8 August 2016
My very first taste of Italy started out in Milan. Keeping in mind I only have one day to back up this statement, I liked Milan, but I wasn’t in love.
The hostel I stayed in, Ostello Bello Grande, was wonderful. Upon arriving, the staff was very nice and accommodating. The atmosphere was incredibly friendly, which was by far the best part about the place. While I was checking in, I met a young man from Kent named Arthur. We decided to go explore the city together for the afternoon (I know, I know, I would meet an English boy right off the bat).
We started off our journey with food (of course). However, the recommendation the woman at the hostel gave us was unfortunately closed, so we had to settle for a cafe nearby, which was average. Afterwards, we walked over to the Duomo, which was jaw-droopingly beautiful. Instead of touring the inside, we opted for the terrace ticket, which allows you to climb up the stairs to the very top of the church.
Then, in true Italian fashion, we got gelato. The gelato was also just okay. I honestly think our food experience was average because we were in the touristy area of the city. Anyways, we kept wandering around to work off all that gelato.
Next stop was Castello Sforzesco. It was a pleasant stroll, plus it was free, which I believe might be only past a certain time. The castle is located right next to Parco Sempione so we laid down to relax after. I personally adore parks because they are a prime spot for people watching, one of my favorite pastimes. There were plenty of dogs, people playing Frisbee and people walking around to occupy the time.
The hostel offered free dinner from 7-9pm so we came back to the hostel for that (duh). Everyone just hung out downstairs or on the rooftop after that, which was really lovely. The people staying in the hostel were all so amicable, it was amazing to be sitting in a circle of people who were strangers not long ago, sharing stories together.
So far, I think I like this whole traveling alone thing, but then again, I am writing this on day two. I really have enjoyed getting to know so many different people. It’s bittersweet, you know, on the one hand you could be traveling with your best friend and sharing the experience with someone you love, on the other hand, you can go it alone and share the experience with many different people from all over the world, most of whom you will never see again. Just depends on how you think about it I suppose.
Hopefully my next hostel and the city of Turin in general is just as hospitable as the folks in Milan. Updates to come!