|Osteria del Sole, Always a good choice
|Stage in Piazza Grande (day before)
Finally I was going to Milan. My mom always convinced me it wasn't anything special, so I had never really looked hard into going. BUT, my friend Alonso really wanted to go see the city for a day for his birthday, so I figured I might as well give it a shot with him! For weeks we had been searching low cost tickets on trenitalia, but we could only find tickets costing 40+ euro round trip, so we kind of gave up... until I saw an erasmus group trip advertisement on facebook! The day in Milan for 25 euro! It was PERFECT! This was the first ESEG (erasmus group/exchange student group) trip that we would both be participating in and I was psyched about the cheap price of 25 euro, but a little weary about the organization. And weary I should've been! I was glad I got to spend the day with Alonso, but we really didn't end up having much time at all to explore Milan. The bus left an hour late because a girl was late... then a 3 hour bus ride, that we stopped a half hour out at a rest stop for a half hour for lunch... dumb... then the free time that we had was very limited indeed and they didn't provide us with a map or any other information regarding popular spots so we were stuck with little information. With the group we climbed the top of the duomo. It was a gorgeous church, but the landmarks surrounding us weren't that impressive aside from the large Piazza beneath us, and we were rushed through everything! Alonso and I wandered to find some cheap lunch that wasn't at McDonalds (I do admit I bought a Milkshake there during our first 30 minutes of free time because it was the cheapest thing in sight!), we wandered through the garden behind the castle and fooled around on some monkey bars... I realized I was weak after that, and I was sure my arms would be mighty sore the next day (i was right!).
|Inside the Galleria
The following weekend I made it to Florence to visit the every crazy house of Claudia. Back to my old stomping ground of Giovanni Fabbroni. Always bittersweet! Starving when I arrived, I was pleasantly awarded with the opportunity to deserve the food I'd be eating for lunch! With Claudia, Gabri, Andrea (the baby), Chiara and Renato all in the house, Claudia put me to work! I helped her make gnocchi, enough for everyone and leftovers, and I was starved for lunch by the time we finished the production. We did a bel passegiata in centro to walk off our potato dumpling filled stomachs, recounted to each other the happenings of our lives, then like that, Claudia had prepared dinner, she was off without eating, I had delicious squash meal with Chiara and Renato, I was stuffed to the brim and off to meet Julia in Piazza Santo Spirito at the bar Volume! We had a great night catching up, we'd really only met once before, but we were both the same italy loving personalities so it was easy to get along. At the bar I crazily ran into Olivia Cuttita, a Wayland student, and Julia ran into a friend of a friend from Georgetown, who was currently studying in Valencia... small world. We listened to the Italian band play american hits until 2am, they even dedicated a song to us because the 4 of us were clearly the only americans in the joint (volume is generally locals), then we were off wandering the streets for a crepe or a kebab or some other late night treat! I took a cab home and slept like a baby in Gabri's bed! Sunday I woke up at ate breakfast with Chiara and Renato, then quickly escaped, not without take the colomba, pesto, leftover gnocchi and olives Claudia had prepared for me, and I walked into the center to meet Julia for a quick lunch then I was back to Bologna to study and prepare for my parents coming the following Friday.
Thursday before Good Friday classes were cancelled so I hopped on a train to wander around Modena in the rain for a few hours. I should have brought my appetite because all I really toured was food! I saw the duomo and the main piazza, but then went sniffing from food shop to food shop and spent a long period of time in the big produce market in the center. Modena was rather small so I was able to conquer it in a few hours, and the rain was making it difficult for me to enjoy the outdoors, so I headed home to Bologna around 1 to clean and prepare for my parents arrival the following day. Man had I done a lot the past couple of weeks... I didn't even realize it until I wrote this! Yikes!
Next Adventure: Spoiled by the parents!