The day is finally here! After months of waiting and multiple days of travel, we finally arrived in Milan, exhausted from the trip yet excited for the adventure to come. Immediately on the bus ride from the airport into the city, I noticed how architectural design is far more artistic and expressive than In the US. We drove past numerous buildings of eye-catching shapes and sizes that ranged from car dealerships to shipping companies. As we entered the city, the culture shock set in as we observed the differences between Milan and cities in America. The first thing I recognized was how green Milan is, even for a large Metropolitan center. Sprawled throughout the entire city are areas filled with trees and other plants. Even the buildings echoed this trend, as many of them were brimming with plants out of every window, giving the city a healthy, green look that Pittsburgh certainly lacks.
Once we arrived at the hotel, we headed to an elegant welcome lunch, where we were served three courses of delicious Italian food. However, despite the amazing food, I couldn’t help but notice how the local patrons of the restaurant were eating. The leisurely pace, calm attitude, and focus on conversation that I observed all confirmed what I had been taught about Italians in the pre-departure meetings. These people emphasized the social aspects of eating a meal just as much as the physical eating and I watched closely, trying to pick up everything I could. After the delicious anti-pasta, lasagna (pictured), and sorbet, we returned to our hotel weary from the long trip, but already in awe of the cultural differences we noticed and excited to see more! Until tomorrow!!