Milan is a simply incredible city. For Americans it’s fairly unknown, taking the backseat to the Amalfi coast and Florence in terms of Italian vacation destinations. But after a semester in Milan, I want to shout Milan’s wonders from the top of the Duomo. I walked around the city with my mouth open at its beauty for four months straight and I know that it will always hold a very special place in my heart. In no particular order, I thought I’d share with you my list of all of the things that I will miss about Milan—from the mundane to the extravagant:
- The coffee: Coffee in Milan (and Italy, for that matter) is an art form that is not to be missed. I will miss my local bartender and the foamy cappuccino that I drank every morning for only 1.30 euro. Coffee in Milan is ubiquitous, delicious, and affordable and in some ways the basis of Italian social traditions.
- The trams: Oh, the trams in Milan—they can either be your best friend or your worst enemy. They clack along the tracks at a steady pace but can get stuck behind traffic or run into delays. Once you’re on them though, sitting on the shiny wooden seats and enjoying the people watching, you realize what a nice break it is to take a quick ride on the tram.
- The architecture: From the Duomo to the Castello to the winding staircase of the Museo del Novecento, Milan is full of beautiful buildings. Unlike most cities in Italy that have architecture from one discrete period in history, Milan is full of buildings from the old (the Duomo) to the new (Bosco Verticale). The design in this city never fails to blow my mind and it makes even a quick walk around the neighborhood an adventure.
- The food: Oh Italian food I don’t think I can give you up just yet! Milan is full of pizza, pasta, gelato, panettone, focaccia, and pastries that just thinking about make me drool. I ate better in Italy in this last semester than I ever have, and I will miss being near so much good food in Milan.
- The hand gestures: Italians are known for their hand gestures, and Milan is no exception. Just walking from my homestay to the IES Abroad Center I would see a litany of gestures, some exchanged with friends having coffee, others while commuters chatted on the phone, and some given with one free hand while the other juggled a dog leash and a chic bag. I love how expressive Italian speakers are because it makes you realize the subtleties in words and gestures that make the Italian language so passionate and nuanced.
Milan, I will miss you—thank you for a wonderful four months and I know that I will be back to visit!
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<p>Kinsey is a Biochemistry major and Italian minor from Tufts University near Boston, MA studying in Milan for Fall 2016. Everything she does is to learn more about food; catch her studying cheese microbes by day and reading cookbooks by night. She caught the travel bug the minute she tasted her first crepe in Paris way back in 2006, and hasn't looked back since.</p>