make it out just fine.
Until next post, arrivederci!