After almost two months, I was finally reunited with my parents!
They came to visit for an entire week, flying in on a Monday, spending the beginning of the week in Milan, and leaving for a weekend in Florence after I finished classes on Thursday. In this post, I’ll focus on our time in Milan and in the next post I’ll talk about Florence.
Even though it was raining when they arrived in Milan, I did my best to keep them moving on the first day to help fight off the jet lag and get them on the time zone. I took them to the center of the city, and we walked around the Piazza del Duomo, went inside the Galleria, and explored the fashion district. Of course I had to introduce them to some Italian food as well, and I took them to one of my favorite pizza places and the best gelateria in the city.
Not going to lie, one of the best parts about having your parents visit is that you actually get to eat well for once. Most of the time I’m just making sandwiches from Esselunga or buying a cheap slice of pizza, but with my parents we were actually going to nice places and eating legitimately good Italian food! I could probably do a separate post just about the food we ate, but I’ll spare you and just post a ton of pictures for you to drool over:
So I had classes Monday-Thursday, but we still had breakfast together each morning. My parents were staying at a hotel in Navigli, so it was about halfway between Arco and the center of Milan, and only about a 10 minute walk from Bocconi. The hotel they stayed at, called The Yard, was sooooooo nice! It was super cute, and they were nice enough to let me join in on the complementary cappuccino and breakfast each morning. Also, they had a dog!!
Knowing that they were coming to visit, I had saved a lot of the touristy things in Milan to do with them between my classes. So I finally got to feel like a tourist!
I’ve walked by the Duomo a thousand times, but we finally got to climb to the top! Technically the Duomo is named Basilica Cathedral Metropolitana di Santa Maria Nascente but for obvious reasons everyone just calls it the Duomo. The Duomo is definitely Milan’s most recognizable monument for a variety of reasons – it’s in the very center of the city, it’s the largest church in Italy (5th largest in the world), has over 3,000 statues (most on any one building in the world), and took over 500 freaking years to complete. Happy to say that those 500 years were worth it, since the church is beautiful, and the view from the top is lovely! Milan is a very spread out city, so it was very cool to finally see it from a higher perspective.
I am also embarrassed to say that before my parents visited I had never been to Castello Sforzesco (Sforza Castle). Now a museum, the castle was built in the 1400s by the Duke of Milan. In front of the castle is the Expo Gate, since Milan is hosting the Expo this year (more on this later, but it’s a HUGE deal and I’m super excited!), and behind the castle is Parco Sempiano, the largest city park in Milan, and the Porta Sempione (Arch of Peace). It was nice to finally explore this part of the city!
We also went to see Leonardo da Vinci’s The Last Supper. It’s surprisingly difficult to get in to Santa Maria delle Grazie to see the painting, since you’re only allowed to view the painting for 15 minutes and you have to buy tickets in advance. And it’s also kind of sad how poorly the painting has been preserved over the years (there’s been a lot of dumb stuff done to it over the years, most notably the idiot that cut a door in Jesus’s feet), but at least they’re trying to take better care of it now I guess. (Note: We weren’t allowed to take pictures of the painting, so the picture below is from the Internet)
So glad I got to see a new side of my city, and it was so much fun showing my parents around (turns out I actually know this city pretty well!). Milan may not be the prettiest city out there, but I still love it and I love that my parents got to experience it too!