Yeah, I’m back in the States, but that ain’t gonna stop me from talking about Europe. What did you expect from a college kid studying abroad? So, next up — Milan! And Lake Como! (Which I didn’t know was a thing until this trip really, and if I have to pick one place other than Bath that I’m definitely going back to, it would be here. Thank god for friends who teach you new things and take you places, amirite?)
Why does Italy have an endless amount of cities that you have to visit in your lifetime? I have been twice now but I still need to go again because I’ve missed so much. Anyways, I ended up flying to Milan alone to meet our friend Caroline because Sarah messed up her schedule and had a conflict that morning. Yay! It was a blur! The top two things I learned were that the Milan transportation system is unnecessarily complicated, and that we should probably vet Caroline’s AirBnB choices before booking them. We spent about an hour looking for the place, which at one point we thought might not exist at all, but all turned out well — no need to go into much further detail with that mess. Life is about fun stories, at least!
Anyways, we all arrived without too much of a mess, and it was delightful. The next day we ventured into the city, where, you guessed it, we had multiple cups of coffee, ate lots of carbs, and saw all the stuff! I took pictures of people taking pictures, and it was grand.
The Duomo! That’s the thing everyone visits while in Milan, so you bet we hopped on board. Below are some pictures of the cathedral itself, which was larger than life (insert Blind Pilot lyrics here), and photos of my friends trying to keep me from petting a pigeon, which they claimed was “disgusting” and forbade me from doing.
Inside the Duomo. ‘Nuff said. Except I will add that I’m always shocked by how little they downplay the stuff that is supposedly kept inside these cathedrals. Dead saints in crystal coffins? A nail from the cross Jesus was crucified on? I’m probably being sacrilegious here, but um, please tell me more. (Don’t take any of the above as fact. I read a random blog post on my phone while I was there, and am recalling even that from memory, because obviously I don’t fact-check myself when writing these posts.)
Yeah, we climbed that boy. All the steps! A few hundred of ‘em, but like I said, I’m doing this post from memory and refuse to do any extraneous research, so I don’t remember the exact number. The climb was rough because I’m not in the least bit athletic, but the views were stunning and very worth it! There was also the added joy of walking back down at the end and telling everyone we passed that they were “almost there” even if they were only about a fourth of the way up. Create your own fun! (But also go to the top of the Duomo, because it’s incredible.)
So, after seeing some group of teenagers that were (probably?) famous get swarmed by a mob of younger teenagers, we left to head to Lake Como, which immediately outshone Milan. I mean, look at it!!! Unfortunately, we only spent the afternoon and evening there, but it was absolutely beautiful and incredible and peaceful. I will most definitely be going back.
We had the best meal of pasta and bread and wine yet at a little place overlooking the lake (as most of the little places do, honestly), and had to sit on the roof despite it being a little cold, but the restaurant had blankets ready for just this kind of thing. I think it might have been my favorite dinner of the entire semester, to be honest.
Also, Caroline redeemed herself with this AirBnB — an apartment overlooking the lake with a little rooftop, which we were obligated to take way too many pictures on. I can’t even describe it, but here are some photos that maybe captured 5% of how wonderful it was.
I won’t detail how difficult it was for me to get back to Bath. (I left a little earlier than Sarah and Caroline, because I had class, but the journey involved a bus, two trains, a flight, another two trains, and another bus, if I’m remembering it all right. It’s all foggy now, and possible I was hallucinating.)