Oh, Milano!

Jun 21, 2011 by    Posted under: Photos, Travel

Just like Ireland, Italy is truly everything I imagined it to be. I spent three days in Milan (Milano) wandering around and eating gelato, listening to the lull of Italian and marveling at how loose and free people are with their movements, their language, their gestures. Being here makes me want to loosen up my stride and shake what my mama gave me. And learn Italian.

I have to admit something here. Italy has never been on the top of my list of places to go, sitting somewhere in the middle of my dream travels, but it has caught me by surprise and I feel as though I was always meant to come here. There’s this, “Oh, I remember you” feeling I have even though I’ve never been here before and have never felt a pull to this country.

I feel like I could live here, at least for a little while. There is so much beauty here and something so free about the Italians and Italy has wrapped itself around me. From the outside, it seems there is not the self consciousness we have in the United States, that uptight, Puritan heritage so ingrained in us. I watch Italians talk and see that speaking is only a part of communicating. Their body language is not subtle, it’s big, it’s loud and it’s bold. It’s free.

I want to be free in the way that the Italians are free. There are ways in which I am very free with myself, but most of the time I feel like I keep so much of myself contained, afraid to rock the boat, afraid do something ‘wrong’ and afraid to make a fool of myself. Being in Italy surrounded by such warmth and openness, I feel like I could find myself here in a way I haven’t felt able to at home in the States.

Also, Italy’s climate seems to be agreeing with me. It’s not vastly different from my home in California, but for some reason, my skin and body are really feeling good here. Maybe it’s because I’m feeling good here, or all the olive oil I’m ingesting, or all the sun I’m allowing myself to get. (I’d like to think it’s all the gelato I’m eating but odds are no.) Whatever it is, I feel very happy here, very sad about leaving and am already thinking about ways I could come back to live and study.

It’s strange, I don’t feel drawn to come back to Italy to vacation. It’s not a place I want to just spend a short amount of time in. My heart wants to reside here, to have time to really settle into the culture and to familarize (perhaps re-familiarize) itself with the pulse of this country.

I know that my love affair with Italy is just beginning. It has taken me by surprise, as many great loves do, and where there’s a will, there’s a way. In the meantime, I am enjoying every moment I have here in Milan and am looking forward to my time in the Lazio region north of Rome.

Head on over to Where in the World is Basha’s Facebook Page to see many more photos of beautiful Milan! You can also see a video of the surprise afternoon hail storm I took from a cozy cafe on YouTube.

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