The last couple of days were wonderful and HOT and complete with yummy food! We arrived safely in Milano yesterday morning and have spent the last two days visiting this lovely city with our lovely Rubens! I’m not sure I could have done Milano without Rubens. He has been a great tour guide and has helped us with being able to get information quickly, which is important when you have 2 days in a place like this with so much to do and so little time!
Yesterday, we got into our apartment and were pleasantly surprised by the large 2 bedroom + loft space we had! You see, I had ordered a 1 bedroom with a pull out sofa. We got all unpacked and I showered and got ready to go meet our new Italian partner when there was a knock on the door. The manager had come back to inform us that she had given us the wrong room, made us pack up our stuff and move across the hall. This was a huge disaster. All of the sudden we found ourselves in a much smaller, 1 bedroom apartment . . . you know, the one I had ordered ;-). Oh well, we’ll make the best of it! Even though the AC doesn’t really work well and it’s a balmy 84 degrees in here at 2 AM.
Speaking of our new Italian partner, they seem really great. They are interested in sending students for short-term programs and our public school program in 2016! This is great news. Italian students are great and now we will be getting some. After our business was discussed, we sauntered over to a local café where we had iced coffee, both refreshing and jolting. Emily was awake NOW! She slept through part of the meeting, which is normal after the travel and not having any time to rest and trying to sleep on a plane, etc. Everyone understood.
Today we went back into the city for a day of fun, but not before we stopped at a “bar” to eat breakfast. I had a pistachio croissant and Emily had a cream one. Mine was better and I think she was disappointed in that. Sorry, Emily. Of course, we had coffee because when you are in Italy, you must drink cappuccino, iced coffee, expresso, or whatever other coffee thing they throw your way.
We visited Duomo, an absolutely stunning cathedral there. We couldn’t go in because Emily’s attire wasn’t appropriate. She had on shorts and a tank top. Apparently, this is not okay. Who knew Europe could be so prickly about appropriate dress? Based on some outfits I saw today, I’m assuming this is just in church buildings ;-).
After we visited the church, the castle and did a little window shopping, we had lunch and I got my first taste of what Rubens always referred to as “real pizza”. Rubens told us all Italians eat one whole pizza by themselves. Emily and I should have know that we weren’t Italian, but we were trying to live by the saying, “When in Rome . . .” We should have also known we were in Milan, not Rome. We know now to share our next real pizza, like any good American would.
This evening we spent having dinner and drinks with Chiara Liotta and her cousin, Sylvia. Chiara was an exchange student I worked with a few years ago. We went to a happy hour. At this happy hour, you pay $10 euros for a drink, but then you can eat all you want from the buffet. The food was fresh, tasty and changed constantly, except for the gigantic Nutella jar at the end of the bar, that stayed right there! It was a great area where there was a river / canal and tons of shops, restaurants and bars. The only negative was the large number of hungry mosquitos. They enjoyed nibbling on us as we made our way down the side of that canal.
Back to the apartment now and we will get up 4 hours from now and say ciao! ciao! to this beautiful city called Milano. I love all of the small balconies with the plants and flowers overflowing. I love hearing Italian everywhere I go and seeing the three kisses greeting. I love the ice cream, the real pizza, the Fanta Limon, the coffee / cappacino, etc! I love this great city and hope to come back again . . . in the autumn . . . when it’s cooler! 🙂
Pictures coming soon, I promise. Upload speed is SLOW here.
Ciao, until next time . . .

Rubens being . . . Rubens!

Shoes, made of CHOCOLATE!

The castle in Milan

Emily and I in front of the canal in Milan

Stunning Duomo Cathedral

Cool graffiti, it’s everywhere, but this made an ordinary garage door so much more fun!

Even the ice cream is beautiful!

Coffee anyone?

Our first REAL pizza!


My pistachio croissant for breakfast

Chiara and I by the canal in Milan after our “happy hour dinner”.

Rubens with Emily and I in front of the Duomo in Milan.

Rubens with Emily and I in front of the Duomo in Milan.

My new obsession . . . iced coffee!

Just a sample of the beautiful terraces in Milan

Beautiful bread baskets full of homemade yumminess.

Our newest partner in Italy. Enjoyed meeting with Giovanna and Laura!