Taste Like Heaven

*Link to the most recent WBTV article*

Oh how glorious it is.

Italy has entered ‘Phase 2’ of our COVID-19 lockdown and it is the best feeling in the world..starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel.

After a total of 82 days (give or take) of total lockdown we are on the up and up.

Let’s refresh what “total lock down” means, just in case you are new here and do not know what Italy just lived through.

  • No going outside
  • If you do go outside you MUST wear a mask
  • If you do go outside you MUST have a piece of paper declaring where you are going and why, and that to your knowledge you do not have COVID-19
  • No stores were open (except the grocery and pharmacy)
  • If you go into a grocery store, you get your temperature checked sometimes and MUST wear gloves (provided upon entry)
  • No restaurants were open for take out
  • No traveling outside of 200m (0.12 miles) of your home

If you want more details and my very sassy, yet honest opinion you can read my last blog post here. Now that we are all caught up…I am very happy to report that things are starting to get a new normal in Milan.

HOWEVER!!!!

We are still in locked down measures. Meaning the borders are still closed along with the regions. Restaurants can not be open at full capacity and most places are still only offering to-go, unless you sit outside. Some shops have opened but you must wear gloves, stand in a line and wait to enter when it is your turn. The parks are opened but heavily regulated to make sure people are still practicing social distancing and not gathering in too big of groups.

From what I have personally seen, Italy is proceeding with caution. It has not been a big free-for-all for the most part and I have appreciated it. The people you see out on the streets, walking, exercising, and just being happy humans again comes from the 3 months of staying indoors.. and I do not blame them.

I am also personally happy to announce that I have been reunited with my favorite place on planet earth – STARBUCKS!!! Seriously still waiting on them to sponsor me one day… if anyone knows how to make it happen, I am open to your help.

But seriously, on May 18 when places were starting to do soft openings, I walked my booty the 15 minute walk at 10am to go check out the Starbucks scene. Crossing my fingers, and hoping it was open. Almost shedding a tear when I saw that it was, and one of the workers who knows me (lol shocker, right) saw me coming around the corner, smiled and started waving. That first sip of my cold brew just sent a feeling of relief and joy through my body.

I know, I know, I am dramatic. I live in Italy… famous for coffee, espresso, and really good cappuccinos… but I still go to Starbucks. I get asked all the time, why?

Well 1) I like iced coffee. No matter the season. No matter the weather. You will rarely ever catch me drinking hot coffee. 2) Starbucks is like a taste from home in a sense. I know what to expect when I order something and it taste the same no matter what country, city or random location you go to.

Now after my first cup (venti sized of course I got two..) of cold brew, I was shaking for approximately 6 hours due to the amount of caffeine intake I had and the lack of caffeine from the last 3 months. Not that I did not try to make my own coffee… it is just extremely difficult to do without a coffee maker, moka pot, or anything but a stove top and no coffee filters. Though, I did get good at making some type of cold brew myself after watching many videos online… I just did not have the right supplies so I made it up as I went along.. and it was VERY messy.

I am crazy for coffee guys. Probably the worst thing to be taken away from me in these times. So that was my end goal just to have coffee back. I could care less if we are locked down for another month. Just as long as the coffee places stay open.

On June 1 there will be another lift of restrictions. Hopefully it will be for the travel among regions. I have already told my dad I am on the first train out of here to the sea as soon as I can. Not that I don’t love Milan… because I do. I have just been locked indoors here for 3 months and I am ready to explore.

That said, I will go ahead an answer the question that might arise in the coming days as we move away from lockdown procedures: No I am still not coming home.

My masters degree has basically been moved permanently online. Which is… okay. But it has also given me a new look on things here. Before I was not going to have any breaks except the week in April for spring break and the month before we were supposed to start our internships in September.

Going to school Monday-Saturday (because I took Italian on Saturdays from 9:30-1:00) was going to hinder my travels and not let me explore as much as my heart wanted too. BUT with online classes, I can do them from anywhere. So me and my MacBook will be exploring as much as we can, as soon as it is safe to do so.

As always I appreciate everyones love and support while we are in these weird times. Italy has really been through it and I have really learned a lot about myself, other people and the world through these last 82 days. We will continue to grow from this and I am excited to see what the rest of the year has in store for my journey.

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