I came to Milan thinking that a six week summer program would be perfect for me because I would still get to experience living abroad, but would not be gone for too long. I was wrong. Six weeks was not nearly enough. Dare I say my time here has been perfect? To top it all off, Milan was the live Snapchat story, and my video submission was accepted! I guess I can die now seeing as one of my biggest life goals has been realized.
I can honestly say I’ve carpe diem-ed the heck out of my time here, and IES has undoubtedly facilitated this. With the program, I’ve traveled to places, gone to restaurants, and participated in events I would have never known about. We also had the privilege of seeing the ballet ‘Excelsior’ at the world famous Teatro alla Scala with IES. La Scala is an opera house that was constructed to replace the Teatro Regio Ducale after it burned to the ground in 1776. The evening was absolutely wonderful- the theater is ornate and luxurious and the orchestra is every bit as captivating as the flawless dancers.
Even though I’ve already done an unbelievable amount of things in Milan, there are still so many places and things I want to see and do. So I’ve made a “Last-Few-Days-in-Milan Bucket List” to try to my remaining time wisely. First on the list: I’m going to shop. The funds are low but I will persevere! Italy hosts region-wide sales every summer and winter, and the Lombardia region sale began July 4th will last through September 1st. It would be just plain senseless for me not to participate! I knew nothing of the sale until recently, though I’ve definitely already begun to stimulate the Italian economy. During the first week of the sale, I noticed that every store displayed an indication of an extravagant price reduction- even luxury brands like Gucci and Prada! Confused yet obviously intrigued, I asked the kind-looking older gentleman next to me what the sale was for. I genuinely expected him to reply that it was for the 4th of July. Yes, a huge tribute to American Independence Day. In Italy. Not my brightest moment. To my surprise, he didn’t understand me in the slightest. So I repeated my question in my most polished Italian. He still didn’t understand. Is my Italian really that bad? I got an A on my oral exam! The little confidence I had going into the one-sided conversation was shattered. I turned to walk away when another man, presumably his friend, yelled to me that they were Algerian. Though this made me feel a bit better, my previously wavering confidence is still struggling to make a comeback.
I also want to take time to be a tourist. General first responses to this statement are probably- “You are a tourist! You’re not a local! You haven’t even been in Italy for two months!” And yeah, you’re right. But it’s still fun to say I’m going to spend the week ‘being a tourist in my own city,’ because Milan really has really come to feel like home. Though I’ve done a lot of touristy things here, in my few remaining days I want to see everything there is to see in this city up close. From the Sforza Castle to the Basilica di Sant'Ambrogio, I want to learn more about the history of the city I’ve come to love. I’m bringing out the selfie stick! No shame.
Last, I definitely want to return to the Expo Milano 2015. I know I’ve already dedicated an entire post to this event, but I don't think my description even half did it justice. The Expo is an absolutely remarkable production- I would guess that it would take a full week for someone to see the event in its entirety. Thus I’d like to return and appreciate what I didn’t see last time. Why not? After 7:30 pm, admission is only 5€. Even I can afford that- though the only thin feature I can currently boast is my wallet.
Milan- in a few days we’ll say “see you later,” because I surely I can’t handle goodbye. Dobbiamo cogliere l’attimo!
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<p>I'm Madison Qualy- a swimmer at the University of Miami. Saint Louis bred me; Miami deals with me. I am a junior, double majoring in Ecosystem Science and Policy and Marine Affairs, and minoring in Spanish. I hope to attend law school and practice environmental law. I love sports, animals, and wine. Follow all the tomfoolery I get into in Milan via my posts!</p>