A Weekend In Budapest VS A Weekend In Milan

Jiaqi Luo
October 8, 2015
Beautiful Budapest
Like Milan, Budapest has been reputed as a city of endless charm. During the summer, I randomly met an Hungarian girl called Gabriella in a museum workshop and we instantly became best friends. Now that she is back in Budapest, I decided to spend a weekend with her and take the chance to visit this long-dreamed-about city. After four days of devouring delicious homemade Hungarian food and marveling at the Central European architectural wonder, I did notice some differences between the Budapest-style weekend and the Milanese weekend. Here are some insights from me, a casual tourist who observes seriously. 1. Breakfast. Hungarian weekend breakfast is long, sumptuous, and conversation-friendly. The Milanese breakfast, instead, is …? Wait what? Does that even exist? It did baffle me many times that a country obsessive with food does not have an extensive breakfast menu. Breakfast in Milan and northern Italy usually consists of only a few biscuits and a cup of cappuccino. At the most, you add a brioche and some orange juice. The breakfast I had in Budapest, however, is probably the type of big meal you will eat at your grandma's country kitchen when you go back once a year. Local produced ham, hummus sauce, whole wheat bread, fresh butter, cheese platters, pastries, milk and coffee…etc. "A great weekend always starts with a satisfying long breakfast", said my Hungarian friend. 2. Cafe Culture. There is no need to re-emphasize how cafe functions as a semi-religious institution in Italy. Yes, there is a certain ritual and drinking pattern that you are forced to respect and follow. In Hungary, everything about coffee is much more casual. An even more casual and relaxing atmosphere dominates the cafes in Budapest. The former Jewish quarter, now turning into a hip ruined pub district, hides a collection of gem-like cafe bars. 3. People and Style. The Milanese fashion style is hard to miss even when you are visiting the city for just one day. Take a look of this street fashion blog to generate a sense of how Milanese dress themselves. "La bella figura" (a beautiful figure), said by Italians, defines their attitude toward everyday elegance. Fashionistas in Budapest, are relatively more reserved. It's hard to spot flashy color and revealing jewelry in the fanciest neighborhood of Budapest, while even the shop cashier in Milan wears a pair of Valentino-labeled shoes. In the subway, most people prefer to wear darker colors and their coats are more conservatively designed. For me, this is rather a choice of personality than a choice of taste. Hungarian people that I know, in general, think Italian tourists are talking too loud.

Jiaqi Luo

<p>Fluent in Mandarin Chinese, Cantonese, Spanish, English and currently perfecting her Italian, it&#39;s clear why Jiaqi chooses her next adventure in the dynamic capital of Milan! An art lover and a free spirit, Jiaqi is now majoring in Art History and Latin American Studies at the University of Richmond. During high school, a month of staying with a host family in Helsinki, Finland opened the doors to a world of exotic saunas, lake kayaking, and inspired her wanderlust. A self-proclaimed travel sensualist, her favorite way of seeing the world is experiencing the culture through its people: she&#39;s volunteered in rural Nepal, conducted Holocaust research in Poland, and has lived with seniors in Spain.</p>

2015 Fall
Home University:
University of Richmond
Art History
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