Today was a fairly short day which was a welcomed rest after yesterday’s marathon. We got to go on a walking tour of the fashion district of Milan called the Quadrilatero Della Moda. It consists of a few narrow streets lined with very expensive sports cars and high fashion stores. In the district we passed through an alley and a beautiful court to visit a small bookstore and fashion boutique. The book store had some normal books but mostly consisted of artistic books with painting or pictures. The fashion boutique was interesting because the items actually had price tags on them. All the stores like Gucci, Louie Vuitton, and Prada don’t keep price tags on any of their clothes or accessories and I have been wondering how much this stuff costs. It is all as widely expensive as I imagined.
The past couple of days have been extra exciting since there has been an festival celebrating the Alpini, the mountain division of the Italian army. Their current purpose is similar to that of America’s national guard, but specific the Italian Alps. Members of the Alpini are easy to spot since they wear a green fedora with a feather in it. The streets have been full retired Alpini drinking, singing Alpini songs, and playing in marching bands. It is great to be here during this festival because it gives us a better understanding of their culture. This reminds me of when I was Munich and there happened to be a giant gay pride parade going on in the city.
So far exploring Milan has been fairly easy thanks mostly to the metro system which is easy to navigate. The area around the hotel and the places we have gone all seem fairly safe but we have to keep an eye out for pickpockets or people who sell bracelets buying tying them to tourists wrists and then asking for money. Italy has given me a better appreciation of anti-smoking laws in America and how less people in general smoke. I feel like for the amount of smoking alone I would not be able to live here. Overall this trip has been awesome and I am very excited to get the second week started.