I went back to Milan last weekend for the first time since I moved away in August, what seems like seven very long weeks ago. As I was expecting, it was an emotional weekend. Mr A and I broke up when he was here in the summer and visiting Milan really brought home to me the reality of what had happened. Needless to say, that hurt.
At the same time, though, the visit was a very positive experience. I was worried that I would have grown apart from my friends since last year and that without working together we would have nothing to talk about any more, but in fact that wasn't the case at all. On Friday night I slept at my friend S's house and we stayed up until 3 in the morning catching up, then on Saturday night a big group of us from my old work went out for pizza and drinks (which turned into pizza, profiteroles, ice cream... and drinks) and had a great time.
On Saturday, I stayed with two other friends and we spent most of Sunday making ravioli from scratch:
The whole process took about 4 hours, so I ended up scarfing my bowl in about 20 minutes and running off to the airport, but it was worth it just for the fun of the cooking!
The weekend was tiring and all too short, but I was glad that I went. Lots of the good things about Italy are good in France too, but Italy has this kind of exuberance that makes you smile and makes you cry in a way that no other country I know of does. Like when I was in the supermarket and the woman in front of me paid with a handful of small coins. “Della moneta – che bello!” rejoiced the checkout assistant. Or when after all those hours in the kitchen, we finally sat down to eat and realised that the pasta was delicious and we had made it all ourselves. Or when my my plane took off from Malpensa as night was falling and I caught a glimpse of the mountains rising out of the clouds into the darkness and realised that despite everything that had happened recently, Italy, that other love of my life, was still going to be there for me.