For those of you who may not know, my husband works in the music industry. (You can read more about that here, in Part 1 of A Love Story.) Aside from his production work, he previously toured with the band Night Ranger (song: Sister Christian) but also still occasionally plays with a band called Pride of Lions. POL was started by Jim Peterik(friend and famous singer/songwriter, you’re probably most familiar with his song: Eye of the Tiger) and while POL is not as well known in the US, they are HUGE in Europe. This year, Milan was hosting a music festival called Frontiers Rock Festival and POL would be headlining! So when Christian first told me he’d be going to Europe and that I’d be accompanying him (definite perks to being a bandwife), I seriously could not contain my excitement – it was just about all I thought about for months. The only other time I’d been to Europe was the time I went to Romania – a trip that had great impact on my life but was in no way a vacation – and I was excited to explore and get to know a new land and culture, this time with a drink in hand 😉
Unfortunately, our trip would start out a bit rocky, for me that is… our flight left out of Chicago at 10pm and I’d made the horrible decision to grab a quick bite to eat at O’Hare’s Frontera Grill – I ordered a salad. NOTE: Don’t EVER order a salad from the airport, especially at 10pm. Why? Because your chances of getting food poisoning increase like 80% or something. Ohhh yah. This gal was straight up DYING about 10 minutes before we boarded a NINE HOUR FLIGHT with full on food poisoning. I’ll spare you the details but just know- it was the longest, worst flight of my life. The good news was that it could only get better from there, right? And fortunately, it did.
(I think it goes without saying that this series is photo heavy… fyi)
By the time we got to Milan, I was still feeling pretty weak but much better. We all hopped on a private shuttle bus and road about 40 minutes to our hotel, The Devero Hotel, located in the beautiful little town of Cavenago di Brianza. It was about 8pm on Saturday in Italy by this time so we headed to the hotel’s restaurant for some serious Italian food and wine, which I did not have a lot of due to… well, you know, but I did have a wonderful breakfast the next morning, which included lots of Nutella so it all worked out 😉
Our friend, and bandmate, Klem. Also one of the funniest people I know.
The next morning at breakfast! Totally feeling the jetlag at this point.
It was one amazing breakfast spread!
Confession: I totally did not eat those vegetables. I ate all of the yogurt and nutella and then I just spread the veggies around on my plate so I didn’t look so American, you know, eating chocolate for breakfast and all.
The hotel was very “European modern” with a beautiful pool and some pretty trippy features like blue lights in the bathroom and some pretty interesting artwork…
You may have seen my Instagram shot of the hotel’s glass floor. As long as you’re not afraid of heights and not wearing a skirt, it was okay to stand on… so I did.
After breakfast, Toby (friend and bandmate) and Christian had the genius idea to go upstairs and lay on the glass so that the rest of us could also act like a bunch of middle schoolers and take pictures.
Let’s get a closeup of that…
Naturally, right after this some POL fans came over asking for autographs and pictures with the guys…
We spent most of the afternoon on Sunday walking around the town of Cavenago di Brianza and this was definitely my favorite part of the Italy portion. It was exactly what I’d been waiting for, exploring this new place. The weather was absolutely perfect: clear, blue skies and about 76 degrees.
While there were plenty of beautiful flowers in the trees and flower boxes, the rest of the terrain in this area came as somewhat of a surprise to me. Yards were not mowed and weeds had replaced flowers, which made the flowers that were present definitely stick out.
Christian & Klem!
I’m totally asking for one of these for Christmas this year.
There was a definite color theme going on in this specific area, am I right?
Doesn’t this look like a movie set?!
So glad I didn’t wear my heels 😉
Here we all are! Christina (the other bandwife – I was so glad she was there!) and me, with the band minus Jim and Larry.
Since it was Sunday – as well as in the afternoon (when a lot of the Italian people leave shop for a long lunch), many of the shops were closed… which was a total bummer since we were all hoping for some Gelato! Fortunately, at the very end of our walk, we happened upon the one Gelato shop in the entire town that was still open.
I walked inside, as the guys ran back to the town’s ATM to grab some cash, and asked the owner if it might be okay for me to take pictures. (Just picture me speaking in broken Italian – aka: “Ciao” and “Grazi” are the only Italian words I know – and saying “Pictures?” while making the picture-taking-sign with my hands.) He smiled and nodded ‘yes’ and I got busy snapping away. The colors in this place were unbelievable… I wanted to just park it at one of the tables and catch up on my writing.
Right after I took the picture of the Gelato, I looked up to find the man holding out a spoonful of it just for me. I instantly snapped my camera – just once – and was so happy to have captured the moment! We may not have been able to talk to each other, but I think there was a mutual understanding that I was in a new place trying to soak it all in and he was only too happy to help me do so. This was my favorite moment of our time in Italy 🙂
Of course a spoonful wasn’t gonna cut it so I immediately ordered a cone as soon as Christian came back with some money 😉 I ended up getting Melon Sorbet and it was SO GOOD. What are the odds that the one and only shop that stayed open this particular afternoon was a Gelato shop, right? It was meant to be…
and it was the very best way to end our afternoon ‘around town.’ 😉