For the past 2 years, I have had the pleasure of working for STS. A company that let’s me have the chance to work with student and leaders from Europe and China as they come to San Diego to explore our city. I’ve made many friends and I decided to stop by Milan to visit 2 of my favorite Milanese leaders: Jacopo and Elisa.
Rushing to the airport at 5 am with only a total of 7 hours sleep in 48 hours, I was determined to stay awake and tour Milan. I quickly learned the hard way that I wasn’t superwoman. As soon as Elisa picked me up and brought me to her place, within a series of trains and buses I power napped for 2 hours.
Has anyone ever heard of a Nutria? I think I found my first Pokémon in Europe. Found it on my way to Elisa house. Apparently they are common in Italy and USA. The most ugliest thing I’ve seen.
2 hours later, Elisa took me to lunch within the city of Milan. My very first meal in lovely Italy was at a pizza chain called Spontini. Of course you have to eat pizza in Italy! It seriously isn’t the same. You don’t eat with your hands, you eat with a knife and fork. I got a prosciutto pizza and even though Elisa said it as just a “chain” pizza, it was hella delicious. Uugh… I still dream about it.
It was so good, that I didn’t finish it. My Italian friends said I was crazy for not finishing. Maybe the combination of jet lag and small stomach I was disappointed in myself for letting my childhood dreams of eating pizza in Italy to waste.
7-year-old me would be disappointed that I didn’t finish my first pizza in Italy. The pizza gods must be mad. Lol
Jacopo, Elisa and I spent the rest of the day touring the city of Milano under a sprinkling sky. I didn’t know what to expect when I first arrived. What I didn’t know was that, Milan Fashion week just ended a day before. It was also the week of Carnivale. The streets were adorned by fashionable tourists, residents and people dressing in costumes and throwing confetti in Milan’s city center of Duomo.
The city of Milan is filled with high-end fashion stores that I could only dream of, with people wearing clothes so casually that they didn’t know they could fit in a trendy magazine.
It’s also good luck to step and crush the balls of this bull right in the middle of the Vittorio Gallery
From the stores surrounding the famous gothic cathedral Duomo, to Via Monte Napoleone. Stores like: Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Versace, and OVS felt like it was literally on every corner.
Story about the Gucci shoes
As my friends and I walked the streets of the “Rodeo Drive” of Milan ” Via Monte Napoleone” we thought it would be fun if I, the American girl, go into a shop and pretend I was high-end shopping. Because you know, every girl wants to feel like Julia Roberts in “Pretty Woman”.
So we wandered into the exclusive Gucci shop to browse around. Jacopo and Elisa having lived all their life in Milan, never once set foot inside a Gucci store. I was always taught, that you must fake it until you make it. So even though dressed so casually , I confidently walked into the Gucci store parading that I was looking for pieces for my clients when I returned to Paris for Paris fashion week. (FYI Paris fashion week is going on the same time march 1-8).
This must have been the place celebrities, the wealthy and fashionable come from around the world to get their limited edition pieces because they had all the attire a rock star would wear on a red carpet. We were completely stunned and impressed and scared to touch anything.
However, it didn’t stop me from walking to the back and asking to try on Gucci’s beautiful shoes.
I asked to try on two pairs of shoes that were just released in the Milan Fashion week runway. I was so in love with a pair of white pumps that had a slip on jeweled oversized bow tie. Like my heart stopped when I slipped them on, they were the most beautiful shoes I had ever worn. However, when my sales girl Sara told me the price, $1,495 I had to try my best to hide the disappointment in my face.
I replied confidently, as if I was this super rich low-key girl. Jac, Elisa and I exchanged slick glances at each other to see if the sales girl was convinced. She went to the back and came out to tell me that the shoes I had just tried on was released at the Milan Fashion show and was the only pair available in all of Europe in my size.
I was like “shit, for real? I need to buy these asap so I can triple my money.”. Yeah right, I wish I could afford it. I wish I had an unlimited credit card so I could buy the worlds most beautiful shoes.
I ended up asking Sara for her business card, and told her I would make a decision before my flight to Paris.
Guess who never called back. Lol
Shopping or window shopping takes a lot out of you. So for dinner my friends took me to have Milanese happy hour next to the canals. Better known as Aperitivo.
Just like Venice, Milan has their own version of canals but a long time ago they decided to close them off. Now it’s just a very romantic and cool place to walk around. The canals are lined with mini restaurants that participate in Aperitivo.
Basically you buy one drink, alcoholic or not, and you get to eat all you can eat. Ranging from pizza, bread, cheese, salad, pasta and desserts. So imagine this is the happy place for drinkers. Pay 6-8€ to drink and eat all you want to sober up or enjoy.
Italians eat a lot. I seriously don’t know where it goes. They’re all skinny but eat so much and drink more. I failed as an American, I only lasted one drink and a plate and half. The drinks in Italy are so strong.
Freakin America why you gotta be shady for. Make everyone happy with food and drink and no calculations of tips. Then everyone would love America. This is probably the start of where I’m really liking Italy.
End of night
After a night stroll looking at the old and beautiful buildings surrounding Milan Elisa and I headed home to get ready for another long day of touring.
Did you know they have something called shared cars? You literally don’t have to own a car in Italy. You just download an app and find the nearest car to you, use it , and then drops it of near your location. The best part is that it’s free for women to use from 1am to 6am.
The best and safest way for women to travel at night to avoid creeps and dangers. America is seriously lacking in this. I thought this was pretty awesome.
Today was filled with high-end life, and life as a Milanese. You can say it was a better first impression than my day In Paris.