Travel Guide: Italy

Image credit: Dee Dee Lee
Cannaloni Image credit: Dee Dee Lee
Lake Como Image credit: Dee Dee Lee

Over term break I revisited Italy, which has the most beautiful, spectacular, salivating art – I mean pasta and pizza, not Michalangelo’s Creation of Adam.  I spent two weeks eating my way from Milan down to Rome. I was having such an amazing time that I completely forgot I’m actually mean to be doing a degree until my classmates started discussing coursework in our group chat. Ever since the last time I was in Italy in 2011, I’ve wanted to go back for the food, the coffee, the people, and the language. I even learned some Italian, which I got to show off on this trip – though only limited to the most important thing, ordering food!

Milan was cloudy and rainy. After visiting the Duomo and three other churches, I retired for aperitivo, a glorious couple of hours, usually between 7pm and 9pm, when people chill with a glass of wine and (free!) unlimited refreshments. If you prefer cocktails, make sure you get a Spritz!

Hostel: Ostello Bello Grande, Via Roberto Lepetit, 33, right outside of Milano Centrale train station. It is clean, has free breakfast and dinner, great atmosphere, friendly staff, free towels, lockers, and WiFi. At the time of publication this was £24 per night for a 6 bedroom mixed dorm on hostelworld.com.

Restaurant: Antica Focacceria San Francesco, Via San Paolo, 15. This has the best cannoli – get a big one and don’t share it!

I later did a day trip to Como, which is only 30 minutes by train from Milan, to meet up with a friend. We took a ferry and hopped from town to town around the lake. Torno was my absolute favourite, it was very quiet and every alley was an adventure. I could sit by the lake all day and just look at the view. Check out my video of it: https://youtu.be/DqwpVNDn3DM

Bologna (rhymes with lasagna) is very much a university town as students make up one-fifth of the city’s population. My local friend and I went for lunch and ate loads of crescentine con salumi, a fried flat bread that’s light and puffy and is eaten with squacquerone (an Italian cream cheese) and cold cuts. After we parted, I climbed 498 steps to the top of Asinelli Tower to get the best view of the city. My friend told me that even though he’s studied and lived there for so many years, he’s never climbed the tower because it is believed that students will never graduate if they do!

Hotel: Hotel Aemilia, Via Giavanna Zaccherini Alvisi, 16. A 4-star hotel with the biggest bed I've ever slept in, it could have fit a family of four! The hotel was £85/night for a standard double room.

Restaurant: Trattoria del Rosso, Via Augusto Righi, 30 – aside from the, crescentine con salumi get their lasagne, which is so creamy it melts in your mouth!

Ciao!

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