Day 5 here in Milan was one of my favorite days yet. We started off the day by going on a site visit to the first Starbucks to open in Italy. This is no ordinary Starbucks: it is also a roaster that makes all their coffee on site.
For some background, coffee here in Italy is part of the culture. People don’t run and grab coffee to-go, but instead they sit and enjoy it. Because coffee has such a significant role in the culture of Italians, this Starbucks created a place unlike any of the coffee shops we are familiar with in the United States. The inside is huge; there’s places to get coffee and pastries, merchandise, areas to sit, an enormous roaster, machinery for packaging coffee, and even a bar! The interior is so cool, and I loved simply looking around at everything.
This Starbucks is a very interesting business to learn about. At this location, they roast their own coffee, which they then serve to customers, but they also supply other Starbucks’ locations with their coffee. This allows for two profit centers and more revenue for the store overall. While I am not a coffee drinker, I thought the Starbucks site visit was extremely interesting and cool.
We had some free time before our next group activity, so a group and I decided to walk around and explore a bit. We ended up walking over to Castello Sforzesco. It was beautiful and crazy to think that there is the grand castle a ten-minute walk from the heart of the city.
Our next group activity was a trip to the Armani Silos. Inside we were able to get so close tons of Armani pieces. I loved getting to see all the different designs, and since there was such a range of pieces, it was neat to see how they adapted over time. Armani took a lot of fashion risks, such as playing with masculinity and femininity and mixing formal and casual. He believed in mixing pieces that balanced each other, so that a very busy top was not paired with a very busy bottom. He also created a color called “greige,” which is a combination of gray and beige. Overall, I really enjoyed my time getting to see an archive of Armani pieces up close.
With the rest of the day free, a group and I decided to go to the rooftop of the Duomo di Milano. This was one of my favorite things on the trip thus far. It was just absolutely beautiful, and it was amazing to see completely new angles of the cathedral and the detailed architecture up close. There was also great views of the city streets below.
The rest of the day we spent shopping and walking around the city, and at night we sat on the steps of Duomo listening to street music. With the site visits, Duomo, and shopping, today was one of my favorite days.