OK so I’m finally getting around to updating the world on what I’ve been doing for the past month while I’ve been living in Milan.
My school, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, is the biggest private Catholic university in Europe with over 400 international students, from all over the world. I live with five American girls and one Aussie girl in a crappy apartment that doesn’t have air conditioning, a dryer or a dishwasher (Whatever, we’ll live.) The boys who live below us are mostly American as well, plus one Canadian and one Brazilian. Everyone gets along really well–we have somewhat of a family dynamic going that includes a lot of teasing, but an absolute guaranteed set of people that have your back. This is especially true for the group of six of us that took the pre-intensive Italian course before the semester began.
February was a hectic, but very fun month. In our first week we went to three different clubs and because we had yet to figure out the public transportation situation, ended up staying out two of the nights until 6 a.m. when the metros reopened. Since then I’ve gotten my shit together (you can breathe now, parents) and decided that clubbing, though entertaining, is not really my scene. Going out in Italy is much more fun bar crawling in the beautiful, hipstery, canal Navigli district of Milan.
I’ve heard a lot of Milan natives, including one of my professors, complain about the city. They say it’s dirty and not the “real” Italy. I know what they mean—when you think of Italy, the first thing you think of is either the Roman ruins or beautiful, Cinque Terre style pastel houses on the shore, not a bustling business metropolis. Honestly, though, I think that’s why I like this city so much. I wasn’t made for the perfect postcard places. I know that one day it would lose it’s magic and I know how much it would sadden me to realize I’ve grown bored of a village as picturesque as Florence or Genoa or what have you. I need a little grime and grit to appreciate the rest of the beauty around me and Milan gives that to me with its mix of cathedrals and Chinatowns, couture and destitution, old stone homes and skyscrapers.
Here are some of my favorite buildings and views in Milan so far (that I’ve remembered to take pictures of.)