Ciao, Milano!

The city I never knew.

When I told friends and family I was headed to NYC and then Milan a few weeks ago, everyone had traveler’s envy.

The details y’all don’t know is that traveling for work is hard work! On top of the exhaustion from airplanes, transfers, trains, taxis and people traffic, there is work to be done!

So in the few hours I had each night in Milan to share dinner with my Sammic co-workers in the heart of Milan, by the Duomo cathedral, I took in the gothic architecture (or as I said, awe-chitecture), I discovered a newfound obsession with the Italian cadence and as always, I enjoyed the people watching.

The chilly nights made for perfect chesnut roasting weather. The aromas carried me back to winter 2008, while studying in Beijing, every few blocks you could find someone roasting chestnuts. Yes, chestnuts and yams. Just the thought of this warms me from inside out.

Then I recalled the Champs-Elysées in Paris during the winter holidays of 2010, where the City of Lights came alive at night for all to stroll the famous boulevard and enjoy a vin chaud, le shopping et des marrons.

In Milano, every night we passed through the Galleria Vittorio Emanuale, an arching glass shopping hall dating back to the 1800s, where I came across this bull mosaic. My colleague Arno, of Sammic Netherland, assured me that there is a tradition of turning your heal in the hole to bring good luck. He’s a nice guy and has a Milanese wife so I did as he suggested.

Now wikipedia tells me this gesture is to ward off evil. Ay! I was not aware of the evil around me. Otherwise, I may have stuck my other heal in there too!

I guess this means I have to go back…

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2 thoughts on “Ciao, Milano!

  1. Tracy, your rememberance of the roasted chestnuts and yams brings me memories of Caitlyn’s great adventure stories from Beijing! Such fun you two had over there…

  2. although the neighborhood yam men sold delicious yams, lucky for you you weren’t in beijing in the freezing winter! i still remember your story about the lady with whom you shared breakfast on the bench by the church on wangfujing. great stories. did you ever make a book of all the emails and stories?

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