After Switzerland, the plan had been to wander around Italy for a few days before meeting up with my study abroad program at a beach town near Pisa. But my exhaustion was so maximum that I hardly felt up to even leaving, though I was eager to get to Italia. So I went to Milan.
I don’t know if any of you have been to Milan, but it’s not the glamorous, romantic mecca I think it should be. It’s very industrial, and, well, just a big city where everyone speaks Italian and dresses really nice. Though there is the Duomo. First thing I did in Italy was find the Duomo, get a gelato, and sit in the piazza. It was all grand until some guy comes up to me trying to sell me a bracelet. I tried to shake him by ignoring him and saying I didn’t understand Italian. That didn’t work because he just switched to English. And then I told him, “No, I don’t want it,” in Italian.
“Why not? Eh? Why not?” he pressed.
So I ignored him, and he kept pestering me. I was absolutely aghast. I was also only a few meters away from the cops. I kept telling him, “No, no, I don’t want it.” I just wanted to be alone, to enjoy being in Italy. But he just would not leave.
Finally I shouted, “Vai via!!!” which means “Go away!!!” He got all angry and said something back and left me alone.
And that was a total buzzkill. So in a huff, I finished my gelato and left the piazza to find my hostel. My first moment in Italy was ruined by an illegal immigrant haranguing me to buy an over-priced bracelet.
I spent three days in Milan. I walked around a bit, gave the city another shot, but after nearly stepping in a huge pile of actual shit, I generally lived at the park, behind Castello Sforzica. So I read and journaled and went to a couple museums for the rest of the time in Milan. And then moved on to Pisa.