Thursday, March 10, 2011

Part IV: Italia

Italy, while very cold, grey, and rainy, was just relaxing. Jillian and I were knackered at this point, and after another early rising to make another early flight, we had another early landing in Milan.

Riccardo and Matteo retrieved us from the airport and we got back to tiny apartment in a small town a little bit outside of Milan. Riccardo made us a delicious spaghetti dish and took us around the little town, which was charming and beautiful. We stopped in a gorgeous cafe and got mocha espressos, which were straight shots with a chocolate spoon that you stirred in and melted. Delicious.

The next day we slept in super late before taking a small walk around the town again and just hanging out--we took it really easy. Then that evening Riccardo was having people over for his birthday, so along with his girlfriend Viola, we all got together and made pasta from scratch, and Jillian and I provided dessert.

Sunday Riccardo took us into a nearby town that had a fancy plaza. We strolled and admired the shops, and people watched all the fancy Italian ladies in their fancy furs with their little dogs. Then we strolled further through the market, and stopped to sample a million delicious cheeses, breads, olive oils, and wines. We ended the day with some dinner at a small restaurant--the server made us each these long paninis with brie, prosciutto, and cocktail sauce. Molto delizioso.

On Monday we went into Milan. It was sleeting, which was unfortunate, but the city was beautiful nonetheless. Riccardo and Viola gave us a tour of the university, which used to be a hospital, and walked us around the rest of the city. The grand finale was a walk down a skinny little street that had all of the designer shops, with window displays meant to allow window shopping. Dolce & Gabbana, Herm├ęs, Chanel, Cavalli, they were all there, taunting us. That night Riccardo drove Viola home and we ate insanely yummy authentic Italian pizza.

We spent our final day strolling around Riccardo's town some more. We returned to the cafe he first took us to and each got a few of the mini pastries for breakfast--it was hard to pick, there were so many options and they all looked amazing. Then we went for lunch at another random spot we found that had an easily-interpreted lunch special. The wait staff didn't speak a word of English but we managed to get our two course meal of spaghetti pomodoro and mozzarella with tomato. They even gave us a plate of the best tiramasu I have ever had the pleasure of eating, on the house.

That evening Jillian and I made chipotle dinner for me, Riccardo, Matteo, and Viola. Then we grabbed some gelato (we were stuffed, but it was our last night and I had yet to try it--it was amazing), went and watched Riccardo's band practice, got a couple drinks at the pub, and called it a night.

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