Semana Santa Part I: Milan

How do I even begin to write about a ten-day vacation in Italy? As always when traveling, we encountered a few stressful moments, inconveniences and discomfort, but overall things fell into place wonderfully.

Gaby and me in front of Milan’s Duomo!

I left Pamplona at 8:30 p.m. on Tuesday night (just 48 hours after arriving home from Paris). My friend Gaby and I took a bus to Barcelona for our 6 a.m. flight. Because Brooke’s family was visiting that week, she flew to Italy to meet up with us a few days later.

We arrived in Milan around 8 a.m. on Wednesday. Grabbed a bus from the airport into town, found a subway to the Duomo, and then wandered around the area for a couple of hours while we waited for our friend Violetta, who is from Milan.

While we waited, I took Gaby to Luini’s, a tiny pastry shop that Massi had showed me back in March. We each had a luini (fried or baked savory turnover stuffed with classic Italian combinations like mozzarella, tomato and basil). Then we waited at a sidewalk table at a classy-looking cafe/restaurant, where I had a classic (and delicious) Italian cannolo and expresso.

sweet luinis
[photo by Gabriela Casas]
so good.

With Violetta, we climbed the Duomo (something I hadn’t done with Massi — and totally worth it for the views). Then we walked to the other landmarks I had visited with Massi. We ended up taking naps in the sun in Milan’s huge central park— quite a pleasant afternoon.

Violetta, Gaby and me on top of Milan’s Duomo

able to see the spires up close
[photo by Gabriela Casas]

on the roof!
[photo by Gabriela Casas]

beautiful view of the city
[photo by Gabriela Casas]

Violetta and her roommate took us out to Milan’s popular canal-side restaurant area for dinner. We had what Italians call apertivo, which is a €9 or €10 deal of a drink plus an unlimited buffet of heavy hors d’oeuvre. Later we walked to a plaza where dozens of people our age were gathered in small circles, drinking and smoking and talking. Gaby and I loved the vibe, but we were both exhausted from our overnight travels so we bowed out early.