Feeling very accomplished with myself after my first day in Milan (read that here), I attempted (and failed) to stick to a similar stringent itinerary for Day 2. See, what had happened was… I got lazy and decided that it was so much easier to just sit and eat for half the day and plus, there was only one essential item on my itinerary for day 2: to see my first opera at the famous Teatro alla Scala, Milan.[thb_image full_width=”true” animation=”animation fade-in” alignment=”center” image=”2328″]
Oh I had such good intentions for a fully packed day, such good intentions – but the heart wants what the heart wants and when I’m away its needs always prevail. Besides, why leave your busy routine at home to fly to a different country only to replace it with an even busier routine?
I started my morning with a light breakfast (colazione) at a nearby cafe. I’d like to say that I didn’t know then, as I was sipping my espresso, that it was going to be one of those days – those Dolce far Niente days– but I knew; I could feel it. I knew it when I choose the window seat in that cafe; I knew it as it started to drizzle outside and the windows started to steam; and I knew it when it took short of two hours for me to finish eating my croissant. It was going to be one of those sweetness of doing nothing days.
It was obvious that I wasn’t yet ready to leave the relaxed lifestyle I had in Lake Como and brought that lazy-tourist mindset with me to Milan. I cleared everything off of my itinerary except my evening at the opera. Now with a blank slate, I could fill my day as I pleased; walking around the city (even in the rain- yay to the afro); stopping when I wanted to; and generally not doing much.<
From there I revelled in the view of the cathedral without the hustle and bustle of eager tourists (somewhat like myself on day 1) and having to compete with everyone’s selfie sticks. From there I could do what I loved the most: people watch – the most underrated sport ever.
“Glammed up for… a solo evening at the opera. Yes I said solo… as in uno”
After a late lunch, I returned to my room to get myself glammed up for an evening at the opera. A solo evening at the opera. Yes I said solo… as in uno; I went on my own. I had booked my one ticket to see the comedic opera by Gioachino Rossini, Barbiere Di Siviglia (The Barber of Seville) weeks in advance. I later find out that this is Italy’s most popular opera; and because I booked so early in advance I managed to bag a great seat in one of the boxes. Like I said, I was well prepared for my time of glamour in Milan. I figured a knee length black dress and heels would be perfect, I didn’t want to be that rogue person with rented diamonds and a full length off- the-shoulder ball gown (think, Pretty Woman). I’m glad I steered away from being over the top- as people were largely under dressed, but despite the lack of effort on the part of the audience the Teatro alla Scala was beyond marvellous. The huge chandeliers, the subtle details, the gold treatments– just marvellous.
The usher escorted me to my seat, seat 3 of box 11. I sat; she smiled, handed me the programme and then left and locked the door behind her. She left, closed the door and locked us in the box! The risk averse lawyer in me came bubbling up as I thought: well that’s a health and safety fiasco waiting to happen isn’t it; and as my friend said: “no wonder the bad guys always get assassinated at the opera…there’s nowhere to run!”
Then came the awkward moment of me deciding to go to the restroom before the performance started. The moment where I walked to the door and tried to knock as politely as I could; and when nobody responded it quickly turned into a more – I’ll say – enthusiastic knock before the lady appeared with a disappointed look on her face. Why lock us in in the first place I wonder!Putting my claustrophobia aside, my first visit to the opera at La Scala is one I will never forget and a dream come true. I laughed, despite it being in Italian; got given a free bottle of champagne; and made a new friend with the lady who’s view I was blocking for the whole performance. A word of advice, do not book seat 5 of any box, you’ll basically be staring at the curtain (if you’re lucky) or in this case at the back of my head. The orchestra however was the highlight of the evening, just pure magic. My evening in Milan was by far the best evening of my #27daysofnew travel tour so far. I am thankful for it.
I’ll end this post with a few final words: if you want to do or see something – just do it dammit. Who cares what people will think; go to the opera by yourself should you wish to. You never know you might actually enjoy your own company. SOLOYOLO
This was day 7 of my #27daysofnew travel tour and part 2 of my trip to Milan. You can read part 1 here.