For the past month, I have lived in Torino, Italy. I am just starting to reflect on all of the opportunities and adventures I have gone on (please pinch me)! Due to the central location of Torino in relation to the rest of Europe, it is very easy to travel to many different places. My second weekend in Italy, I traveled two hours west by bus to explore the city of Milano. I left at the crack of dawn and arrived in the city center by 8:30. Due to arriving so early, not many people were in the city center. The dynamic of the city center was completely different.
For breakfast, we found a gluten free bakery and ate chocolate muffins with espresso. We started by exploring the more touristy part of Milan and walked along the super expensive shops. I barely pretended I could afford the items in the windows! That afternoon, I met up with one of my grandma’s friends cousins who lives in Milan. She showed me how to get off the beaten path of tourists. She also showed me a church that was decorated in human bones from floor to ceiling! Apparently these bones where from people who had lepersy and died hundreds of years ago. The designer/builders took the different types of bones and organized them in different patterns on the walls. I’m not going to lie, it was very odd but super cool.
That night for dinner time we decided to walk around until we stumbled upon a good restaurant. Oddly enough, we ended up finding an ‘underground’ restaurant (there was not even a sign!). Unfortunately, reservations were required and it was well out of my price range- I also did not have a fur coat to fit in with the dress code. So we ended up following one of the rivers. As the day turned into night, the dynamic along the river walk completely changed. After sunset, the river streets were bouncing with nightlife. We decided on a gin bar that served exceptional food. I had slow cooked pork with creamed carrots and a perfectly crafted gin drink with pomegranate juice, lemon, and a hint of bergamot.
The next day, we went to the Duomo church and toured the inside. Once I entered the church, it made me feel so tiny! Unfortunately, it was too foggy to go to the top and see Milan from the top of the Duomo but I hope to go back on a clear day!
That afternoon, I met up with my grandma’s friend’s cousin again and met her daughter and American friends who are from Michigan but living and working in Milan. They showed me the more industrial part of the city that had skyscrapers and the expo centers used for Fashion Week.
Going to an Italian city like Milan has made me appreciate the city I live in. Torino is so different, including the food and architecture. I had no idea until living in Italy the recent unification of the country! It is so odd to me that even the language I am learning wasn’t widely used until after world war two (previously people spoke in their own ‘dialect’ that are just now considered different languages) .
This past month has been a dream come true. It’s crazy how much you learn about yourself being the odd one out. I’d love to hear about any of your adventures.