The first two days in Milan were wonderful. The streets are beautiful, the people are friendly, and the food is amazing. After landing, checking into our hotel was super easy and the workers are extremely helpful despite the language barrier. After checking in, we had a three-course group lunch that somehow managed to exceed already high expectations. We then exchanged currency and had some spare time to enjoy the city. Later in the evening I went to dinner with a few of the group members and we experienced our first, of what I hope to be many, Italian pizzas. They were great! And that marked the end of our first day here in Milan.
The second day was just as good as the first. We began with breakfast in the hotel which consisted of some very delicious hazelnut croissants, and then headed off to a crash course in Italian. I am still very, very shaky when speaking even the simplest Italian, but I now know a few words. Then we split for lunch and met back up to take a walking tour of the city. The tour was great, we got to see most of the cultural and historic locations within a mile and a half of our hotel. We got to see a modern center for business; some winding, narrow, cobblestone, medieval streets; some more traditional buildings such as churches and theaters; some monumental statues including those of Leonardo Da’Vinci and Napoleon; several high end fashion stores such as Gucci, Prada, Louis Vuitton, and more; and finally we saw one of the largest cathedrals in the world: the Duomo. It was a very enjoyable walking tour, and of course I ended it at a nice restaurant with a plate of carbonara. After dinner, we walked back to the hotel, stopping for gelato on the way. Overall, It was an excellent experience, and I learned a lot about the culture and history of both Italy and Milan. I can only hope that the coming days will be just as fruitful and exciting as today was!