Most of the trips that we go on leave on Thursday night to Sunday night so this was the first weekend that we weren’t leaving until Saturday morning so my friends and I were excited to have a free night to spend in Florence. Gab, Lauren and I went out to dinner and had one of the best meals I’ve had since I’ve been in Florence. Like some of you know, florence is divided by the Ponte Vecchio and we live on the very touristy side full of so many restaurants, shops and gelato places so it is hard to venture to the other side of the river. But the other side is much less touristy and congested and has the best authentic restaurants. After eating on this side of the river we want to try to eat on this side much more just because its less crowded and honestly has better food. We went to a wine bar called Signorvino that has a restaurant attached to it and we sat outside with the prettiest river view. Usually when we go to dinner we go with a group of 8-15 people so it was nice and relaxing to just go us three and catch up after a long week. We ordered a bottle of red wine, I had spaghetti and me and Gab split the best blueberry jam cheesecake I’ve ever had in my life. Definitely a place I want to take my parents when they visit! We were in by 11 because we had to wake up early to head to Milan!
I woke up at 6:30 curled my hair and got ready for the bus that left at 8 am for Milan. We went with a tour guide who grew up in Milan and was honestly the most intelligent and cutest little man I’ve ever met. He was probably in his 70’s and gave us a tour around the whole city telling us things that nobody would’ve known unless you grew up there. He does day trips to many places all throughout Italy and now I want to do them all just because I learned so much on this one trip with him. I’ve learned that it is better to go with the older tour guides even if you want to go with the young attractive ones because the older ones know so much more. The bus ride was a surprisingly four hours away (I don’t know why but I thought Milan was only like 2 hours) and the girl behind me threw up an hour into the bus ride!! My pre-abroad self would’ve had a panic attack and probably thrown up myself because of my fear of throw up but I’ve seen people throw up so much recently that it didn’t phase me as bad as usual and I was shockingly calm about. How mature of me.
When we got to Milan, we saw the duomo first, which is the largest church in Italy and 5th largest in the world. It was the most beautiful church I’ve ever seen and I was shocked by the detail of it. We got lunch and I had my first ceasar salad abroad and it was really good! I’ve been craving a good salad since I’ve been here and it hit the spot. My friends tried the risotto which is the famous food of Milan because everywhere we go we try to eat what the city is famous for. We met up with our tour guide after lunch and he gave us a tour of the famous opera house Teatro alla Scala, which made me REALLY want to see an opera while I am here so I am going to force one of my friends to go with me because I think that would be an amazing experience and something different.
We also toured the fashion district while we here, the highlight of the trip, and Franceso (tour guide) showed us where the Gucci, Versace, Dolce & Gabbana offices were located and George Clooney and Robert DeNiro’s second homes were on the same street! It is also Fashion week in Milan and I was a little disappointed that there wasn’t much around the city broadcasting or promoting Fashion Week like In New York but since we knew where some of the shows were located we walked by but they were very exclusive. There were guys dressed in black suits with an invite-only list where you could only get in if your name was on it. Gigi and Joe Jonas were in the city but unfortunately I couldn’t find them :(((
After we walked around the Fashion district, stopped at the Armani Cafe for a cappuccino that I only went to because it was designer since I don’t even like coffee, had the best gelato, Francesco took us to the biggest castle in Milan that was SO cool. It was HUGE and there were so many activities and live bands playing inside that I could’ve sat in for hours if we had more time.
I never really knew what to expect before going to Milan and I was surprised at how much I liked it. It was similar to Florence but much more modern with shops that you could find in America. It was actually comforting to see a Victoria’s Secret because they don’t have many American stores in Florence besides H&M. It was also less crowded in Milan, which I really liked. I would definitley go back for another day trip if my schedule allows me to and if I do I would try to see an opera because the theatre was stunning. We got home around midnight which wouldn’t be too bad if we didn’t have to wake up at 4:30 am for Switzerland!