Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Italy

Okay, lets start with the fun stuff... I arrived to Milan about a month ago with one suitcase, a backpack, and absolutely no clue what I was getting myself into! I was under the impression that housing was easy to find in Milan, so I decided to wait until I got to the city to start looking. SPOILER: It wasn't easy!


The next two and a half weeks consisted of bouncing around different hostels and friends houses I had met at the university, and utilizing weekend travel trips as temporary housing. I referred to my luggage as my portable house, where I made over ten trips with all of my belonging through metros, trains, busses, and trams. This challenging experience of looking for housing was frustrating at times, but has now come full circle to the present day. DRUM ROLL PLEASE...


 I now have an Italian grandma! "Nonna", which means grandma in Italian, is an 81 year old Italian lady who had an open room I found on AirBnB. Living with Nonna for over a week now has been a wonderful experience! First off, she speaks absolutely no English. This has forced me to talk in Italian everyday. Secondly, Like every grandma, you are required to eat until NONNA SAYS YOUR FULL. She has made pastas, soups, cookies, you name it! I am obviously a fan of all this and have eaten some of the best Italian meals I have ever had.


Enough about housing, here are some of the places I have been lucky enough to travel to since I have been in Italy:


Rome was number one on my list of places to visit. A destination I had dreamed of going to since I can remember has turned out to be one of my most favorite places I have ever been! I walked on foot around the city from dawn to dusk for 4 days, visiting the many churches and historical sites, scenic lookout points, and everything else the city offers. Being Catholic, this was a chance for me to pay a visit to the Vatican. I was able to see Pope Francis give his weekly Angelus address in St. Peter's Square. One thing I know for sure, this will not be the last time I visit Rome before I leave!



Overlooking Rome from St. Peter's Basilica
The next weekend I took a trip to the famous city of Venice with friends from the university. We also went camping overnight and the following day toured Padua, a city near Venice that is filled with much history!
Venice
 My intensive Italian language class started last week and regular classes will begin next week at the University. I have had many chances to explore my home city of Milan. My favorite place to visit is the Duomo Cathedral.
Universita Cattolica del Sacro Cuore


Duomo cathedral, Milano
Last weekend I made a day trip to Lake Como, a beautiful lake in the mountains of Italy, right by Switzerland. The day was filled with hiking, great food, and boat rides to the different villages around the lake. Being a short hour train ride from Milan, it is any easy get away from the big city!
Lake Como

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