Instagram Recap: October
Time really is a strange thing... my second month in Milan has flown by, yet I simultaneously feel as though I've lived here forever. The weather has gotten a bit chillier - meaning, it's consistently in the low 60's instead of the high 60's. It's also rained quite a bit. Apparently, it doesn't snow here until mid-December. Coming from Wisconsin/Minnesota, the lack of snow will be a welcome change! Here are some Instagram favorites from October.
Halloween in Italy: Greta and I made these pumpkin cupcakes to take to her class on Halloween. Yes, they do celebrate it in Italy, but apparently it has only just gotten popular in the past decade or so. A few storefronts were decorated and I saw a couple kids running around in costumes, but overall it's not quite as big of a deal as it is in the States.
Fall in Italy = squash, pumpkins, and chestnuts at the market down the road from my apartment. Are roasted chestnuts a thing in the States? I feel as though they must be in the bigger cities like New York, but I've personally never experienced them until coming here. All of the little street foot carts around the Duomo sell roasted chestnuts. If you've never had them, they taste...kind of like ham.
My coffee prayers were answered when I stumbled upon Arnold Coffee.
Countdown to Christmas by the ever so artistic Tobia! He loves Christmas as much as I do, if that's possible, and he's filled me in on all the holiday festivities in Milan. I'm looking forward to an enormous tree in Piazza del Duomo and lights and decorations all over the city. I also learned that in one of the buildings surrounding the Piazza, somebody plays Christmas carols from a window and is joined by a new instrument every day leading up to Christmas, until there's practically a full orchestra on Christmas Eve.
InterNations threw a party to celebrate 1,000,000 members. Or maybe it was their 10 year anniversary. Or maybe... honestly, I have no idea what it was for. I went with a friend at the last minute and therefore didn't RSVP for the event. I feigned ignorance at the door when they told me I wasn't on the list and somehow managed to sweet talk my way in. I'm glad I did, because the cake pictured above was one of the most delicious things I've ever eaten.
"Madonna and Child" by Andrea Mantega. This is a wonderfully restored original in the Bergamo art museum. Mantega was a Renaissance genius and all, but I can't help but think Jesus looks a bit...odd? Like he's all strung out on heroin or something. Maybe the Three Kings brought too much frankincense.
Sample of the words Tobia had to memorize for an English spelling test. As hard as it's been for me to truly learn Italian, it's always interesting to see it the other way around. English really is a difficult language, and trying to figure out how to explain to Tobia why coffee had a C and not a K reminded me of that. Or, as he put it: "But so many rules! Why can't one sound come from one letter?" Though I did applaud his creativity with "coke" - good use of the "ou" combination.
Ceiling frescoes in the Bergamo cathedral - definitely one of the most beautiful cathedral interiors I've seen to date.
Castelvecchio selfies in Verona
Eerie trip to the Monumental Cemetery in Milan. Multiply this photo by 1,000,000 and you'll have the massive burial ground that is the Monumental Cemetery. All of the crypts and statues are a photographer's dream. (Post coming soon!)
Pure joy after trudging up an ancient mule track to reach the crumbling ruins of the castle in Vezia, overlooking Lake Como...
...and this awesome view from the top!
Speaking of awesome views, here's Verona from the top of the Lambert Tower.
And the inside of the Verona Arena, where concert prep was taking place.
Baking chocolate chip cookies with the kids. My first baking attempt here was definitely a learning experience. First of all, measuring in grams and mL was an odd change from using cups and tablespoons. Second, the oven in the house is absolutely ancient. You have to turn on the gas and then physically light it with a flame. It pretty much just has an on/off setting; no temperature options. Needless to say, these cookies came out pretty burnt.
Finally, some confusing live street art on Via Dante. Always a good way to end another month in Milan. Really though, how is this happening...?