As I start to near the end of my abroad experience in Milano, I wanted to share all the things I will miss about being here.
- Espresso/Italian Coffee Culture
Okay so I am a bigggg coffee girl back in the states. I love my morning coffee and have been drinking coffee since I was way too young. I loveeeee Italian coffee. If you only drink Iced Coffee or super sweet coffee, I am afraid you probably will not feel the same about Italian coffee as I do. But anyways, Italians have a strong coffee culture. You will see bars where you can go grab an espresso on practically every street. They are also picky about their coffee (look into the entry of Starbucks into the Italian market). Anyways I am definitely going to miss Italian style coffee and waking up to the nice traditional Italian coffee my host family brews in their Moka. I will definitely be getting a big iced Dunkin' coffee when I get home because I am an East Coast girl at heart but will be missing Italian coffee for sure.
- The Food
Okkk if you don’t agree with me on this one idk what to tell you. The food in Italy is just amazing. I love Italian food so that has been great but I have also been pleasantly surprised, but that there are other cuisines offered in Milan. I am definitely going to miss all the amazing pizzas, pasta, Milanese risotto, and gelato. I also just have found the quality of food to be so much better here and it is so much easier to avoid snacking or buying a ton of junk food at the supermarket. I am also very much going to miss the frizzante water. Although, it is really annoying you have to pay for water here, the frizzante water is just so good and I swear fizzy water in the U.S. is way more carbonated.
- The Lifestyle
I am going to miss the way of life and just what my lifestyle has been like here. This was my first time living in a city and I absolutely loved it. Milan is such a nice city to live in because it feels clean and pretty safe. It also is not too big, has great public transportation, and a lot to do (all the tourists will tell you otherwise but I am telling you as a place to live there are lots of museums, shopping areas, thrifting, nightlife, and good food). In some ways I feel as though my experience abroad has given me a taste of what life could be like post grad because I have had to be so independent here and am not around my friends 24/7 like I am in university. I am going to miss being able to just walk around the city and explore. I am going to miss aperitivo, eating dinner late at night (which I guess I could implement into my life back at home), and the nightlife (I mean really in the U.S. I am in bed by 2am when here it is at least 4am).
- Ease of Travel
Traveling around Europe is so inexpensive compared to the U.S. and so easy to do. I am going to miss traveling and being so close to so many cool places I want to visit. The train system in Europe and public transportation in major cities just isn’t the same as the U.S. Also, hostels are way more common and they can actually be nice which allow for really cheap traveling experiences. I have had such an amazing experience traveling around Italy and Europe and will definitely come back in the future.
- My Host Family
Doing a homestay has been one of my favorite parts of my experience. I am going to miss my host family and having dinners with them.
- Endless opportunities to practice my Italian
Practicing my Italian is definitely something that sometimes stresses me out and makes me nervous but I think I am going to realize how much I took for granted the ability to practice my Italian here. I have really been trying to learn and it is nice being able to go into any store or restaurant and getting some real life practice with the language. Also, because I live with a host family I get to practice with them. The thought of going home and not being able to say “ciao” and “grazie” to everyone makes me sad haha. I also am going to miss my Italian class here. It has been my most challenging course here by far but my professor is so fun.
I am going to miss being in one of the fashion capitals of the world. People here seem to have a greater appreciation for fashion and Made in Italy brands which I think is cool.
Side note here are the random things I am excited for in the U.S.:
- Chick-fil-a, Cava, Chipotle, Sweetgreen, and Shake Shack
- Seeing my friends and family
- My gym at home
- California beaches :)
- Driving my car
- Getting back into a routine
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Hi! I'm Paige Giordano. I am a junior marketing major at Santa Clara University. I am originally from the Boston area. I am studying abroad in Milan, Italy fall semester of 2023. In my free time, I enjoy working out, reading, cooking, and fashion.