I still rate aperitivos, although lots of expats I know get sick of them (they clearly have too much free time - if I manage two a month I feel extra social) but I've also learnt to appreciate the shopping. I still rate the international side of Milan but I've learnt to appreciate the Milanese side too.
I still people watch but as I've learnt to integrate better I don't spend so much time studying the unwritten rules of Italian society and Italian habits. I still love the metro for efficiency, but alas it no longer costs a euro a trip.
The economic crisis is still biting hard, especially in the private school sector, but Milan is improving. It's on the up. No-one in the household has been pick-pocketed for, ooh, at least 6 months. It's Expo 2015 doncha know? My neighbourhood no longer part gypsy camp part building site. We have 5 bars and a pharmacy, a corner shop and a newsagents. The park is no longer toxic! At this rate they might even do something about the air quality - one day!
My favourite thing about Milan would still be it's location. As time passes, I realise that Milan's location is really excellent due to it's central positioning and abundance of train stations.
Rome - 3 hours - tick
Florence - 1.5 hours - tick
Venice - 3 hours - tick
Turin - 1 hour - tick
Cinque Terre and Liguria - 2-3 hours - tick
Bergamo - 30 mins - tick
Verona - 1.5 hours - tick
Bologna - 1 hour - not yet!
Got a car?
Monza and it's wonderful park - 20 mins - tick tick tick
Bellagio Lake Como - 1.5 hours - tick tick
Sirmione, Lake Garda - 1.75 hours- tick
Alba and the Langhe - 1.75 hours- tick
Bolzano and the Dolomites - 3 hours - tick
Cote d'azur - 3 hours - tick
Mantua - 2 hours - not yet!
And I'm sure there are many more great places to go. But I'll let you in on a little secret - il triangolo Lariano - my favourite Milanese weekend escape! Everytime I go I fall a little bit more in love with Lombardy.
Here are some pictures from our latest hike to the Corni di Canzo via the rifugio where we ate mushroom risotto, assorted cheeses and cured meats and a lovely slice of jam tart (crostata).
|First signs of Autumn|
|From the Corni looking down on Lake Como|
|Il corno occidentale|
|Il corno centrale|