And just like that, we are in Italy! A whole different country, language, and culture to adapt to, and boy, are we enjoying it. We fly back to Australia from Rome next week, so decided to make the most of it and spend a bit of time relaxing before heading back.
Italy is such a special country to us. It is full of history; it is vivacious, relaxed, colourful. This is our second time here, and it has been so much fun to rediscover it.
We landed in Milan on Sunday morning, to find out that our luggage had been lost by Vueling. This is the third time this has happened to us since we left Australia in March. The first time, our luggage was never found, the second time it was returned to us within 24 hours, and now two days in, there is still no word as to where in the world it is. Needless to say, we aren’t too hopeful about getting it back.
One of our bags – our hiking pack from the Camino – made it to Milan, only filled with winter clothes & hiking gear, and Isla’s little collection of too-small onesies. I wore my worst t-shirt that I was going to change out of into something nicer to go out and see Milan, and oh, am I regretting that clothing decision! We look like the biggest dags.
We were initially quite hesitant about choosing to go to Milan, as so many people had told us that they’d been really disappointed with the city. But it was the cheapest place in Italy to fly to from Paris, so we decided to take the plunge and see for ourselves. I am so pleased we chose to go there.
Guys, Milan was beautiful. It really was. It felt like the sort of city that we could easily spend a week in and lazily get to know. On our first day, I even checked to see if our Airbnb apartment was available for a few more days, however it wasn’t, so our time in the city was short but sweet.
As soon as we got into the city we headed to Portobello, a small trattoria on the outskirts of town that we’d heard about. It was just what we needed, after having spent two hours at the airport sorting out a claim for our luggage. It was one of those moments that gives you warm fuzzy feelings, and makes you want to cry out of happiness. The hospitality of the waiters, the food (oh my goodness, so delicious), the overall atmosphere. It was just so lovely.
We spent the afternoon exploring the centre of Milan, having coffee, window shopping, and taking Isla into the Disney store, which she absolutely loved. There is something so special about the simplicity of just wandering. Not having an agenda, not worrying about seeing everything. Just taking it slow, and enjoying the now. This is our favourite way of travelling, and it’s why we love to travel over a longer period of time. Because we’re constantly on the go, travelling can quickly become tiresome, so we’ve decided to be OK with not seeing everything that there is to see in a city. We often leave a place excited for our next trip back, and what we’ll be able to discover then. This has helped us not become too worn out, or too disappointed when we don’t conquer the world every single day. It has been such a freeing decision, and has made travel all the more enjoyable.
Yesterday we went to see the Duomo. We’d been told by my parents that the one thing we needed to do while we were in Milan was to climb to the top of the cathedral. Quick tip: there are four ticket offices to buy tickets to enter the cathedral. I absolutely hate waiting in line when I don’t have to, so whenever we visit a popular monument, I try to research before getting there, to find out how best to skip the lines. While there were half hour long waits for the main ticket booths connected to the cathedral, you can buy your passes at the Museo del Duomo, opposite the cathedral. We headed over there and purchased our tickets straight away, with no waiting time.
One thing that we hadn’t realised though, was that they don’t have a locker room for people to leave bulky items in, i.e. our pram. We didn’t want to walk the two kilometres back to our Airbnb, but we also didn’t want to have to carry the pram up with us to the top of the Duomo. So, Dave did what he does best, and walked into an office building, charmed everyone, and got them to hold the pram in the coat closet while we went up the Duomo. I am always in awe of Dave, and how personable and friendly he is. Some of the best adventures we’ve had are because Dave is never afraid to ask. It is something that I am constantly in awe of, and constantly challenged by, as having the audacity to even just ask is something I struggle with.
The Duomo was beautiful. So grand and majestic. It was such a great experience to climb the stairs that people have climbed for hundreds of years, and to walk along the rooftops and look out on the city. There is such history there, and we wondered about the people who had walked before us; why they had climbed the cathedral, and what their story was.
Isla lost it as soon as we got to the highest level of the rooftop, so we spent a quick few minutes looking around, found a couple of boys weeing in a corner, who were giggling at their cheekiness, and quickly descended & picked up our pram. We had a laid back afternoon at the park, before eating a pizza at home with a big salad, and enjoying a quiet night at home.
We got into Rome today, and have a week left of travel before heading back to Australia. Italy has been such an amazing farewell to this region of the world that we love so much.
If you have any tips, tricks or places to eat while we’re in Rome, let me know!