Natalia Costanzo has been taking in the sights of Lincoln as a first time visitor. She wrote in a column for The Lincolnite about the differences and the surprising similarities between the the city and her home in Milan.

Some people might be surprised that a Milanese flew to Lincoln this summer. However, I had the unique opportunity to work in the marketing department of Streets Chartered Accountants in the city. I had this chance thanks to SFAI, a worldwide network of leading accountancy firms, which both Streets and my father’s firm are part of.

I wanted to come to England to practice the language. I’m studying economics in Italian, but English is really important in this field. I think that my English has improved and I have to thank all the people that patiently repeated what they were saying or helped me with the pronunciation.

Here in Lincoln I felt really at ease, and sometimes even at home. Actually, in Milan the sky is as grey and white and cloudy as here!

Grey skies over Milan and Lincoln.

If there’s something that you don’t have but we do have is fog and I think this is because here it rains more often.

Thanks to the cool weather I have been able to go running on the West Common. I’m not used to running because Milan can be really polluted sometimes.

Lots of people criticize Milan, saying it’s not a “green city”, but there are a lot of initiatives to make it healthier, starting from the “Vertical forest”, a pair of skyscrapers covered by plants.

Can you tell which green spaces belong to which city?

On the other hand, in Milan people are encouraged to go running because the terrain is really flat, while Lincoln is hillier.

The Milan skyline is not flat though, because it has buildings of different heights and a lot of them go beyond 70 metres. The tallest skyscraper is the Unicredit Tower with its 231 metres.

Views from above Milan vs Lincoln.

Milan is very lively city and this is partly due to the huge number of universities that we have. Actually, we can choose among 39 University Centres and 44 different faculties – that can’t be compared to Lincoln’s two universities.

The cities’ university buildings are quite different.

In Milan, the central train station has 24 platforms against the four of Lincoln Central. In addition, Milan has more than one station.

Milan has a complex rail system. Imagine how traffic in Lincoln would cope if the station was a big as this!

The Brayford immediately reminded me of the Lambro, a river that crosses Milan, but also Navigli, channels, and Idroscalo, an artificial lake. And what’s more surprising is that the water from the tap is drinkable in cities affected by pollution.

City lakes.

Another thing that I didn’t imagine I would have found so similar is food. Probably globalization helped in this, but I’ve eaten healthy and well cooked food. I’ve also been surprised by the amount of ethnic restaurants I could find along the streets of a small city.

Can you guess which dish was served in Lincoln?

We’ve got a castle and a cathedral as well. One of the main difference with Lincoln’s is the fact that Lincoln’s were completed. Actually, the “Duomo” is still incomplete, and everyone can adopt a spire to help to preserve them.

Milan castle vs Lincoln’s

Milan Cathedral vs Lincoln’s.

I’m looking forward to reading what a Lincolnese thinks about Milan!