Travel: Moving Abroad
I’ve been in Milan for a month now - I moved here for my university course which involves studying abroad for one year as part of the Erasmus programme. In the UK I study Italian, but here I am studying History of Art, with all the classes taught in Italian at Università degli Studi di Milano. It has been a whirlwind first month, with so many exciting new experiences!
The first big change was moving into Italian student accommodation - you may have seen my previous interiors posts about my flat in Cambridge. I really was lucky with my accommodation there but my room here sadly isn’t quite as fancy. Everything is completely blue (the furniture, the floor, the walls…) - but as always I’ve made the best of it, and I think I’ve managed to make even the empty shell I had to start with look homely. The difficulty was that as an international student here, I could only bring with me what I could fit in my suitcases, so no big ornaments! My top tip for packing light but decorating well is that the essential items are postcards, polaroids and washi tape. You can fill a big blank wall with beautiful art postcards or polaroids fairly easily, and the washi tape won’t damage the walls, so you’ll soon have a beautiful and Instagrammable room.
The food in Italy is amazing - I’ve found some wonderful spots to eat, even if its tricky not being able to eat gluten when there’s so much pasta and pizza about! I’ll soon write a full post about my favourite places to eat in Milan, but for now, my two favourites are the gluten free restaurant Quinoa, where I had some amazing gluten-free Calamari, and also the GluFree bakery, which serves amazing cakes, bread and pastries, all perfect for coeliacs! I’ve eaten out a lot, as another downside to Italian student accommodation is that we have only one kitchen shared between 200 people, so cooking at home is very difficult and always busy!
Milan is also a great city for art - obviously studying History of Art here has been amazing so far as I’m in the perfect place for it, but there are so many wonderful galleries. I still have lots on my list to visit, but the Museo Novecento is a must see. I’m also excited to see The Last Supper, which is in the Pinacoteca di Brera in Milan, but you have to book around 2 months in advance to get a ticket to see it as it is so popular!
At the moment I don’t feel like I miss the UK at all, there’s so much to discover here that I feel I won’t ever be bored of this city! The only thing I have missed slightly is a small craving for cheddar cheese! I tried to get some in the supermarket and the woman working there gave me the cheese slices that you use for burgers and told me they were what English people have on their toast… I was a little insulted. Instead I went and got some baked beans, which I finally found hidden in the foreign food aisle - there’s only so many days in a row you can eat pasta!