For the past few years, my three best friends and I have saved in a joint account with a view to going away together to celebrate our thirtieth birthdays. Last week, the four of us visited Milan for a long weekend – and can you believe, it was our first girls’ trip outside of Scotland?!
Milan was amazing; such a vibrant city (even in the dullness of January) with the most gorgeous buildings and delicious wine, coffee, pasta and cake. It’s a sprawling city, with lots to look at and plenty of places to see (however, the rain put us off venturing further afield than the immediate city centre) and I get the feeling that it has a lot to offer both residents and tourists, especially in the summer when the weather is warm. The architecture is breath taking and it’s little wonder that so many students come to Italy. The restaurants have outside areas for these warmer months, but they were still used regularly while we were there, despite the cold rain and snow. The outside eating areas were covered and had patio heaters to keep customers warm (the red wine also helped in that regard!) and waiters outside in little more that crisp white shirts were no less charming than the ones tucked safely in the cosy indoors. The food was incredible – the pasta came in small portions, light and satisfying – and all wine was lovely. The Prosecco in Italy is something completely different to the sickeningly sweet stuff found here, while the coffee was satisfying (one cup was enough each morning) and the hot chocolate was literally melted chocolate in a cup. Heaven.
What I loved most about Milan was that it gave the four of us a chance to reconnect as friends. Day-to-day living and the routine that comes with responsibility means that the mundane takes over our lives sometimes; Milan reminded me that it is important to remember to take time for ourselves, friends and family and to do things we enjoy. The four of us have been friends for years and to me, these women will be in my life forever, but what I found most special about Milan was that it allowed us to laugh, cry and simply enjoy our company for an entire weekend – with no interruptions. Other than the wine and pasta, of course.
1. The Looky-Looky men catching us out – four friendship bracelets for 20 Euros? Sure, why not!
2. Laughing so hard that we spat our water over each other in our hotel room on Saturday.
3. Hilarity at Osteria.
4. The five-time crossing to find the correct tram.
5. Tucking our soaked feet into blankets after insisting on an outside table at a restuarant where Antonio Bandaras served us.
6. Buying a chocolate cake from the patisserie and scoffing the entire thing at at our hotel.
7. Being attacked by the furniture in the Gucci boutique.
8. Leo Milan’s expert taxi hailing skills.
9. Baciami, Grazie and Prego!