This being my first venture to a non-English speaking country, I find it quite enjoyable. I am getting more comfortable with using some Italian phrases and replies, and signage is not a problem.
The architecture is a mix of modern and various historic eras, as I expected. And there is a flavor of "Italian" to it all. There is a lot of color. The area where I'm staying has a lot of apartment buildings, most of which have hanging gardens. I've heard a song bird that I don't recognize, but it's so hard to find it among the thick green of the leaves!
The Metro is easy to use, and everything is clearly marked. Seeing the names of the stops and hearing them announced on the speaker is helping me get used to the Italian language. I do hope to be more comfortable by the end of the week!
I have taken the Metro to the San Amborsio stop so I know where I am going tomorrow for the Conference.
I found an ATM of the Italian bank that is part of the network of ATMs where I can use my BofA debit cards without extra charges. I don't like using the debit card for every single transaction. I like to carry at least some cash.
I found a laundromat right around the corner from the nearest Metro station to my lodgings. I plan to take a load to them Thursday morning, and either pick them up that evening, or Friday morning before heading to the Conference.
My flight from Milan to London will leave from Milan Linate Airport. It is very close to downtown Milan, much like London City Airport is to the City Centre of London. Unfortunately, the Metro does not go all the way there. I would have to change trains a couple of times, and still be a quarter-mile from the terminal. I think I will use a taxi from my lodgings here.
P.S. Some of you may have read a FaceBook post/comment on the presence of armed police and military personnel here in Milan. I believe it is unfortunate that it has to be that way, but it did not detract from my visit in any way. Whatever the overall cause of it here, or possibility of it being elsewhere here in Europe, I do pray that we can avoid this in the USA.