My First Morning in Italy was full of unexpected surprises, from realising I definitely should have done some research to fear over breaking the law… twice.
It was a freezing January morning in 2013 when I found myself touching down for the first-ever time on Europe’s fabled shores. Milano Malpensa, che bello.
My eyes widened when I spied the Toblerone-esque mountains below me as we flew across the Northern Italian peninsula. This kid from Perth had never seen anything quite like it.
As the plane screeched to a halt on the runway, it suddenly dawned on me though that I had no idea what to do next. Was customs as strict as it is in Australia? How would I get from the airport to my Airbnb? And why on earth was getting through passport control more like trying to get to the front of a mosh pit than an apparently important bureaucratic process?
Only in that moment did it dawn on me, perhaps I should have done some research.
My First Morning in Italy
By the time I made it through the crowd – which to be honest, didn’t happen until there was no more crowd to push through – I was properly confounded, and still none the wiser on how to get to my Airbnb.
Thankfully, I spied a sign for a bus and so I rolled my suitcase over the bumpy roads, flimsy jacket doing nothing to protect me from Milan’s frosty, damp cold, and stumbled over the word, ‘biglietto’.
A large Italian man with industrial gloves and a balding pate laughed and threw my suitcase under the bus, declaring “nooo worrieess-seh”. I finally found my purse and he continued to laugh, “ma daiii, vai vai! Su!”.
I’m still not sure how I made it to my Airbnb – attempts to get a ticket for the next bus were equally futile (although this time, the driver stared at me as if I were an absolute waste of his time) – and so I spent the entire ordeal unsure whether my heart palpitations were due to excitement at being in Italy, or fear that I’d already broken the law… Twice.
But somehow, I arrived at a bus stop in Milan’s Città Studi, where a boy with a white puffer jacket and impossibly voluminous hair was waiting for me.
“Rhianna, ciao! I am Niccolò. Welcome to Eeetaly!”
The True Tale of my First Morning in Italy is part of a series of stories I’m writing called ‘True Tales’. It’s a space for me to write rambling long stories about my own experiences, just for fun – without the pressure of optimising for SEO or meeting client expectations (or even my own!).
If you enjoyed it, I’d love to hear from you in the comments below. If you didn’t, well, I doubt you made it this far so it doesn’t matter! 😉