Thursday, 6 August 2009

More pics from Milan

The original Prada store.
Galleria Emmanuel Vittore (big shopping center).

Duomo. (I wasn't allowed in, they told me to "cover up your legs!")

Wednesday, 5 August 2009

Ciao bella, Milan!

Change of scenery: Took the train from Como to Milan today. Now relaxing in the most tacky hotel room I’ve EVER seen! I know Milan is supposed to be the capital of style, but as style points go, Hotel King gets NIL – NADA- NULL. It’s sort of Indian-themed with big Persian carpets and curtains everywhere, painting, wallpapers, big mirrors and dark wooden cupboards, and nothing go together! They could’ve just put an IKEA bed and carpet in here instead, and it would’ve looked nicer. Worst thing is, they probably spent loads of money on this circus. OK, enough of that. It’s comfortable and the room is big, at least.

First impression of Milan is better than expected. Easy to find your way around, pretty quiet and relaxed, and warm: 32 degrees (a bit too warm). Just been checking out the neighbourhood Corso Magenta today, saw the local church St. Ambrogio and had a very nice mozzarella/ham sandwich and then some ice cream. Ah. Now planning sightseeing for tomorrow, will probably head down to the city centre and see the cathedral Duomo and the main train station among other things. If the temperature stays like this, I might have to take a trip outside the city one day to go swimming!

P.S: Oh, and I definitely need to get a scooter. Everyone here has it, and they look so damn cool. Saw a guy speeding past on his scooter whilst smoking cigar, wouldn’t see that anywhere else haha. Oh, and the Milanese are actually friendlier than the other Italians I’ve met, nice surprise.


Tuesday, 4 August 2009

The Italy-appeal

The sun came out today, and I could see the total Italy-appeal. It’s a whole different story in nice weather! Started the day by checking out the swimming pool on top of the hotel. (Managed to get proper sunburnt, ouch…) Then went on a boat trip on lake Como, went past a dozen other small villages. It almost reminded me a bit about home; the lake is quite narrow, so almost like a fjord, with mountains and hills on both sides. The houses look different, of course, and there are a lot of amazing villas on top of the hills. I’m guessing you can only get to those by helicopter or by walking. For the rich and famous, for sure! I think one of the villas we went past is actually George Clooney’s. Didn’t see him, though…

Another thing I noticed today is how they don’t have any international brand stores here, I’ve only seen one McDonalds and that’s it. They only have Italian grocery stores that sell fresh ingredients. It’s the same with the clothing stores; almost just Italian ones. It’s nice when you get to a country and actually notice that you’re in a different country, not like Oslo, which might as well have been Stockholm or any American city. But I imagine Milan will be a bit more international, headed there tomorrow. Excited, and ready for more action!

Monday, 3 August 2009

Come sta, Como?

OK, so I swore that this blog would be about stuff that matters, art, fashion etc. But I wanted to blog a bit while I’m residing in Northern Italy. I’ll try and keep it professional. Don’t worry, I’m not gonna turn all Cory Kennedy on you and publish my whole life story.

So, first time in Italy. Living up to the clich├ęs so far. Rude people, crazy traffic, beautiful lakes, good food, wine, espresso, weird opening times and lots of energy. Only unorthodox thing: The weather. Today it’s been pouring with thunder and lightning. And when I say pouring, I mean POURING. Therefore didn’t get to do much sightseeing, but managed to find my way down to the city centre (it’s quite small), hiding under a Hotel Como umbrella. So much for pretending to be a local. When I came down to the piazza in front of the church Duomo, my hat almost blew off, and it felt like being in a movie. I run into the nearest bar and ordered a coffee. It was obviously the hangout-spot for old Italians. Not much to do in Como when bad weather, I discovered. Hopefully it’s better tomorrow, so I can take a boat trip on the lake and hike up the hillside to look at Verdi’s old villa. Perhaps Versace’s as well. After all, Como is the town where Kennedy romanced Marilyn Monroe, Oceans 12 was filmed and Brangelina were rumoured to get married.

Note: All nationalities are totally living up to the stereotypes. I’ve mentioned the Italians. Last night I sat next to the whiniest German family ever. They complained about everything from the wine to the food, and didn’t even talk to each other. All the while sitting outside at a nice restaurant next to a beautiful lake in Northern Italy… Today: Americans. Two girls sitting next to me at a restaurant, asking all these difficult questions to the waiter, in English of course. (Not that I speak Italian, but at least I don’t expect them to know all the English words either) The waiter had to fetch some rice to show them what it looked like. The girl then exclaimed, “It’s different in America”, and started explaining what it was like there. Like anyone cared. I got a bit embarrassed, and had to look down. But then again, observing other people is the best thing about travelling alone. And I’m sure I live up to the Scandinavian stereotype as well. Tall, silent, arrogant, right?