Ciao from Milan!

Our first full day in Milan!

After a traditional Italian breakfast in our hotel, we started the day off with an Italian crash course where we learned how to use some simple phrases to help us navigate through Italy. We also learned some cultural differences between the United States and Italy. Some things that we were told would be different included differences in the menus between what Americans thought of as Italian food and what will actually be offered to us here. Before the course, the only word I knew was “ciao”. But now I can attempt to say things along the lines of “how are you” and “I am lost” which will probably be helpful in the next two weeks!

For lunch, a group of us ate at a local pizzeria down the street from our hotel; a picture of our meal is below. All the food was amazing! Everything we ate was fresh and homemade and absolutely delicious. I knew that food in Italy was good but today really proved that!

After lunch we embarked on a walking tour of Milan. Starting at our hotel, we traversed the city, passing gorgeous architecture and sceneries. One of my favorite sights was of an apartment building whose terraces were full of plants and trees that cascaded down the building. It was one of the most interesting buildings as have ever seen. And one fun fact about that building was that it was awarded the most beautiful building in the world in 2014. Another interesting difference between America and Italy is that we are very used to the buildings in cities bring skyscrapers built out of steel and glass; Italian cities have buildings that are made of concrete and brick and are not built very tall. Milan is very unique as one of the squares we passed through was the only place in all of Italy to contain a couple skyscrapers like the ones we are used to back home. This square was also very unique as most of the buildings (both apartment and commercial) and the art work surrounding the center of the plaza were built with a focus on sustainability, which is very important in this day in age. Continuing on our journey, we walked past many stores and restaurants, and ended at The Duomo. This church is absolutely breathtaking!! The architecture is so gorgeous it’s almost indescribable. I learned in our tour that The Duomo is the third largest church in Italy, which definitely explains its dominating presence over the square. We didn’t have time to enter the church, however, a few of us plan to go to a mass tomorrow so I will be able to have the full experience! To end the night, a group of us ate dinner at a rooftop restaurant overlooking the Duomo.

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