Sped travelled through Florence, Venice, then a week in Milan. It seems that my more elaborate tales come from Italy, because traveling by train in Italy was not at all smooth sailing. The trains were usually late by 45 mins to an hour. It would abruptly get cancelled or delayed, and the people made very little protest, as if already expected. I could spend all day just waiting on transportation. Italians are so laid back and relaxed, except when driving. From my time there, the men were overly friendly, and would follow me when I’m walking or try to talk to me, even with my headphones in. Florence was a beauty city, and I found a day trip to be sufficient. I wished I had a longer stay in Venice. It looked very beautiful, but had so many steps that I couldn’t muster the strength to carry my carry-on suitcase past the stairs. They had so many beautiful delicate masquerade masks. I also could not find a host in Venice in time for me to stay, so I immediately re-routed to Milan. I ended up getting stuck in Milan for a week since there were no trains to Barcelona as planned.
When I finally got to Milan by train, the subway that I was supposed to take to meet my host had just closed. It was around 11:30pm at the time. I had strangers whistling at me and following me as I exited. I used up the last of my coins on a phone booth that just took my coins without allowing a phone call. I approached a lady in the street waiting for a bus, and although she spoke English, she couldn’t help me. I turned to the man next to her, but he spoke no English. I looked around and there was no one left on the streets, being close to midnight. I pointed at the address I needed to get to, and asked him how to get there. He looked something up on his phone, and just motioned me to follow him on a bus. Having no idea what this man is saying, I followed him hesitantly, and he helped me take my suitcase. After a few bus stops, he motioned for us to get off. We get off, and here I am, following this random man in the middle of the night. We were walking towards what looked like a dark alley with nothing really around it. I felt alarmed, but really didn’t know where else to go. All of a sudden, he made a sharp left into an entrance of a building. I peeped in, not knowing what or where we were. He explained nothing since I could not understand anyway. He went into the back of a building, and standing in front of me were a few men, just staring back at me. I asked them where he had went, and they told me that he was getting a “macchina,” and motioned the turning of a steering wheel. They also spoke no English. I was left in confusion as I waited, and then I finally realized I was in a fire station, and this man is a fireman. This fire station looked nothing like a fire station, and was very plain, with no distinct markers.
After he brought his fire station van over, I got in, and we started towards the address of my host. Still not being able to communicate, he turned to me, mid-driving, said that I was very beautiful, and slowed in the middle of the road to take a selfie with me. This man spoke only Italian, and that was the only thing he learned to say in English. We managed to find our way to my host, who I stayed with with a night, then I actually ended up staying with the fireman the rest of my stay in Milan. All in all, I spent nearly a week with a man that only spoke Italian. I left with notebooks full of phrases and sentences in Italian so we could communicate. He cooked me all my foods, and even made me handmade pizza, and tuna pasta. He wanted to be a chef in his hometown and open up a restaurant, and somehow ended up here in Milan as a fireman. It turns out that I had actually caught him on his way back from the airport when we first met. It was tough to have deep conversations with him since after awhile, neither of us would understand each other, but it is noted that he is a good man with a kind heart. Google translate could only take us so far.
I ended up getting stuck in Milan for a week since there were no trains to Barcelona as planned. I had to wait a few days ’til a train was available to route me to Geneva, Switzerland, for a couple hours, before leaving for Paris, France.
So many stairs every step of the way up and down
Pricier masks enclosed in glass counter
Duomo di Milano – Milan Cathedral
Shopping by the Duomo di Milano
Navigli – Canals of Milan in the evening. A lot of mosquitos in Italy, especially by water
The Filarete Tower of Sforza Castle
Inside the walls of Sforza Castle
Sempione Park, with the Arch of Peace in the background
Inside the cathedral
Making the dough for the pizza