At the start of this year I spent 2 months working in Milan as an English teacher. During this time I made some friends and (as I had a bicycle) got to know the city really well. So for me, I was looking forward a lot to come back here and show Jake all of the ‘local’ places I discovered. During these days we managed to meet up with several friends and my colleagues. As we spent most of our time with friends we don’t have so many photos this time. Sorry about that!
As Jake has also been to Milan before we weren’t in such a rush to get out into the city everyday. Also, after our weekend at the Formula One it was good to have some slow days and time to catch up on some things: we had to plan our next few weeks – our route, couch surfing – Jake was job hunting and of course, we were writing the blog!
Our first non racing day in the city we met with my friends – Dani and Filo – for coffee before going to Lake Idroscalo to sit and read in the sun. This natural lake is only a few kilometres from Milan but feels like a world away. Surrounded by trees, it’s a very green area and so peaceful too. Sitting there, it’s amazing to think that the hectic life of Milan is so close. We went to the lake just as the day was cooing down, around 5ish, so it was the perfect time to enjoy this place. During the heat of the day, even in the shade, it would have been too much I think.
Meeting Dani and Filo was great too! I was working with them at the school in Milan for two months and we got on really well. I promised them that I’d come back to the city and to the school before long to see them all again. A promise is a promise!!

Just outside of Milan is the beautiful Abbazia di Chiaravalle. Known for its frescoes and interesting bell towers, I visited this place when i was here before and wanted to show Jake. Sadly though, when we arrived the abbey itself was closed but nevertheless it was lovely to sit and be in this peaceful place.

Another place I visited before was Pavia and as we were already out of the city at the Abbazia di Chiaravalle it made sense to continue. Pavia is a small city only half an hour from Milan. As with many Italian cities it has a beautiful, well preserved historical center. Here we took a short walk around before taking a coffee.
Built alongside a river, I like this city a lot, it is small but lively and during the fabulous Italian summer it has many outside places to relax. Alongside the river is especially nice, sitting on the opposite bank to the city we had a fantastic view of the Duomo and Ponte Coperto.
That evening we cooked Thai for Michaele and his housemates – I think Jake enjoyed doing this a lot! He’s missed cooking and missed Thai food too!
Jake chose to spend the next morning job hunting. Then later we went to the Casa Museo Boschi Di Stefano. This is a tiny art gallery inside an apartment. It was created from the collection of  couple who donated their works, and the apartment, to the city of Milan. Apparently, when first opened, every inch of this apartment was covered with art: over the windows, all of the walls, in the bathroom, kitchen and even on the ceiling. After organising it a bit and sending some to other galleries for display this gallery was opened for public.
So after a relaxing few days we packed our bags and prepared for our ride up to Sondrio – our last stop in Italy.

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