I spent a week in Milan to try and improve my Italian language skills and to hear an opera or two.
Allow me to dissect the photo: Libretti for Rigoletto and La Cenerentola; a collapsible tote bag that I planned to (and did) use to bring home new shoes; I didn’t have a cold but since I had tickets to four different performances, I didn’t want to be caught off guard without medicine and throat lozenges, I never want to be Mr. Coughy; I took two pair of shoes that were both new and was worried I might get blisters, but I didn’t need to use any of the Band-Aids.
I rented an apartment in the Ticinese neighborhood. It was cheap, nice, and was in a great location. I like to pretend I live in a place I am visiting, so having an apartment to call home was great. It had windows on both sides so it was nice and bright and sunny. Unfortunately I didn’t get any good pictures of the place because when I arrived I wasn’t feeling so good.
I arrived in Milan from the U.S. (via Dublin) at about 11:00 in the morning and I wasn’t feeling so good. I had a low grade, but persistent pain right below my rib cage. Thankfully I had recently had a full exam with my cardiologist so I wasn’t worried about heart trouble, but as I stumbled around Milan waiting for my apartment to be available, exhausted from an overnight flight, with this gut ache, I did kind of wish I was back home in my bed.
When I did get into my apartment just after 3:00, I pretty much crawled right into bed. I ended up taking a six-hour nap, woke up for about two hours and then slept from 11:00 pm to 11:00 am. Eighteen hours of sleep in a 24-hour period. This is unheard of for me. Even when I can sleep in, I rarely can get more than 7 hours of sleep at a time. And when I woke up my gut ache was worse. I had a private tour of the Duomo booked that afternoon and after that a dinner party with a bunch of Italians I had never met before. When I got back to my apartment that night and talked to John on the phone he suggested I try the equivalent of Prevacid. Thankfully there was a pharmacy not too far from my apartment that was open until 1:00 am–and on a Sunday no less.
Although each day I felt a bit better than the previous day, it took about four days for the Lansoprazolo to really kick in. And it wasn’t until a good five days into my trip before I started to feel normal. This meant that I ate much, much less than I would have normally. I ended up actually loosing two pounds on the trip.
When I still was only half better I had panzerotti which are kind of like a cross between a donut and squishy bread and a calzone and filled with cheese and prosciutto. It was so, so, good.
I avoided red sauce, but I couldn’t avoid pasta. At least I didn’t want to avoid pasta. And European Fanta is so much better than U.S. Fanta.
I did see the sights and I had about 10-hours of private tours given mainly in Italian, but more on that later.
And I did some some shopping. Two pair of shoes, and a Missoni scarf I decided to wear when I went to the Armani Museum.
And on my first day of feeling fine, I went out for a meal that included some red sauce and a very full pour of wine.
Followed by a craving for gelato, but the gelato place across the street also had crepes so I had one filled with Nutella (and then followed it up with a gelato).
And I wish I could have brought home a case of these Sicilian clementines. They were so good. At home we rate all citrus on a 10-point scale with a five being just the tipping point from edible to delicious. These were all 9s and 10s.
I will have more to say about this trip in the coming days. Stay tuned.