The Italian NYC = Milan?

Before coming to Milan, I heard countless times that Milan was “the New York City of Italy.” I never really knew why, but I kind of took it as a fact. After living here for two months, my perspective has changed on the topic. So… is Milan the Italian NYC?

Kind of!

Given that Milan is the most modern metropolis in Italy, yes, out of all of the Italian cities, Milan is most comparable to New York City. Like NYC, Milan is Italy’s capital of fashion, finance, and converting dreams into reality. There are several renown universities in Milan: Bocconi University (for economics, business, and law), University of Milan, or “Statale” (Milan’s version of a state uni), Politecnico (for engineers), European Institute of Design, or “IED” (for fashion), Catholic University of the Sacred Heart, or “Cattolica” (a Catholic uni), and several others. Milan hosts several high-end shopping districts, like Via Monte Napoleone, with infamous designer brands, many of which were born in or are currently based in Milan: Versace, Prada, Armani, Dolce & Gabana, Valentino, and many others. Lastly, Milan is the heart (and the body) of Italy’s stock exchange, Borsa Italiana.

Likewise, almost every piece of information listed above is directly parallel to NYC’s. New York City is one of America’s financial and fashion capitals, and it’s also a city internationally famous for the pursuit of the “American Dream.” NYC hosts several prestigious universities: Columbia University (NYC’s Bocconi), New York University, Fordham University (NYC’s Cattolica), the Julliard School, the Fashion Institute of Technology (NYC’s IED), several SUNY state unis (NYC’s statale), and many, many others. Likewise, many famous companies’ headquarters live in NYC, like IBM, Verizon, American Express, Ann Taylor, Deloitte, Deutsche Bank, Ernst & Young, Goldman Sachs, J.P. Morgan Chase, and tons of others. NYC is the home of the New York Stock Exchange, America’s most famous stock exchange. Just as Milan is the city where Italians hope to find a job and make it big, New York City is where Americans and immigrants come to start a new life with the hope that the American Dream will become a reality.
But Not Really…

Despite the general similarities, Milan and New York, in terms of appearance and lifestyle, are nothing alike. NYC is so huge that it has five boroughs which span over 789 km^2 whereas Milan covers only 181.8 km^2. The buildings in NYC consist of towering skyscrapers and modern architecture. On the other hand, Milan is a mix of old and new buildings and infrastructure, but barely any buildings are tall enough to be considered skyscrapers.

Milan’s lifestyle is affordable, and the quality of life is different. In NYC, everything is expensive because the market for any normal good is massive between the inhabitants and visitors that flood NYC’s shops every day. Most of Milan’s tourists visit the City Center, so much of its shops are more expensive than normal. However, areas farther away from the center are normally priced since only residents tend to leave the center. Perhaps most evidently, Milan is, well European, and New York City is American, so most of the major differences between the continents apply also to the cities.

Milan is so unique that I wouldn’t compare it to any American cities. However, if I had to choose one, I suppose Milan would be the most comparable. Do you NY-see what I mean?

Now for some random NYC photography!

A globe, which symbolizes New York’s being a melting pot of cultures from all over the world

The Manhattan skyline from a ferry on its way to Ellis Island

A pink Cherry Blossom tree in Central Park

More skyscrapers! Hopefully the sky isn’t in pain.

Some sort of tall statue that resembles some sort of historical figure 

Casual skyscrapers

Tall buildings bordering Central Park ft. yellow daffodils

The same skyline, but with me in front of it 

Feel free to comment any additional points below.

Thanks for reading! Al prossimo venerdì ❤



Carly Cornetto

As a wise Italian once said,

You’re Carly Corn. You’re eating a cornetto. Carly Cornetto.

“Carlyycorn” is my Instagram name; hence, the pun.

In other news, one of those life facts everyone should know is the difference between “cafe,” “café,” etc.

In American English, the “cafeteria” is where people eat food in a large building, like at a school, hospital, large corporate office, etc. A “cafe” is short for a “cafeteria.” A “café” is a restaurant that serves coffee, biscuits, etc.

In Spanish, “café” is both coffee and a coffeehouse. In Italian, “caffè” is coffee and a coffeehouse. And, in French, “café” is… you guessed it! Both coffee and a coffeehouse.

Well, now you know!

Until next week ❤

Surviving Midterms?! (Study Tips)

Midterms are right around the corner. The worst thing you can do? Lock yourself in your room, study 24/7, and not do anything else with your life!

This method causes increased cortisol levels in the brain which can actually impact your exam performance negatively. Here are some quick and dirty tips to surviving and thriving  during this exam season:

1.) Study Each Subject Every Day (but not too much!)

This one may sound dreadful, but hear me out. Suppose you have five classes during one semester, but you only have three classes each day. Review the material you learned that day for however long it normally takes you. For the sake of this example, let’s say it takes forty minutes for each class. Then, take ten minutes or so to review the topics of the classes you didn’t have that day. Even if your brain hurts, you’ll be glad you did so; you’ll be refreshed for the next day when you have those classes instead of shaking your head in confusion. Constant recall of information helps you retain the information in the long run, and guess what? You’ll be preparing for the exam instead of cramming a few days beforehand.

2.) Balance Work & Free Time

Studying for a few hours each day is enough if you do it efficiently. After a certain point, there is nothing left to learn, so you end up wasting time you could be using to hang out with some friends, read a book, take a nap, you name it. It’s vital to have a balanced life to stay happy and mentally healthy; your brain is the most important part of your studies, so be sure not to drive it crazy!

3.) Sleep, Eat Well, Blah Blah Blah

Yes, we hear about it all the time… but seriously, it’s super important. Try to have at least eight hours of sleep if you can each night and eat a balanced diet with fruits, veggies, carbs, and protein. If your mind is healthy, it’ll be in a better condition to work hard and remember all of the information you want to absorb. Exercise also helps, so try to add a dash of that into your life as well.

4.) Chew Gum Strategically

This one may sound crazy, but it’s actually too simple and effective not to try. If you chew a given flavor of gum while you study a certain subject, studies show that you will recall the information faster if you chew the same flavor of gum during that subject’s exam. It’s crazy, but true!

Follow these tips, and you’ll be golden. Good luck, everyone! May the odds be ever in your flavor (see #4 to understand the pun 😉

See you next Friday! ❤



A (Ve)nice Weekend!


Venice is one of those places that everyone says is overrated but is actually the most beautiful place you’ve ever seen.

Some friends and I stayed in Venice for two days. We rented an apartment through Air B&B for one night at an inland area called “Mestre.” The first day we arrived, we took the advice of everyone who has ever been there: “Get lost in Venice.”

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We wandered around the streets, admired the beautiful architecture and quaint features of each corner of the city, and photographed every canal view we could possibly capture.

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Venice is great for people who enjoy looking for beauty that the average person doesn’t see. There are flowers hidden around residents’ apartments and in cracks in the street that give the city an added charm. The city is beautiful to any visitor, but to a visitor with attention to detail, it is absolutely stunning.

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Some important touristy things to do are the following:

1.) tasting seafood at a restaurant,

2.) visiting San Marco’s Square,

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3.) taking selfies with random statues,

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4.) observing churches you happen to come by,


5.) and visiting Biennale, an amazing modern art exhibit.

We visited Biennale the second day of our stay. The art was thought-provoking, and much of it explored history and culture and entered the territory of modern-day political and social issues around the globe.


Most importantly, be sure to admire every single square inch of Venice while you’re fortunate enough to see it in person because, despite the camera or photographer, it’s impossible to replicate the city’s picturesque beauty to be as wonderful as it is when you see it with your own eyes.

Lots of Love,



6 Signs You’re a University Student (ft. Bad Puns)

University is the best of times, and it’s the worst of times. But most of all, it’s a lot of pun. Here are ten ways to diagnose yourself as a university student:

1.) There are two versions of you: the normal you, and the sleep-deprived you.

It’s all fun and games until you go to the club and have an 8 AM class the next day. That’s when you meet your alter ego. There are many types of sleep-deprived personas: sad ones, extremely hyper ones, confused ones, and ones like me who cope with the fatigue with an unacceptably large increase in pun generation.

*Pro Tip: if you meet a sleep-deprived student, do not take anything the student says personally. Provide support to that student, and let him or her know that you are there to help.

Most of all, be there in case the student’s situation gets out of hand.

2.) You study for hours each day, but you still feel like you barely know anything.

You attend every lesson, you read every word of the textbook passages, you write down everything the teacher says in class, and you complete every exercise assigned by the professor. Still, something pops up on the test that makes you wonder if you even studied at all. Then, you rely on the curve to bring your grade to justice. Studying? More like stuDYING.

*Pro Tip: If you or a loved one studies too much, please relax and know that it will be Oklahoma (or Oxygen & Potassium)… “OK.”

3.) You realize that most of your Snap Chat and Instagram stories take place while you’re in school or studying. 

When you’re with your friends, you try to hang out with them and enjoy your time away from the books. While listening to an erratic lecture or reading passages with extensively complex sentence structures, sometimes you zone out, your mind wanders, and you think about the most random thoughts you never expected yourself to encounter… and it happens also after a long day of these activities!

4.) Half of your camera roll is filled with photos of food. 

In college, you’re allowed access to the cafeteria, so you’re tempted to photograph the delicious food in front of you. When you’re not at the cafeteria, you cook something, and you feel so proud of yourself for cooking something edible that you photograph it. When you’re not at either of these places, you’re at a restaurant, and the food here is usually the most photogenic out of the food from these three scenarios. It’s almost impossible to fight the urge to photograph food at restaurants. Hence, most of your self-esteem in photography comes from capturing the beauty of your college town’s cuisine. Well, that’s some food for thought, eh?

*Pro Tip: Don’t be that person who orders a certain plate just because it looks pretty. This option is simply distasteful… literally!

5.) You face the constant struggle of choosing between an extra half hour of sleep and an extra half hour of getting ready. 

Let’s bring economics into this: sleep is a normal good that’s highly demanded but scarcely supplied. Hence, there’s a shortage of it. Time to prepare one’s self for the day is an equally scarce resource. Hence, when comparing them graphically, the indifference curve indicates that one’s preference for sleep as opposed to preparation time varies from person to person. This is college. This economics. This is life.

Sleep is like pasta: a little bit more is a little bit better. Jokes are also like pasta: the cheesier they are, the better they are!

6.) Despite the lack of sleep and abundance of studying, there’s no place you’d rather be.

Learning is difficult, focusing is tiring, and studying is time-consuming, but during the bit of free time you have left, you have the time of your life! College lasts only a few years, so it’s best to enjoy them and to seize the moment. Besides, where else will you live within walking distance of all of your university friends ever again and be able to hang out with them practically whenever you want to? University is the time to take advantage of this rare freedom and to create lifelong memories.

As this wise man once stated, “One of the greatest comforts of this life is friendship, and one of the comforts of friendship is having someone we can trust.” -Alessandro Manzoni

Happy university, and may the odds (and evens) be ever in your favor!

Until next Friday ❤



Things Europeans Say About America

Europeans entertain a number of whimsical thoughts about the United States; their questions and opinions are truly mind-opening. Here are some common questions and statements Europeans say about America!

“McDonalds is awesome! You have to try it!”

Ever since I arrived to Italy, my classmates have sworn to the earth, moon and stars that European McDonalds franchises are extraordinary. The conversation usually starts with a European saying that he/she wants to go to McDonalds. Then, I make a disgusted face. Then, the European says, “No, McDonalds here is way better! It’s actually food… you have to try it!” Then, I say that I refuse to try McDonalds ever again, even though McDonalds here delivers food (which is a service certainly not offered in the U.S.). Finally, I tasted a cheeseburger from a Milanese McDonalds. It tasted exactly the same as an American McDonalds’! I truly vow never to eat McDonalds ever again; calling a Big Mac a “burger” is like calling Starbucks frappuccinos “coffee.”

“Why are guns allowed?!”

In most of the world’s countries, guns are actually strictly illegal! It’s difficult for non-Americans to wrap their heads around the fact that regular people are allowed to have guns. Well, if people work out, anyone can have guns! 😉 

“American English is simplified English.”

Some claim that British English is the correct English and that American English is a simplified version of the language. Some British even go so far as to say that American English “isn’t a real language.” Why?! What did we ever do to them?! Maybe they’re just jealous about losing the Revolutionary War…

“Where is Philadelphia?”

A lot of people have no idea where Philadelphia is. For those of you who do not know, Philadelphia is about three hours south of New York City and two hours north of Washington D.C.!

“The drinking age is 21, but the driving age is 16. WHY?!”

In Italy, the drinking and driving ages are both eighteen, and this case applies to many other European countries. This drives Europeans crazy!

Follow-Up Question: “So I’m not allowed to go to the club in America since I’m only 18?!”

No, you’re not. Welcome to the club! (No pun intended! Which is surprising because usually the pun is intended). 

“Out of everyone in your country, how did you choose those two presidential candidates?!”

If we knew the answer, we would tell you!

“I really wanted to go to college in America, but it’s so expensive! Maybe I’ll go there for an exchange.”

It’s true. You can still go to college there if you’re willing to pay debt for the rest of your life. It’s not that bad!

“Pineapple does not belong on pizza.”

Hawaiian pizza is only sold one place in Milan: Domino’s Pizza. Speaking of which, Domino’s in Italy?! Maybe they’ll build a Taco Bell in Mexico next. 

“Do you know where North Korea is on the map?”

Below China and above South Korea. *gasp*

“I went on an exchange to America. I gained 20 kilograms.”

It’s true! Let’s talk about it over a burger and a milkshake. 

“Kilometers, not miles. Celsius, not Fahrenheit… America! Why are you so confusing?!”

As an American, I’m confused when someone asks how many meters tall I am. Touché!

“Why does the penny exist if it costs more than one cent to produce one?”

Because this is ‘Murica and we do what we want! #freedom

“America is awesome!”

Just like Americans admire Europe, many Europeans admire America! After a lifetime of watching American films, listening to American songs, and following American politics, many Europeans aim to make the American dream a part of their future. But it’s true… America is awesome! 😎

Have a great week! ❤



EATILY (Italian Eats)

I don’t know if you know this, but Italy’s food is SO GOOD.

Go to a restaurant… the food is delicious! The atmosphere is charming, and each plate is too picturesque not to photograph.

This is a panzerotto, which is pretty much a pizza calzone. It’s a piece of fried pizza crust with melted cheese and tomato sauce inside… otherwise known as heaven!

As mentioned in a former blog post, restaurants in Italy are the best because you’re encouraged to stay there a while, even after finishing your meal. The waiters and waitresses don’t rush you to pay the bill; in fact, sometimes it’s difficult to get them to give you the bill!

Even the supermarket food is delicious. The fresh artisan meat and cheese sections are to die for, and the groceries are generally healthier and tastier. The portion sizes are often smaller in both restaurants and grocery stores than those at American ones.

Even non-Italian restaurants in Italy are Italian-styled; even though the food is imported, the customs of Italian restaurants apply to the atmosphere. The restaurants are relaxing, and the people

Chocolate cake at a sushi restaurant? Yes, please!

there spend endless time chatting and enjoying themselves.

The best part of Eataly in Milan is by far the aperitivo. When going out for them, the customer pays for a beverage and receives an entire complementary buffet of food! It’s really the best.

Restaurants in Italy make you feel like a tourist! Eating there is a great way to relieve stress at the end of an intense day. This is especially the case in the City Center, the inhabitance of the Piazza del Duomo. Surrounding restaurants are just as relaxing, mostly because the majority of their visitors are tourists from other parts of Italy or other countries. Going there

A: Water these? A: Fountains! It’s quite common to find them positioned in parks and on street corners.

makes you feel like a tourist as well, and you can’t help but to smile because everyone there is happy!

Lastly, the best food in the entire world is gelato. Every time I go out for a gelato, I photograph it because gelato is just the best! Here’s the album I’ve collected so far (even if I’ve already used some of these photos in previous blog posts!):

Eatily is amazing! You should all experience it one day 🙂 ❤


“Good, but Not the Best” (and Other Italian Trends)

Arguably the most popular Italian pop song at the moment is “Bene Ma Non Benissimo,” a catchy song by Italian Pop Star “Shade.” The song’s title translates to “Good, but Not the Best.” The song has invoked mixed reactions, given that its music is catchy, but its lyrics have next to no meaning. To read them for yourself, tap the link below:

To listen to the song, tap this link:

Italians also adore sushi. This fact is evidence of the beautiful way that globalization is affecting this world.

Italians love to ride their bikes and motorcycles instead of driving. It saves energy, and it’s easier to find a parking spot. If they don’t have a bike or a motorcycle, they buy a small car and park it on the sidewalk when there are no parking spots left. 

The parties here are all super late. Usually, the clubs open at 7 to 10 at night, and they close at 5 or 6 in the morning. So much for a normal sleep cycle!

Italians are so adorable because they sometimes sing random songs in public. Last Saturday, a group of Italian young adults chanted a traditional song from their hometown. About twenty meters away, another group of Italian young adults continued the songlike chant, and they continued back and forth. It was so cute! ❤

This is slightly off-topic, but Italians (as well as people of other cultures) sometimes have such random ideas! I saw a man standing up on the back of his friend’s bike as the friend rode it. Also, a few nights ago, some friends and I walked through Bocconi’s campus at about 12 A.M. on our way home. In the parking lot, we saw a parked car running with its internal lights on. And inside? A man playing the flute! We couldn’t believe our eyes. He was so concentrated, but we all burst into laughter because something so random really would happen only in Italy :’)

Italians are forced to study math… therefore, so am I! This is a huge adjustment; in the States, I learned math and practiced it with excercises. Here, we learn math and study it. We even memorize theorems word-for-word…it’s so strange! 

Lastly, something Italians don’t do: drink cappuccinos after dinner. In America, people commonly consider this the “Italian way” to finish a meal. Here, Italians shake their heads with disappointment when the American and Canadian tourists finish their meals with coffee. Well, now you know!

Thanks for reading, and see you next week! ❤



Since my arrival to Milan, I’ve discovered so many lovely and spontaneous parts of Italy! If I were to mention all of them, I’d have to write a book. Instead, for the purpose of this blog post, I’ll stick to a few memorable occasions.

To start out with the basics, there are always young men doing pushups on rocks in the middle of the park near my residence. There are always those random guys who try selling roses to people in Milano Navigli, an area beside the canal where there are tons of restaurants and shops. And with that, there are always Italians who get angry at the mentioning of “Hawaiian pizza.”

A few days ago, I asked an Italian how he felt about Hawaiian pizza. He looked at me right in the eye, and he said:

Pineapple does not belong on pizza! It’s disgusting! If you ever talk about Hawaiian pizza in Italy again, an Italian will chop you up, cook you, and put you on a pizza…and it will still taste better than Hawaiian pizza!

In fact, Italians aren’t too fond of foreigners messing with their cuisine in general. I was out with some friends for an aperitivo, a common Italian tradition of having a drink and a buffet of appetizers. Two of the appetizers included tiramisu and french fries. I decided to mix the two by dipping the french fry in the tiramisu. I was at a table with five people, one of which was Italian. Never before have I seen so much confusion at once. (Really though, you should try it! It’s delicious.)

You know what else is delicious? Gelato. In the past week that I’ve been here, I’ve had a total of three gelatos. I’m actually proud of myself because I had four gelatos during the four days I traveled in Rome last year. Gelato is just so delicious here; the pistachio flavor is amazing, and I don’t even like pistachios!

It’s beautiful that the food in the supermarket is delicious, even if it’s just supermarket food. Supposedly. There’s an aisle with packages of gourmet gelato, and there’s an artisan meat and cheese section. There’s also an entire aisle dedicated to wine and beer. Only in Italy would you such a thing.

Honestly though, aperitivos are the best. Usually friends go out for an aperitivo before dinner or before an event. As previously mentioned, they’re the best at Milano Navigli; if you’re going to have an aperitivo, you might as well have one with a beautiful view of the water while being surrounded by vibrant nightlife, right?

I asked an Italian guy to say “It’s me, Mario!” in public. He did it, and it was fantastic.

The Piazza del Duomo is also amazing. It’s filled with tourists and a beautiful cathedral surrounded by a triangle of beautiful shops.

Fun fact about Italy: people don’t walk consistently on the right side of the sidewalk. It’s more of an adventure during which you must predict which side the person approaching you will choose to take. Then, you have to take the opposite side. Make sure you know this before coming to Italy so you don’t almost get run over by a bike and run into by a sprinter like I did… :’)

A half-liter water bottle at a restaurant costs one euro while a six-pack of two-liter bottles costs ninety cents at the grocery store.

Italians don’t use coffee machines… they use mochas. That’s the secret to delicious Italian-styled coffee.

More updates coming soon. Ciao! ❤

xoxo Carly



Europeans Are Awesome! Here’s Why

Of course this blog post is a MAJOR generalization, given that the Europeans I’m basing my opinion on are the Italian and international university students I’ve met so far in Milan. These students come from Italy, England, Germany, Poland, Moldova, Montenegro, France, Belgium, Denmark, Bulgaria… you name it. Here are some qualities I’ve noticed (and have come to majorly respect) about Europeans.

They’re Beautiful People — Inside & Out

Europeans are beautiful: they’re well-groomed, they iron their clothes, they dress nicely, and never in a million years would they think of wearing a sweatshirt, sweatpants, and sneakers out in public unless all of their other clothes were stolen or destroyed. Europeans present themselves well; life is short, so it’s important for them to dress to impress.

The phenomenon is that, although Europeans dress well, they aren’t obsessed with social media like most American teenagers. In America, it’s seen as strange if someone goes to an event without creating a post about it. As they commonly say, “pics or didn’t happen.” In Europe, the joy comes from spending time with friends and going to events. The satisfaction doesn’t come from the number of likes received on the photo about the event. Actually, I’ve noticed that finding photos for this blog post has been difficult because I’ve barely taken photos since I’ve been here. I’ve kind of forgotten about it because it’s so uncommon here!

Additionally, European teens don’t use their phones when they spend time with friends. Of course they’ll check the occasional text message or change the songs on the playlist they’re listening to, but never will they dare to ignore what you are saying to check Instagram or send a Snap Chat. It’s too rude, and it’s antiproductive because they already chose to spend time with the people they’re with. 

When you share a meal with a European, you don’t just share the meal; you share most of the night. In America, it’s common to go with some friends to a restaurant, eat food, maybe order drinks, and then go home afterwards. In fact, the waiters and waitresses usually prefer that you leave right after you finish your meal to make space for other diners. In Italy, this would be crazy talk. It’s common practice to go with some friends to dinner, order the meal, and stay for several hours. Then, after the meal, Europeans spend several more hours, if time provides, together at home or out and about. In Milan, there are endless places to go — the infamous Piazza del Duomo, tons of shopping areas, the beautiful Milano Navigli, gelato shops, squares, bars, and restaurants where people tend to take the party. It’s wonderful how people here truly use meals to bond and take the opportunity to talk about intellectual topics, exchange stories, and spend time with the people they’re out with. 

Europeans in Italy

Of course, I’ve only been in Milan for three days, so there’s no way I can speak for all of Europe (or Italy) with the experience I’ve had so far. However, one of the characteristics I’ve noticed about life in Milan is that everyone is so relaxed; it seems like everyone here is on vacation. In the States, if you go to the supermarket, you’re bound to find several employees who hate their lives and don’t want to be at work. You’re also guaranteed to find some stay-at-home mothers yelling at their children to stop playing with the toys in the toy aisle, and you’ll probably find some businesspeople using their Bluetooth devices for after-hours meetings. Although many people are relaxed, there are always people who are stressed, overworked, or focused to the point at which they seem stressed.

In Italy, I can safely say that no one is (or appears to be) stressed. I’ll take the supermarket, for instance. The employees at the supermarket I’ve visited four times in my first three days here are extremely friendly and helpful, and their smiles are truly genuine, not forced. The cashiers have chairs, so they can scan the customer’s items in comfort. The employees working around the store always smile, and they are extremely happy to assist customers in locating any product. Even the people in the store seem like they are on vacation. Everyone walks not at a slow pace, but at a pace indicating that they’re in no rush to leave. Going shopping, as any activity, is seen as a time to relax and bond with the people they’re shopping with. Even on the city streets, buses and trams, and practically all other public areas, it’s evident that the Milanese and residents of Milan are happy to be here.

Life here is different, but it’s beautiful! Thanks for reading; there will be more posts coming soon.

xoxo Carly ❤ 
DISCLAIMER: Americans are awesome, too.