11 – Novara, Milano

Milano & Novara

I’ve visited one of my pen-pals! It was so much fun. Her name is Marta Ludovici and she lives in Novara outside of Milano about an hour. We’ve been talking for a few months and after being in Italy a bit, she invited me to visit. She is really unique, living in Novara but commuting daily to Milano where we she works for Dolce & Gobbana. Went up the first night after school and spent the night in the outskirts of Milano. Being a bit tired of pizza & pasta we wanted to mix it up. McDonald’s is everywhere in Europe but I can’t stand how much it costs here, the food is bad, and to top it off; after speding Spring Break 06′ driving to Canada living off the dollar menu alone; this is no longer an option. I do however like Burger King (or as we call it, the “BK Lounge”) but they are rare on this continent; but not in Milan. We heard there was one just outside the Duomo; so step one was hit that up. Our hostel was quite cramped; I think almost 16 peple in two small connected rooms. But one of them was a girl studying in Amsterdam on her way to visit family in Cinque Terre. She followed along for one great night of “King” sized eating.

The next day a bit after lunch we headed out to Novara where Marta picked us up from the train station. She was great and much like I expected (once you are facebook friends with someone; there isn’t much else to know, jk!). We spent the afternoon chatting, walking the markets and shops downtown and then through their park where we sat. There were dogs everywhere; I think Italians really like their dogs, much more than Americans. We stuff our in our houses or tie them to lines in the back yard. Italians walking there dogs everywhere. It fun to watch. Later we met up with one of Marta’s better friends I think and had a cafe’, then hit up happy hour for some free pizza and drinks. We spent the evening at her friends house; where we ate McDonald’s, lol (her friend really wanted some, I guess). I got a local specialty and it was suprising not bad; A McParmesan I think, although it did not match my favorite local McSpecial sandwich; in Dubai I had a McArabia = freak’n amazing and really fresh vegetables. I could eat McD’s all the time if I lived in Arabia.

McArabia!

McArabia!

Anyways we spent the evening at her friend’s house with two other friends of hers. It was a very cultural night. We also hit up a bar/restaurant for some music and evening drinks before we headed in for the night.

The next morning we went to Milan. Marta took us to the Duomo; I finally bought a much needed camera for a great deal. The Duomo was amazing. It’s my second time going but this time during the day. It is much more majestic at night; but its shine is only noticed during the day. I didn’t realize how “white” it was. Unfortunately the massive paintings that we inside it hanging pillar to pillar where no longer there; but still it was quite stoic. After the duomo we caught more action in the “BK Lounge,” walked the fancy shopping districts, as well as hit up D&G and saw the merhcanidse Marta’s handles at work. 

We caught the evening train home; which ran late (need to notice this trend) and missed our connection in Firenze to go to Castiglion. There were no more trains after that, but there was one to Arezzo; only one train station north of our town. We figured it’s better than nothing. After arrival our plan was to show the Taxi drivings we only had 10 Euro each and beg they take us home. They didn’t bite! But luckily we ran into a gentleman who was going to be driving through our town; an ex-hitchiking pro himself; who offered to take us home. He had quite the story, telling us about hitchiking from Italy to Finland and back twice. We rolled in about 1AM just in time to sleep a few hours before we had to get up for school, lol. Very cultural weekend and got tons of great practice with my Italiano!

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