It's a three-day weekend, yippee! This Monday is a holiday here - the Immaculate Conception - I had no idea what that was all about so looked it up on wiki here. It's uh, a religious holiday. I'm just really happy about the holiday since I missed out on the Thanksgiving one last week, and work has been real hectic lately.
I celebrated my birthday last week and had a fun day considering it was a Monday and I had to work and go to class. Thanks to everyone for all the birthday wishes! It really made my day special. I had cake too! It was an ice cream cake and it was seriously melting while I was trying to decide what to wish for. haha.
Now if you're ever in Milan the first week of December, don't miss out on the annual L'Artigiano in Fiera, an exhibition of crafts and goods, from Italy and from other countries. The first time I visited this fair was 3 years ago during my first visit here. Admission is still free as it was then, and I remember wandering around for hours looking at all the different products for sale.
This year is the first time it's being held at Milan's new Fiera/trade exhibition center. It's outside of the downtown area, but still very convenient and easy to get to. There is a Metro stop that drops you off practically inside the Fiera.
The new Fiera is huge...
The l'Artigianato fair this year took up ten big exhibition halls, divided by different regions of Italy, Europe and then a general 'Paesi del Mondo' (countries of the world). Our first visit, we only saw 2 of the halls, which turned out to be my favorite ones, the regions of - Sicilia, Campania, Puglia, Sardegna. We ended up going back again to see the rest with friends later in the week.
Oh yeah, did I mention that there's food too? (One of the reasons why I love this fiera. hehe) I had an arancino for lunch and it was so good. It's basically a baked ball of rice, with a filling that could be ragu (tomato sauce, ragu, peas, meat) or prosciutto and mozarella. It's fits in the palm of my hand, and just one fills me up pretty good. Yum.
In the France section... a 'biscuiterie'. The cookies looked so tempting.
There were stalls selling bread, desserts, honey, hams, candies, chocolate, wine... any specialty that you can think of from different regions of the country. And crafts made from wood, leather, paper, ceramics, etc; many at very reasonable prices. I wish I took more pictures! It's well worth a visit and even if you're not planning on buying anything, you can at least have eat an arancino or cannoli or just taste the samples offered by the vendors.