This past week we all had the opportunity to travel to Milan. For us, this trip was even more exciting than it has been for all the previous JSB Auburn Abroad students because we had two incredibly unique opportunities: to see Giuseppe Verdi’s Falstaff at La Scala and to visit the World Expo.
On our first night, we attended the opera and had a glamorous night while viewing Verdi’s final opera. After seeing this performance, I have fallen in love with this complex form of art, and I believe that nearly everyone else feels similarly. Many of us apprehensively attended Falstaff expecting to be overwhelmed by the language barrier as this performance was in Italian; however, this separation allowed me to focus more on the actors’ voices and to interpret the plot from a different perspective.
Following our night out, we woke up early on Thursday to begin our day at the Expo. My immediate impression of the Expo was that it seemed to be an oversized version of Epcot sans roller coasters. After stopping at some of the more obscure countries like Djibouti, Turkmenistan and Eritrea, I made my way over to the UK, Austrian and Brazilian pavilions. Each of these countries had amazingly intricate exhibits, but my favorite by far was Austria’s. The Austrian exhibit claims to have the perfect breathing conditions for humans, and after walking into this oasis and escaping the cigarette smoke outside I completely believe this statement. Since I decided to travel abroad to experience different cultures, I feel like my trip to Expo actualized this goal. I was able to sample foods, music and architecture from every corner of the globe within the span of a day. Needless to say, my sojourn to Milan has left me eagerly awaiting a return trip.
Molly Rose Brannan