Milano on my Own!
Written by apantuosco February 28, 2019
Fifth Week: February 22, 2019
Another busy week, and we’re almost halfway done with the semester! It’s crazy how fast time flies here. In this past week, I have visited Milan, Verona, and Asolo.
Since this semester if relatively short and each class has tests and quizzes, it’s common for those tests/quizzes to fall on the same week. This week, I had two tests and a quiz, so it’s been pretty busy. It’s important to read over class notes all throughout the semester, so it’s not a last minute cramming session the night before! Doing this makes classes less stressful and traveling more feasible.
This week, my Italy Live class visited Asolo! Asolo is a town that is about a 15 minute drive from Paderno, and I think it’s underrated. There are a lot of beautiful sights and little shops and bars throughout Asolo, and it’s such an easy commute. Everyone in my class went to a cafè and ordered coffee/gelato/pizza in Italian. It was a fun, interactive way to practice our Italian!
I’ve advocated for Italy Live plenty of times before, but I’ll say it again-TAKE ITALY LIVE! Even just knowing the most basic of Italian phrases has made me feel a lot less lost here.
Last weekend was our first extended travel weekend. On Friday morning, I left on a train for Milan.
The train ride was about three hours, but it was an easy ride. Once I got off the train, however, it got a bit complicated. I was supposed to meet up with my uncle and aunt in Milan, but their phones weren’t working. At first, the idea of being on my own in a foreign place that I’d never been before worried me, BUT then I took a step back and decided to make it a fun trip despite the circumstances.
I left the train station and googled “things to do in Milan” and realized that one of the four global Starbucks reserves is in Milan. Slightly touristy to be in Italy and decide to go to Starbucks, BUT I missed my large, iced lattes. The reserve was super cool-they sold coffee, of course, and also pizza and alcohol upstairs. I recommend checking it out!
I also walked to Duomo di Milano which is a beautiful cathedral that took over six centuries to build. If in Milan, this is a must see.
Sforza Castle is another sight I recommend visiting. There were lots of people there, and there was a lot to do.
In summary, walking around Milano was entertaining in itself. I spent my whole day on foot just roaming around, and I saw so much beautiful architecture. And of course, if you’re looking to spend some money on shopping, Milan can help you with that as well.
On Saturday, I left Milan and stopped in Verona. I hadn’t heard much about Verona, but it exceeded my expectations. Verona is only about an hour and a half from Paderno, and there is so much to do and see there. I would recommend checking it out on a short weekend!
There are lots of shops, stands, markets, and a 1st century Roman amphitheater. Verona is also famous for being the setting of Shakepeare’s “Romeo and Juliet.” You can go see Juliet’s “house” in Verona!
Since I’ve been in Italy, I have thought about traveling alone, but I’ve been nervous to actually do it. However, this weekend taught me how harmless it is. It is, of course, important to make sure the place you are visiting is safe, but I highly recommend traveling alone.
Traveling alone is enlightening, because everything you do is 100% your choice. You see the places you want to see and do the things you want to do and don’t have to worry about anyone else.
Also, all the transportation I took was self explanatory. In train stations, there’s normally a person in guest services who speaks English if you need help. Overall, traveling alone is definitely possible, despite the language barrier.
Every moment of my trip, however, wasn’t perfectly smooth. Here’s some people who may have assumed my traveling-alone-trip was not as calm as I’ve described it:
- The Russian woman who I latched onto and followed everywhere because I heard her speaking English talking about how she’s was headed to Milan.
- The taxi driver from Friday night who had to drive me 40 minutes to my hotel and communicate with me via Google Translate for 30 minutes before understanding where I needed to go.
- Every person in the Padova train station who saw me running.
- The man who watched me cry as I tried to find bus C that I’m pretty sure never existed.
- Every single worker in Padova guest services.
- Every person on the SECOND bus (that I actually did find) who heard me on the phone talking to my mom.
BUT, I learned a lot! Travel alone! Do it! Ciao!