Beautiful beautiful snow

I am completely in love with snow.  When it comes to snow (and probably quite a few other things) I am still a child.  When it snowed for weeks in the UK last year and everyone got sick of it, I was still excited every time I looked outside.

And now we’ve had some in Milan for the last week and a half!  I couldn’t resist getting the camera out, especially since I’ve just discovered Instagram so can play around with my phone shots.  So cue a photo-heavy post!

I caught the very first flakes from my room:

The Milan parks covered in a blanket.  I always think snow suits parks and the countryside so much more than the city streets where it just turns into grey slush.  And parks were made for playing in!

There has just been so much of it!  No icing sugar sprinkling here…

One of my friends took me to a beautiful cemetery the day after the snow came down.  It’s called Cimitero Monumentale (the English version of the website seems like a Google Translate production to me, but it does still have opening hours, directions and some nice pictures) and is right near Porta Garibaldi station, if you know Milan at all.

I couldn’t believe I’d never heard of it – it’s not one of Milan’s most touted tourist attractions and there was hardly anyone there when we went, but it’s completely gorgeous – I’d definitely recommend a visit to anyone visiting Milan.  I loved it in the snow, but am planning on heading back there when it melts so I can have a proper look round.  Each tomb is like a piece of art and it was so peaceful. But for now, a few snowy pics:

I have no shame in saying that I took great joy in making footprints in 5 inches of fresh, powdery snow, even if I did have numb toes by the time we left.

The next day I went to visit another friend and got to do it all over again!  The Italians in her town don’t really seem to “do” walking to places (unless they have a dog), so the pavements hadn’t turned to slush.

What a gorgeous week!

Travel Love: Things I’ve learned about Italy

I’m a languages student in my 3rd year of uni (on a four year course), which means that I’m currently on the dreaded Year Abroad.  It has to be capitalised because, according to my uni department, it’s one of those very Important Life Experiences that you absolutely must make the most of.  Not at all intimidating then.

Because the languages I study are Spanish and Italian, I’m starting off the Year Abroad with 8 months living in Milan, Italy.  I arrived at the end of September, meaning I’m about halfway through.  So, since I love a good list, I thought now might be a good time to share a few observations I’ve made since being here.

  1. Not all of Italy is the beautifully warm and sunny holiday destination we think it is.  In fact, a lot of the weather in the north (where I am) is depressingly similar to the UK.  Though happily without the rain.
  2. Yes, they really do eat that much pasta.  Normally at least once a day.
  3. Same goes for pizza.  Though perhaps not as often.
  4. As a general rule, Italians are terrifying drivers.  From what I can tell, the rule of the road is that whoever is bravest (be they car, moped, bike, bus or pedestrian) gets to pass.  So if you walk purposefully across a pedestrian crossing, you probably won’t die.  But only probably.
  5. The further south you go, the more terrifying the driving is.
  6. Italians (or at least the Milanese) dress better than us.  When I boarded the plane at Manchester Airport in my baggy grey hoodie I felt totally comfortable.  As soon as I stepped off at Milan Bergamo, I felt completely out of place.  And they will never, ever, leave the house in trackie bums.
  7. Italian kids are way more spoiled than British ones.
  8. Everyone thinks they should speak English and are always shocked when they find out I can speak Italian.  I’ve had a pharmacist apologise to me for her lack of English – imagine that happening the other way round in the UK!
  9. It’s impossible to get a word in edgeways in any conversation, you just have to keep speaking over the other person until they stop.
  10. They all think Berlusconi’s insane too.