Sometimes being wrong blows. Other times, not so much. I recently lamented about the shortage of sufficient magazine shopping outposts in Rome and assumed that this was therefore the norm for all of Italy. I was wrong….
I returned from Milan this afternoon where, on Friday, I had popped into La Rinascente to pick up a birthday gift for a friend. This gloriously palatial department store sits across from the Duomo and just beside the Galleria Vittorio Emanuale II, so I tend to try to avoid this part of Milan if I can help it. I do think it’s spectacular, but it’s considered the Centro Storico and therefore it’s the area to which all of the tourists tend to flock. In addition to the thickness & painfully slow flow of the meandering crowds, there are all of these creepy men trying to sell you “made in China” crap. From ridiculous dancing cats that play a Shania Twain song to a stupid jelly-like ball that goes “splat” when thrown onto a hard surface before returning to its original shape to tacky headbands with light-up hearts, you can take your pick from a wide array of bric-a-brac. In addition, there is a threateningly abnormal amount of pigeons in Piazza del Duomo and I hate pigeons. Not as many as one would find in Venice’s Piazza San Marco, but enough to make me feel incredibly uneasy. With every single step I take, I proceed with caution. The last thing I want is to make any kind of contact with them or to have one of them crap on me. They’re disgusting and frankly, I wish pigeons would just go extinct already.
Anyhoo, I left La Rinascente and began walking along Corso Vittorio Emanuele II to start making my way towards Corso Buenos Aires when I spotted the Mondadori Multicenter and thought, why don’t I pop in and have a look around? I entered, turned right, walked a few steps and lo & behold I found myself standing in a magazine haven! From every single Italian publication under the sun as well as some of my American faves to numerous other imports from all over the world, there was literally something for every taste and language. I have iPad subscriptions of the usual American magazine suspects, but it was nice to see and touch a tangible copy of American Vanity Fair, which just happened to be the September issue with Princess Diana on the cover. I hadn’t seen one in months!
I didn’t make any purchases because I still had a couple of errands to run and preferred to do so without toting around the extra weight, but it was refreshing to actually be able to take my time and browse the stands, admire at the covers, hold one or two in my hands, and flip my fingers through the glossy pages without the pressure to buy.
Later that evening at my friend’s birthday shindig, I had mentioned my “discovery” to a food and travel writer, and she said she loves that place and goes all there time to look at magazines when she’s searching for inspiration. So this meant that I did good!
I’m uber proud of this discovery and here’s why…..I’ve been lucky to have received so much help and guidance with my transition to my expat life in Rome. I’ve gotten tons of pointers and directions that I’ve followed—and I’m grateful for every single one of them, don’t get me wrong, as I would be a hot mess without them–but it’s always uplifting to make some of your own “discoveries” so to speak. But in this case, I proved myself wrong! I found Mondadori’s magnificent magazine selection on my own, without the guidance of another, and I find something very gratifying about this. Here’s to more new discoveries! Now I wonder if there’ a Mondadori store to be found in Rome…