Okay…I promise I’ll eventually give you an insight into the Florentinian life: the coffee and the history and long walks on cobblestoned paths. But, I’m sitting here at 10 p.m. and just incredibly excited that when anyone asks me about the new coat I bought this weekend, I can say, “Oh this old thing? Yeah I got it in Milan.”

So, let’s chat Milan instead.

Unlike Florence, where it feels like you’re taking a step back into the Renaissance, Milan is incredibly modern. Tall skyscrapers dot the landscape and even the shopping centers seem to be designed after a scene in “Meet the Robinsons.” But there’s a balance that doesn’t exist in Florence between the old and new.

We could see this almost immediately upon arrival. We quickly ran over to see the main tourist attraction in Milan, their Duomo: a 14th century Cathedral almost obscenely decorated in marble statues and carvings that makes it look like a wedding cake topper.

Just as we turned the corner someone made a flyaway comment of, “God there are a lot of kids around, aren’t they supposed to be in school?”

Whoops! We accidentally came to Milan the day of the “Global Climate Strike”. Complete accident for anyone reading this in the Study Abroad Office, as I know that we’re supposed to avoid any protests or demonstrations.

How could you not stop and look!

As I was unable to attend any of the protest strikes back in the States. Just seeing the sights through friends recordings on Snapchat. Which doesn’t do the t’s a different kind of excitement to be around all of the passion. To see kids not much younger than I group all together to make signs and shirts and skip off school for a protest. Though honestly, I felt pretty old standing and looking around, I was excited for our future.

But, after seeing some young girl grab a pigeon in her bare hands, we decided to class up our Milan experience by hopping into the Louis Vuitton pop-up museum.

I’ve personally never been to a pop-up museum. Basically, if you don’t know, it’s a temporary portable museum that just sort of “pops up,” hence the name. This one was all Louis Vuitton-themed.

We were able to see the history of the brand from their earliest trunk to a display with pieces from their modern collection, allowing the audience to see the inspiration, but also the brand’s long success.

They had, quite literally, the cutest set of silk pajamas I’ve ever laid my eyes on. You all know how I love a cute pajama set, but these spoke to me on a different level. With the cute cats all over them, I was now officially ready to shop till I dropped.

The shopping in Milan is the major draw for many tourists, as streets and streets are covered with a whole variety of different clothing stores. But my little group was more worried about food than we were with dropping 500 euros on a new Gucci wallet. So we made a quick pit stop at Five Guys, before window shopping throughout.

Yes, you heard me correctly: Five Guys in Milan. I can’t tell you how jarring it was to see a photo of Barack and Michelle Obama saying how great the burgers were. Or a giant sign over the front door saying, “Maryland’s favorite burger!”

Now tell me the truth, how many Italians could point out Maryland on a map? Okay, maybe more than I think, but I’m just starting to get better at geography myself. Oh, the things you can learn while in Italy!


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