I've done some reading.
Some people say it's not possible to do a full conversion, because of the nexus shifter.
I'd probably need to get custom brake cables (rear needs to be replaced anyway...).
Is this a worthwhile project?
I'm at >18 miles/day RT, 5 days a week going to class, plus work, groceries, etc. Love my Milano, but sick of riding with flats.
Any help appreciated.
It can be done, but it's going to be a little difficult. The Milano has a combo shifter/brake lever. If you get a separate shifting unit you can attach it to the drop bars using a HubBub. So you're going to need two brake levers, a solo Nexus 8 shifter and the HubBub, in addtion to the drop bars and maybe recabling.
+1 to experimenting with bar shapes. Keep the shifters and look for a bar that's more relaxed than a drop bar, allowing you to mount those mountain-style shifters. Look at On-one's shapes - people love them. There's always the mustache bar, too.
I'm currently installing a Nexus "red band" 8 to my Bianchi San Jose and I'm retaining the storck drop bars. I also didn't want to use the hub bub adapter for a couple of reasons: cost and the look. My solution is using a mtb bar end clamped on the flats of the drop bar and attaching the shifter to that.