So in a new place I look for the things that bring comfort to me: a farmers' market, a good bakery, a cosy cafe, a beautiful yarn store (priorities...). Sometimes, though, the things that bring comfort find you. In spite of yourself, you learn to embrace them and before long, you realise certain things will never, should never be the same.
After years in Japan, I can't really imagine a hot summer's day without cold soba noodles, despite finding them slimy at first. After two decades in the UK, the only tea I will drink is Yorkshire, despite gagging at my first cup, aged 18. And now, after four years in Italy, I feel winter would not be winter without hot chocolate so thick you have to eat it with a spoon, despite asking for milk to thin it with at the first encounter (and being threatened with immediate repatriation to Britain by the husband if I dared to put the request to the waiter).
When it comes to comfort in Milan, then, it's not a good cuppa I seek (because, in all honestly, most places here will give you Liptons...). It's a hit of this:
This is also the year in which Milan will host EXPO 2015. Having been lucky enough to attend the previous two Expos, in Nagoya and Shanghai, I know how exciting an opportunity this is to showcase the best of what this city can offer. Never better the timing, then, to join in with this celebration of the place we call home.