Day 10

Hello from Milan-Malpensa! Today was our last full day in Italy. We depart on our plane tomorrow at 10;25. Today, we woke up at 6;30 for our departure via bus at 7;45. Everyone was feeling it today. Walking 5 miles a day and going to sleep at 11;30 will do that to you. Our drive to Milan would take 2 and a half hours with a stop at one of Italy’s huge trusty rest stops. I actually tried today to read “The Handmaids Tale” and annotate it on the bus but it was too bumpy and looked like a 3rd grader trying cursive for the first time, so I stopped. Really, my handwriting always looks like that, so the fact that it was even worse is saying something. When we arrived in Milan, Sergio brought us to the square in the center of town before letting us off on our own for 3 and a half hours. No tour today, so we explored a little by ourselves. Milan is actually a lot more modern than all the other towns we’ve seen. There was one skyscraper and actually some concrete with glass buildings that are so common in the US. I still would’t compare it to the city. It has so many older buildings and architecture along with its modern flair. The cool thing about Milan is its Fashion. Companies like Gucci, Armani, Tiffany, and every other important fashion store have a center there. We did some shopping in a huge department store with all of these brands and more. It was 7 floors of overly expensive items with a rooftop floor of overly expensive foods and chocolate. Although they are fun to window shop in, no purchases were made. Instead, we went to H&M (really can’t go wrong with that) and I bought a cute sweater for 7 euros (a steal might I add), so I could feel like a Milanese person for like 10x less than the actual the price. When we entered the square, we were enclosed by a brightly colored building filled with stores and a luxury hotel. It opened up to the Cathedral of Milan and British looking buildings as well, just like in Saint Marks square. The architecture here is different than other cities because Milan was under Austrian control for a very long time. Many of the other buildings also got bombed very badly in WW2 so they had to rebuild. We ate lunch right behind the church. Milan also has American-like prices too. I got a pizza with Salami on it (what’s pepperoni? Haven’t seen it on a menu yet here) because I wan’t to go out with a bang. We then proceeded to walk around a little bit of the City before we returned to the main square. Today is a national holiday in Italy for the Virgin Mary, so every Italian is either at home or on the beach. The streets here were deserted except for the square full of tourists. It was actually weird to be in such a big city with no one there. businesses and Shops (except for the large chains) were closed; we could walk through a street and be the only ones on it. Verrryyy spooky. From there, the bus picked us up in front of the famous opera house and we departed to our hotel. When we arrived at the hotel, we had a couple hours of downtime that I used to chill and repack. At 6;30, we went into the lobby and had a glass of champagne to toast to the trip. Later, we had dinner, a nice meal with an appetizer, pasta (1st plate), main dish and a salad (2nd), and dessert. We then had to say goodbye to Sergio, who was absolutely excellent. I am so happy I had him as a tour guide. We all said our goodbyes and parted ways, and thus an end to our official trip. Tomorrow will be my last post, most likely from within US borders. Italy, it has been a fantastic experience. Ciao until tomorrow……

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