Saturday, 5 July 2014

Has it really been a year?

Anniversary celebration at Cherie's.  Delicious!
Hard to believe but on the 27th June last year, we left Sydney to begin our Milan Transfer. So this seems like a good time to reflect on the surprising discoveries we have made during our unexpected Italian adventure.
Stefano, Cherie and me arriving in Milan.
Discovery number 1 - Living in Milan is EASY (well mostly).
We've completely surprised ourselves by discovering that city apartment living suits us.  Have we missed our lovely garden and house in Sydney? Yes.
Our local bar/cafe is 1 minute across the road.
Our local supermarket PAM is 2 minutes walk.
Our favourite pizzeria is less than 5 minutes walk.
Stefano's office is less than 10 minutes walk.
And the second best gelateria in Milan is less than a block's walk. Dangerously close!
Our city view
Bar Foppa from our balcony.
Discovery number 2 - the locals are FRIENDLY.
Whether it's been Elisabetta our land lady, or the gorgeous Francesca in Bar Foppa, or Stefano's colleagues, or out Italian teachers Laura and Cristina, or Mina our charmingly elegant neighbour... (the list goes on) we've found that the Milanese have been welcoming, kind and friendly. We quickly discovered that their reputation as 'stand offish' was completely unjustified.
With Mina waiting to visit an exhibition in the centre of Milan.
Discovery number 3 - Public transport in Milan is FANTASTIC.
For the past year we've hardly needed a car.  Our closest bus stop is 2 minutes walk away and rarely do we have to wait for more than 5 minutes.  The number 14 tram takes less than 20 minutes into the centre of town and the tram stop is just down the road.  Even the free city bikes are looking more tempting, now that we've found more bike lanes around our neighbourhood.
Have we missed our own car? Not at all. 
The trusty number 14 tram. A slow, but steady ride home for Beth and Jen with bags of Milanese bargains.
Discovery number 4 - Milan is full of HIDDEN surprises. 
During our first year we've learned that Milan's beauty is more than 'skin deep'.  Every week we seem to make more discoveries, like this tiny church, Basilica San Maurizio on Corso Magenta where our neighbour Mina was married during the late 1950s.
San Maurizio - Photo credit to Trudy.
It's dreary and plain on the outside, but once you step inside you are surrounded by the most breathtaking frescos. They date back to the 16th century and were painted by Milan's most famous artist, Bernadino Luini and his sons.  It is for good reason that this hidden gem is often referred to as "Milan's Sistine Chapel".
Thanks again to Trudy for these great photos.
Discovery number 5 - Our BEST discovery...
We continue to be grateful for this wonderful opportunity to explore new places, make new friends and learn a new (and very difficult!!!) language.  Best of all, we've discovered that we love SHARING our new city with dear friends.
What a year it has been! 
Guadiamo avanti al prossimo anno!


  1. Lovely Jen! Agree that Milano is a place of hidden treasures and thank you for showing us some. Happy anniversary.

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  3. Thanks Therese. Was lovely to have you both stay. We've enjoyed following your garden tips

  4. Glad you like Milan too! I lived in Sydney for 8 years and now Milan the same time. Each have their special characteristics but I don't miss the distances and the public transport and the expensive coffee! :-)

    1. Haha the coffee prices in Sydney are ridiculous! Quite right Audrey. Both cities have their own joys and challenges. As the temperature warms up we've both been a bit homesick for a beach with surf.

    2. Ohh Milan sounds wonderful - so glad that you are making the most of its differences and focusing on the good things and not the things you've left behind in Sydney. Cheap coffee would be a winner for me ... it's very expensive in Western Australia ;) Also the history and the architecture ... sigh. Thank you for popping over to my blog Lifestyle Fifty earlier. Happy days.

    3. Thanks for commenting Jo. Yes we are taking advantage of all that Northern Italy offers