My last week in Italy went by so fast that it’s hard to process the events that occurred! From an academic standpoint, we got more free time as there weren’t too many tours scheduled for the last week. As a result, I managed to squeeze a daytrip to Milan as my last free excursion in Italy.
The academic schedule for the last week was purposely left sparse so that we may study for our final and take advantage of our last days in Italy. One of the few tours we went to that week was a city that specialized in the fish market. It was the most intriguing tour because of the way that buyers and sellers conduct business. When we got to Chioggia, the fishing town, we actually caught a glimpse of how fish and produce is bought.
In general, the exchange is similar to how a silent auction works. The auctioneer shows the potential buyers piles of crates that have the same produce but belong to different farms. The buyers can superficially check out the produce, and they will whisper their price to the auctioneer. The auctioneer will receive all the bids and give it to the person with the highest offer. We saw red cabbage being sold, but we were told that several different types of produce are exchanged. If I remember correctly, a ton of red cabbage sold for a little under $500! Afterwards, we basically got to see the same thing occur with the fish. I never been knowledgeable about fish, so it was eye-opening to see how big swordfish are!
The last excursion I went on was a short daytrip to Milan. Milan is different because it has more of a modern touch to it in comparison to the other cities. However, it is just as beautiful as the rest Italy. I visited the duomo in Milan as well a castle that used to belong to a wealthy family hundreds of years ago. While briefly checking out the courtyard of the castle, I ran into a guy who turned out to be the former mayor of the city. I was highly surprised because of how open he was to the public in regards to his interaction with the locals. He seemed very amicable and would talk to whoever approached him.
I thought it was pretty cool that the atmosphere in Milan was safe to where he did not wall himself off with security (though they were present, just not super close to him). Another thing that piqued my interest was the Starbucks reserve. The place was huge and had different types of coffee that are not available in the States. I tried a coffee called the Rwandan that was way too strong for me, but would be enjoyable for lovers of black coffee. The only thing that I wish I had in Milan was more time, so that I may explore its beauty. It’s definitely a city I have to return to and explore a little more.
In conclusion, the last week was great despite the fact that it went by super fast. Even on the last day, I was learning about the Mediterranean diet and Italian culture. Even though I visited the major cities, I still have more exploring to do and will discover the hidden gems of Italy that are outside of the more popular cities. Overall, my time Italy was definitely a blast!