Welcome to Milan! 

It has officially been a month since I arrived in Milan, and I’m already dreading the day I have to leave. Milan is such a vibrant and beautiful city! I study at Università Cattolica and know some BC students studying at Bocconi as well. The transition was a bit tough initially, but with my friends alongside me, I never felt too homesick. Plus, there is so much to do to keep busy! 

I live in an apartment in Milan with 5 of my friends from BC, and on our first day here we visited the Duomo. This historical building is not only beautiful but also surrounded by a huge outdoor shopping center. It took hundreds of years to build, which is apparent from its extremely detailed architecture. It is only about a 20-minute walk from both my apartment and Università Cattolica. Sometimes, I walk around here when I have free time between my classes to shop or get something to eat or drink. It is also one of the first places I show to my friends when they come to visit. There’s even a place to eat overlooking the Duomo. 

Another fun spot in Milan that I have been going to a lot is the Navigli. This area includes a ton of fun restaurants and nightlife along the canal. Taking the time to sit and have something to eat and drink with friends is very common in Milan, very different from the way I often find myself rushing through dinner back at home to get back to the long list of things I have to do. The Navigli is not only fun at night, but also a pretty place to walk during the day, sort of similar to the reservoir at BC!

Universita Cattolica has been very welcoming to the international students which made the transition period from BC to here very smooth. They gave us a couple of orientation sessions during which we were able to tour the campus, learn about Milan, and also about Italian culture. They gave us a couple of tips on how to not stand out as a tourist, one of which being to not order a cappuccino past 11 a.m.… apparently cappuccinos are only for the morning/breakfast! 

Italy truly is beautiful. What I love about Milan is you get the beauty and the liveliness of a city. When we first arrived at the end of August, it was the month of vacation for many Italians, so the city felt quiet and empty. Now, it’s always busy, and I really enjoy watching everyone going to work as I walk to my university. In my opinion, Milan is like a prettier (and overall better) version of New York. The architecture is super cool, the streets are clean, and the people are very nice. 

Some of the best things from my first month here were the food, traveling, and getting to know the area I am living in. I will make sure to post about the food and some of the places I’ve traveled to in future blogs. However, I think that getting to know the city you are studying in is equally important as exploring Europe. It’s honestly a really cool feeling to finally know my way around without using Google Maps… Milan is truly starting to feel like a second home!