Aaand we’re back with the travel posts! Following the Amalfi coast, we had a food tour led by (apparently) a famous Italian food blogger, Katie Parla. As a program, we walked to a wine-tasting restaurant and she gave us the proper wine-tasting etiquette tips and tricks. We sampled some white and red wine and snacked on mozzarella and buffalo cheese, and some meats. After the tasting, she led us to the Macro Testaccio, a museum that showcases the place where animals were slaughtered for meat. It was a little eerie to be honest, and not the most interesting thing in the world. We ended the tour with a gelato, which I can never complain about 😉
The next day was the 4th of July! A lot of people on our program got really homesick that day because they weren’t doing their usual Independence Day festivities. We had a midterm in the Operations Management class and then we were all off to Milan for our first company visit! The train we took had fold-out desks again, thank goodness, because I was really productive and doing my homework. For Milan, our program booked our hotels and we stayed at the Best Western near the train station. Y’all, it was so boujee. It was a four-star hotel and so, so nice. All-marble bathroom and just overall very sleek.
For dinner, a group of friends and I walked around Milan just to see what we would stumble upon. When walking around the city, I noticed that it was very much a city, unlike Rome. It felt very international and diverse and lacking the Italian culture. We came across Eataly, which I had never heard of until that day. Y’all, Eataly is life-changing. Right when we walked in, we saw the grocery part of the store and then walked to the second floor to the restaurant. Eataly has everything you could ever dream of! I ordered the pesto pasta, and while the portion was incredibly small and pricey, it was seriously so delicious and worth it. I’m still dreaming about Eataly to this day. There are Eataly’s in the states, but only on the East coast and Chicago, apparently!
The next day, we bused to our first company visit at Perfetti Van Melle! This is a candy-manufacturer that actually produces Mentos, Airheads, and more. It was super cool being able to see how they produce and manufacture all of their gum and candies, and how their supply chain works. We had to wear hairnets and little labcoats things, it was silly but practical. We looked hilarious! The employees were extremely fun and easy to talk to, and at the end, they gave each of us our own HUGE box of Perfetti candy!!
After the company visit, we explored Milan! We went to the Duomo which was incredibly beautiful, but we didn’t go inside. We did some shopping around the area, where one guy on our program dropped 400 euros and came back with a leather jacket and some new shoes (who woulda thought?!). Then we had a delicious group dinner where we met some students from Bocconi University.
Following the group dinner, we all went out to experience Milan’s nightlife, and ended up staying out way too late due to some difficulties that has honestly tainting my memories of Milan – I’ll just leave it at that.
As a whole, Milan was my least favorite city in Italy that I visited. There wasn’t anything special going for it; for me, it felt too un-Italy-like, if that makes sense. As far as things to do, well… there isn’t much, other than visiting the Duomo, shopping, and clubbing, if that’s your style. To be fair though, I didn’t have high expectations at all so I wasn’t disappointed. I can’t say I’ll ever visit Milan again, unfortunately!