Just a stone’s throw from my office is the famous Via della Spiga where you find all the renowned fashion houses. I took a stroll through there this afternoon after work on my way home, but carefully avoided stepping inside any of the shops. Even with the Saldi on (post-Christmas sales) the prices are still out of my reach. The most extravagant I’ve been this week is buying a cashmere sweater on sale from Benetton (it is magnificent), but Dolce & Gabbana would be a bridge too far (in more ways than one).

Instead, I got my thrills buying a kitchen knife and cutting board on my way home today. Yesterday the daily thrill involved finding burrata in the corner supermarket. Burrata is a type of super-gooey mozzarella cheese. The outer shell is solid mozzarella and once you cut through that you get to the soft texture on the inside. Burrata with crusty bread and glass of Valpolicella – heaven on a stick. Completely inappropriate for dinner of course, but who cares when it tastes this good?!

A return to Italy


Sometimes the gods give you wings.

After two years back in Australia, I’ve been given the chance to work offshore again, at least for the next six months. Yes, I have exchanged the Australian summer for a European winter, but who wouldn’t if your temporary office is in Milan, Italy?! It is a nostalgic trip for me as well, having studied for a year in Bologna many, many years ago.

I arrived on Saturday, a blue sky day with perfect views of the snowcapped mountains on our approach. My accommodation is in a stylish old building and my office is in the city centre at walking distance. The typical Italian atmosphere I remember from Bologna has not changed and is equally felt here. Even in the cold winter weather,  people are out and about, rugged up and tucked into their warm coats.

I walked around the city centre on Sunday, where all the Christmas stalls were still out on this last day of the festive season. Sunday was Epifania, commemorating the visit of the three Magi to Jesus. Here in Italy it is known as the Befana, a broomstick-riding old woman who brings gifts to children. Lots of tourists were out and about and I warmed up my camera fingers by taking a few photos around the Duomo.

Having been a terrible blogger in recent times, I will try to post a bit more often, reflecting on life here in Italy. Best intentions and all that!