It has been a pretty hectic time so far here in Milano, Italy. After spending a week and a half together on the program, the group of us has definitely had heaps of laughs and have a few stories to tell. I have to admit that we didn’t really get up to any shenanigans on the first week, because we had our major essay due on the Monday of the following week. Our routine was mainly: get up, uni, study, sleep and repeat. But who says that it there weren’t any fun in between?
Milan has beautiful winding streets with stunning pebble stone pathways – just be careful because they do get slippery in winter and I have learnt that converse do not have anti-slip protection. Fashion definitely hurts! Despite this, Milan is an absolutely gorgeous city. It’s full of life and history as almost every building has a unique past. No matter the direction you turn, each building you’ll see looks like it was carved 200 years ago with intricate details in the architecture. It is incredible to look at. But it was on around day 5 of walking to university when I realised something really special.
Everyday we walk approximately 30 minutes to university and back. The quickest way is through a park surrounding this gorgeous old building that opens to a quadrangle. We walk straight through this building and the quadrangle to the other side and continue our journey to university each day. It is definitely an exquisite view to have whilst walking to class each day, to say the least. However, I did not realise that this old building is actually called the Castello Sforzesco and is one of the most iconic landmarks in the city of Milan. WE HAVE BEEN WALKING THROUGH A FAMOUS LANDMARK AND DIDN’T EVEN REALISE IT?!? On the bright side, it’s not everyday that you can say you walk through a castle to and from university. Cool!
During our first week, we visited ‘The Last Supper’ at the Church of Santa Maria della Grazie. Oh my, it was incredible! It was amazing to see a such a well known creation from Leonardo Da Vinci that has survived the test of time (and numerous wars). The painting is honestly breathtaking and it is interesting to see the area that surrounds it. There is another mural on the wall opposite it which no one ever talks about. Poor artist in Da Vinci’s shadow. I also thought it was pretty interesting that the monks of the Chapel decided to expand a doorway which now goes right through the middle of the artwork and covers Jesus’ feet. I do not know and cannot fathom what motivated a group of monks to ruin one of the most famous artworks in history by building a doorway through it. Yikes.
Our classes have actually been pretty fun as well. I enjoy these classes 10000% times more than I do at home. We were really lucky because the Turkish Consulate General donated his time to teach one of our lessons. Aside from his extensive knowledge, energetic charisma and being an all round nice person – it was awesome to find out that he and his wife have always wanted to visit Australia because they love the movie ‘Priscilla: Queen of the Desert’. He said that they put it on whenever they want to have a good laugh and boost their spirits. What a legend!! I definitely was not expecting that.
One of my favourite moments so far hasn’t been seeing or doing anything extraordinary, but, spending time with a group of incredible people. Cooking dinner and dancing to music in our kitchen, getting pizza on Uber Eats and staying up till late talking and joking around, spending 3 hours laughing our heads off whilst washing our laundry in the bathtub.... This trip in a little over a week and a half has be truly memorable. Even though the first week was full of studying and we didn’t really have the chance to go out and explore, it has taught me an important lesson: you do not always have to go out to enjoy yourself. True enjoyment does not need to be at an expensive place, fancy restaurant or doing some crazy activity – you only need to be with people who add value to your life.