Chiesa di Santa Maria del Carmine, Milano, Italia

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Chiesa di Santa Maria del Carmine, Milano, Italia

Chiesa di Santa Maria del Carmine, Milano, Italia

Rosanne and I had stumbled upon this 1446 church a few days earlier on our wandering, but I returned on my way to a second visit to the Orto Botanico (Botanical Garden) in Brera.

This morning, though, I took the opportunity to stop, order a caffé (espresso) and a chocolate croissant, and just sit people watching and taking in the architecture of the church and the art in the piazza.

I was on my own on this visit, but it is one of my favorite memories of the trip. Even alone I found Milano to be friendly, welcoming and very livable. I felt more comfortable there than perhaps any other European city I have visited besides, perhaps, Bath and Leeds in the UK. London is fun but can be a bit too much after a few days.

When out on my own — and not looking a bit Italian in any way — I found it fun to joke with the wait staff at restaurants and museums. They would always start out in English and then expressed surprise and pleasure when I spoke Italian — even my first-grade version of it. Just another way I came to feel comfortable. Joking with everyone and generally having a great time.

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