Monday, January 31, 2011

Una domenica a piedi

'A Sunday on foot'




The normally busy Foro Buonaparte (in front of the Sforzesco Castle) on Sunday afternoon

Every so often the powers that be in Milan decide to have a traffic ban for one day to try and combat the smog. Except for certain categories of vehicles (hybrid or electric cars, taxis and public transport for example) the city of Milan was off-limits, with fines of up to 155 euro for those breaking the ban. I decided to go out for a walk around the city to see just how deserted it would be.

I started by getting the tram to Porta Venezia. I'd taken the tram before when the streets were nearly empty, during summer or at Christmas, even though I'd seen deserted Milan before, this was different. The streets were empty but my tram was fuller than I'd ever seen before! The various means of public transport were running on average 50% more often to cope with the extra amount of people. There was hardly any traffic but there was plenty of people around, it was very strange! I walked down Corso Buenos Aires - and of course did a bit of shopping! - before getting the metro into the city centre.

I was surprised at the amount of cars going down Corso Buenos Aires! I didn't see any police or anyone stopping people from driving around, and the same goes for the city centre. Maybe there was someone somewhere, but I didn't see anyone enforcing the ban at all. It's the typical Italian way of thinking - if you can bend/break rules and get away with it.....

In theory it's a good idea, but being on a Sunday, when most Milanese are out of the city, seems to be a little pointless. I know it'd cause no end of chaos if it'd be held on a weekday, but I unfortunately I don't see how a traffic ban on a Sunday would help things all that much. There's talk this morning about another 'domenica a piedi' next month, which, considering how bad the air quality in Milan has been recently, isn't a surprise.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Il frullatore

Or: the blender.

I'm taking some more teetering steps into the world of domestic housewife...ing, by buying myself a blender. When I was at uni I used to drink a ridiculous amount of smoothies, thanks to the amazing smoothie bar in the Students Union, but Italy doesn't share the same love for smoothies as the UK does. There's a limited choice in supermarkets, and the ones you *do* find are expensive. So yesterday I decided it was about time I finally bought myself a blender so I could make myself some delicious smoothies!

And here's the banana smoothie I had for supper tonight (it's a orange-ish glass, hence the funny colour!)


Buonoooooooooo!!

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Weekend Breakfast



Yes, I'm 24 years old and have a slight Kinder addiction...

Weekends mean more time for breakfast, and I normally make myself a cappuccino by making myself some coffee in my moka and using my wonderful Ikea milk frother to make some frothy milk. Delicious!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Saldi!

The results of my raid on the sales!

Buona Befana a tutti! Today the sales started in Milan as well as most of north and central Italy, after the south started their sales on the 2nd. In Italy there are laws dictating when sales can start in the summer and winter, and when I found out that the sales for me would be starting on Epiphany I was surprised - most shops in Italy close on bank holidays. It was a great idea though, there was a lot less people in giro this year than the first day of the January sales last year. The best bargains I found was a pair of jeans in Promod and a very pretty nightshirt in H&M. Lush had a very interesting promotion on too, so I've now got enough Lush products to last me for months!

I'm debating whether to make the trek out to Ikea over the weekend - the problem is I know it'll be so busy!