I have been living in Milan for nearly three years now, and although England is definitely still my home, I find it amazing to see how settled and homely Milan feels to me now. I really noticed it on my recent trip home last month. I was so excited to go home and had such strong feelings of being home when I arrived, but then when I got back to Milan a week later it felt like I was coming home too. I found it so interested how both places can feel like home to me but in two very different ways, and it made me happy to think Milan has become my home away from home.
I started to think about all the little personalities traits and Milan-isms this city has for me that makes it different from home. And though I am definitely still 100% English, I have noticed myself picking up on them and how they have become normal for me. It reminds me how no two countries or even cities are the same which is why traveling is so exciting and eye opening for me.
(Photo from Pinterest.com)
Here are some of the things that make up the personality of Milan for me…
Saying Ciao A Lot. Especially when speaking on the telephone, which Italians love to do. When you want to end the conversation you have to say Ciao Ciao Ciao and then they say Ciao Ciao Ciao and it goes on for a little while.
Taking Regular Espresso Breaks. Italians go for espresso several times a day and there are so many coffee shops all over Milan. You order and drink it standing at the bar and are in and out really fast. It’s a great pick me up when you are on the run. Normally there are lots of people bustling to get to the front but the coffee people always seem to know who’s drink is who’s!
Becoming a Regular at Your Favorite Cafe or Restaurant. If you keep going back to the same place and they get to know you they will greet you like family, bring you things to try from the kitchen and make you feel so welcome every time you stop by.
Having Good Shoes and Handbags is Essential. Milanese girls always have beautiful shoes and handbags made of high quality leather. Its a great way to transform a basic outfit into something elegant and chic.
Skipping Happy Hour For Aperitivo Instead. Nearly every bar in Milan does Aperitvo in the evenings and its so good. Order a Spritz or Prosecco and get served yummy snacks of olives, cheeses, salads, pasta and savory pastries with your drinks.
The Rules are Made to be Broken. Italians follow the rules up until a point but they are very comfortable bending them when they need to and are totally fine with you doing the same. Need to park in the middle of the road while you run into a store to pick something up – no problem. Don’t have time to buy a ticket before you jump on the train – no problem. Just flash them a smile and its always fine.
Dressing Stylish is a Priority. In Milan everyone loves fashion and being stylish and chic is a major priority. I love it because everyone of all generations always looks beautiful and you can get so much style inspiration from the people you see on the streets.
Taking your Dog Everywhere. Milanese people love dogs and they bring there little dogs out with them everywhere they go. In restaurants, cafes, on the trams – once I even saw people bringing their dogs around Ikea!!
Sushi is Everyone’s Favorite International Food. Italians are really proud of their heritage and their food and don’t often eat the food of other cultures. However the exception to this in Milan is Sushi which everyone loves and there are sushi places all over the city.
Picking up on these things makes me feel like I am starting to live a little more like the Milanese and makes me so happy Milan has become my second home.
What are your favorite differences about living abroad? Let me know in the comments below…