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The Tourist & The Local

Meredith Wadsworth
February 15, 2015
Me in monte napoleone

Happy belated Valentine's Day! I hope you all had a wonderful valentine's day with someone(s) special. If not, I hope you spent it curled up in a warm little ball, binge watching that special show and YOLO food that satisfies you just right. Me? I spent my day touring the city of Torino with two awesome guys from my abroad program. No, its not what you think, and we didn't do anything even related to Valentines day. We at least joked about buying roses, and that was plenty enough for me. 

As I write this post, I am on the train back to Milan. Only an hour to an hour and 45-minute ride (depending on how much a 10 euro price difference matters to you), it is definitely a worthwhile trip. I had read an article beforehand that described the lesser known town as one of Italy's most underrated attractions, and after a mere 36 hours of touring around on foot, I'd have to agree. I've been to Rome and Florence, and I'm a veteran of Venice by now. But in each of those cities, I experienced a wordly traveler's worst nightmare-- I felt, and probably looked, like a tourist; but not in Torino. In Torino, the city is walkable and navigable enough to not get lost on your walk to the city center. It has historic buildings and museums, like the national cinema museum, Egypt museum, and automotive museum, that attract even the locals. It has well-known chain stores intermixed with boutique shops and those hole-in-the-wall gem restaurants (in our case, creperies... NOM). To be more concise, the city is truly Italian, and that seems to be a rare treasure in a country where tourism is a central industry. If you have even a day and 24 euro to spare, I would highly recommend putting this city on your agenda-- and then add stopping at Bicyclette creperie right after it.

Speaking of being a tourist, I finally got the Milan tourist in me out if my system last weekend when my mom and sister paid a visit. Naturally, I didn't want my first impression on the fashionable city that would be my new home to be that of a naive tourist, so I spent much of my first weeks blending in: exploring the streets of Milan on foot, metro and bus, going to aperitivo, grocery shopping, and stearing clear of the attractions that scream "foreigners welcome." But when my family came to town and only had a few days to pack everything in, I (willingly) gave in to the tour of the Duomo, the Costello, the visit to Da Vinci's Last Supper (which you need a reservation for... haa I love that pun), and the tasty dinner atop La Rinescente department store. I'm glad I to have the cultural experiences under my belt. As interesting as it can be to discover a new place through it's historical sights, I much prefer to get my experiences from those who live and breath the culture here and now. Plus, it feels much more natural to say that I am returning to home sweet home Milano if I've actually been mistaken for Milanese by other tourists. At least I look like I'm doing something right.

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Meredith Wadsworth

<p>My name is Meredith, and I am a 3rd year Media Studies major from UVA. I love bananas, yoga, and traveling the world. I am also a fashion blogger and pursuing a career in fashion, so I hope to record how my experiences in Milan, one of the fashion capitals of the world, shapes my future!&nbsp;</p>

Destination:
Term:
2015 Spring
Home University:
University of Virginia
Major:
Communications
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