I'm currently in Milan for a few days.
I hadn't been here since I left in August 2003!
Wandering around the city today brings back a lot of memories - some pleasant, others not so much.
The area around the cathedral (duomo) is still popular with loud tourists and annoying street vendors.
The beggars on the metro, however, seem to be more Italian than I remember.
Esselunga, Italy's answer to Tesco, still sells an incredible variety of pastas of all shaped, sizes and colours.
While the cafes still charge less than a euro for a proper espresso.
Would you expect anything less in Italy?
I guess not, but when you compare prices with those you'd pay in Ireland it's a bit frightening.
Of course Milan is also a city of extremes and contradictions.
While you can easily buy the latest haute couture in many shops, the guy serving your beer probably makes less than €1000 a month.
This in a city where property prices are as high as Dublin or London.