Buongiorno, Duomo!

Day two in Milan certainly did not disappoint. The day started with a delicious croissant filled with apricot jelly in the hotel lobby. After breakfast, our group met in the lobby for a pretty thorough crash course on the Italian language. Mariella, our instructor, took us through basic pronunciation of letters and then some basics of conversation. This was a major help as she was able to explain some cultural nuances. For example, I learned that “Ciao” is only to be said to young people and can be offensive if said to the middle aged and elderly. Instead, “Bongiorno” is the appropriate greeting. Mariella explained that Italians really appreciate an attempt to speak their language, and it doesn’t have to be perfect. I find their tolerance of poor Italian speaking skills to be incredibly kind, as I realize that many people in the United States are not as understanding with people who can’t speak English. Many Americans usually assume everyone around them will be able to speak their language. This reassurance of high Italian tolerance took some pressure off of me, as I often feel awkward attempting to speak another language. Mariella recommended a cafe down the street for lunch. A few friends and I went and after a bit of a struggle to figure out the ordering process, we ate sandwiches out on the sidewalk. It was lovely to soak up the sun that was certainly not with us yesterday.

My favorite part of the day was our walking tour. Honestly, before our departure, I was a little worried about the number of walking tours in our itinerary. I didn’t want to be seen as another annoying tourist the entire trip. However, the tour was so great. Val, our guide, did an excellent job explaining the history of Milan. She took us through a beautiful part of the city with so much greenery. The city has both incredibly old and new buildings woven in between each other, Val explained, because of the bombings of World War II. The United States and Britain were responsible for the bombings, and targeted Milan because it was the city Mussolini chose to be the center of fascism. She also expressed great pride over the few skyscrapers of the city. Each new building was well thought out to be able to fit in with the already existing city architecture. We were led to the Duomo, which is a stunning church in center city. The mall next to the Duomo is beautiful, with many high end stores and stunningly detailed architecture. All that beauty comes at a price however, and Val explained that Prada pays $9 million per year for their retail space. Today really made me fall in love with Milan, and I can’t wait to see what else this incredible city has to offer.

2 Comments Add yours

  1. Kathy Wright says:

    Well written bellisma!

  2. Ellen wright says:

    Love your blog!! Ciao Bella

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