We landed in Milan at eight in the morning after a LONG day of traveling. The landing was the most turbulent I had ever experienced and made me feel nauseous for the first part of the morning. The day started looking up when we arrived in Milan, however, the weather must have followed us from Pittsburgh because it was chilly and drizzly! At the Hotel Sempione we met our tour guide Luca who will be with us for the entire two weeks.
Following arrival, was our welcome lunch at Delicatessen and we had our first taste of Italy. For the first course, the restaurant served us a seemingly endless variety of bread and cold cut meats. Then we had lasagna and lemon sorbet for dessert which was all wonderful! Travel orientation was back at the hotel after lunch and Luca taught us important dos and don’ts to be aware of during our time in Italy. The most important thing I learned was how to keep myself safe and how to avoid pickpocketing. Pick pocketing can be avoided by using bags with straps and wearing them towards the front of the body, not setting down items out of sight, and being aware of common scams to lure unsuspecting people in while another steals their belongings. I feel confident about how to stay safe during the trip!
Another thing discussed during orientation was what kind of culture differences to expect and I am already noticing them. For instance, I saw cars parked in crosswalks and on street corners which surprised me because back at home that would never be allowed. Also, crossing the street is clearly more dangerous in Italy because drivers seem to not care as much about pedestrians, whereas in Pittsburgh cars will generally stop for you when one is preparing to cross. When we were headed to dinner people were exiting a movie theatre after seeing Averngers Endgame. This is a culture similarity which I found interesting because that movie is currently extremely popular in the USA.
I finished the day by exploring a little, shopping a bit, and getting pizza with some friends. I also had my first gelato of the trip and it was delizioso. It only started to r e a l l y sink in this evening that I am truly in Italy! I am looking forward to getting some sleep (finally!) and the days ahead of us.
More to come tomorrow,