The leaves are falling and the temperature is dropping. November has arrived and I cannot believe it. October has come and passed all too quickly. This could be considered the half-point of my journey here, however, to this day, I have already spent more time here than I have remaining. Even though I do miss my family and friends very much, I do not feel ready to leave. There is so much more I want to see, learn, and explore, and I feel like I am running out of time! However, I have been able to cross out a lot of items from my bucket list, so I cannot complain. ?

For instance, like Gelato for breakfast?

For instance, Gelato for breakfast?

Classes are becoming more difficult. I had a round of tests at the beginning of October, midterms during mid-month, another round of tests last week, and several writing assignments throughout. So we can say that October was a stressful month. Now is the times for projects. I have group projects for nearly all my classes and deadlines for those are approaching. It can be stressful to plan your travels around all of the schoolwork, however, it is do-able. Most of my teams are formed of exchange students, like me, who wish to travel on weekends. Therefore, working during the week is in everyone’s best interest. This past month, I didn’t have much time to wander around Milan as much as the first weeks. My weekdays mostly consisted of classes, studying or working on assignments, and, why lie, during my free times, Netflix. (BTW, Italian Netflix has Modern Family!)
Bocconi’s campus isn’t nearly a fourth of A&M’s. It is very small and, therefore, can make it very difficult to find a place to study. Italian cafes are not like Starbucks, where you can go and work for a couple of hours. Here you are to go in, drink your coffee, and leave. And no, Italians are not shy to tell you to leave if you’re working on your laptop and they need your table. Yet, just last week, I discovered an “American experience” café. It is called Arnold’s Coffee and here they do have many sofas, chairs, and tables, like Starbucks, where you can go and work for many hours. It is about a 15-minute tram ride from Bocconi, but I will definitely be going there a lot now.

Italy is geographically perfectly situated. It is very close to many other countries and makes it so easy to travel! My first weeks here, I traveled to Switzerland and Austria by train. Traveling by train is so, so, so much easier than airplane! You don’t have to worry about liquid limitations in your luggage, there is no need to arrive an hour before departure, and it is a lot more comfortable. When it comes to traveling by airplane, Milan has three airports. The ones where most flights depart from are Malpensa and Bergamo. These are about an hour away from the city and taxis charge 95 euros to take you there! Fortunat

Venice, Italy

Venice, Italy

ely, there are many buses that run every thirty minutes for only 8 euros. The third airport is Linate, and that one is in the city and can be reached through public transportation. Yet, I am not sure which flights arrive there as I have never had a flight depart or land in Linate. Through plane I have flown to Munich, Budapest, Prague, and this weekend I will be flying to Brussels and Amsterdam. In Italy, I have been to Venice, Lago di Como, Cinque Terre, and Bologna. The benefit of traveling through train is that you can easily make day trips out of cities that only require a day to explore. My friends and I traveled to Venice early on a Saturday morning and returned at night. We had more than enough time to see all the beauties of this city and, of course, do a gondola ride.


Cinque Terre has been one of my favorite trips so far! Cinque Terre, meaning five lands, is exactly as its name describes. It is made up of five small villages, Monterosso, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola, and Riomaggiore, that lie on the Italian Riviera coastline. You must do a hike of about an hour/an hour and a half to get to and from each of these villages. Well, there are 5-minute trains that run between them as well, but that’s no fun. Each of these villages has beautiful scenery and is composed of small, cute, very colorful houses. I recommend this place to anyone coming to Italy. It is beautiful and a lot of fun. I would suggest coming while it is hot so you can jump in the ocean, which is very cold.



Overall, October was a bit stressful month, nonetheless, I was still able to efficiently manage my time and travel a lot. Oh, and I did already experience my first cold. I got sick mid-month. However, thankfully it wasn’t anything too bad and was gone after a week.

Now, time to go get some pizza!?

W/ my roomie, Sydney. (Yes, you will find a pic of pizza on all my blogs?)

W/ my roomie, Sydney. (Yes, you will find a pic of pizza on all my blogs?)


Arrivederci, a dopo!


Andrea Valdes

TAMU ‘17


10 Novembre, 2016