My week in Milan, Italy has left one word lingering in my mind — indulge.
From the food to the language to the fashion, this country has impressed upon me the overwhelming urge to indulge.
The food is incredible. Although I already have intense cravings for a Freebird’s burrito and some Kerbey queso, one bite of a true Italian pizza cooked “forno a legna” (in a wood-fired oven) sends any cravings I felt flying full-speed away. You can tell that everything is cooked full of love and pride. Even the simple tabacchi shop (tobacco shop) paninis put any gourmet sandwich in America to shame. And don’t even get me started on the gelato! I’ve decided that it is impossible to be anything but happy whilst holding a cone of gelato. Sweets have always been my weakness, and with two euro gelato cones beckoning at me from every corner, I simply can’t help but to indulge in the signature Italian treat.
As for the language, I must say that I wish I knew more. My Italian speaking ability has increased greatly over the week that I’ve been here, thanks to the crash course and our wonderful Italian professor. However, even though my comprehension is poor, I’ve fallen in love with how the Italians speak. Each word is spoken with a passion and a conviction, and each syllable is somehow powerful and delicate at the same time. The flow of the language seems to draw you in, asking you to sit and listen and indulge.
Oh, and as a student in Milan, how could I not note the fashion?I, personally, was quite excited to live in a place where shorts and a t-shirt weren’t the daily norm. I appreciate appearances, and find fashion to be an incredible form of self-expression. I am pleased to say that on this front, Milan has yet to disappoint, although I have been surprised by the ease of their dress. Don’t get me wrong — each Italian woman that I have come across looks absolutely fabulous. If I can head home with a fraction of their poise, I’ll be a happy lady. What I mean is that they don’t look overdone, as is common in the US. Their hair is free, curly, and messy…their fashion choices are trendy, easy, and unique…and they wear their stylish clothes as comfortably as you may find a guy at UT wearing basketball shorts. I am in love with the fashion of Milan, as I expected I would be. It is calling for me to jump in (although my bank account is saying otherwise), and I am once again hit with the invitation to indulge.
Italy, indeed, is for indulgence. Be it in pizza and gelato, the language, or the fashion…you can’t only take part in Italy halfway. In my one week here, I’ve learned that the best way to experience Italy is by tasting the food (and forgetting the calories), listening to the language (regardless of how much is lost on you), and dressing like an Italian (even if you’re not quite as fabulous).
Italy is for indulgence, and for the next 4 months, that is exactly what I plan on doing!