Archive for November, 2014
On leaving Venice we found ourselves in a beautifully appointed train for our 2.5 hour trip to Milan. We had purchased snacks and fruit for the trip and Claudia had her deck of cards from the flight over. Our card game of ‘Spit’ greatly amused the Italian grandfather sitting next to Claudia and we had a great ‘conversation’ using a mixture of our ‘piccolo’ Italian, a little English and lots of arm waving and sign language. He was off to Milan for a baptism and he was able to name lots of the past European tennis stars when Claudia told him she played tennis.
Arriving in Milan we had a long trek to the subway where we had to fend off very pushy gypsies trying to take over the ticket machines. I refused to pay them for their ‘services’ and we walked off to catch the train to our accommodation. Once again it was an airbnb in a residential area. This time however the area was quite different, lots of rubbish on the street and very busy main roads with lots of street traffic, quite a culture shock after the quietness of the canals of Venice. Our room, however was in an absolutely beautiful home once again, in a secure enclave. As we walked down the lane violin music drifted out a window.
Roberta’s home was also full of beautiful period furniture, art and detailing and a green oasis in the city. Our room was large with big windows opening onto the garden and a very welcoming host. As it was a Sunday we also met many of her family who were over for lunch. We, however headed back out to the subway (we bought a day ticket which would cover us until 2 pm the next day) to explore the city of Milan. We wandered around the square, deciding to come back the next day for a tour of the Duomo after Claudia’s shorts were rated too short!
We went for a walk along the shopping strip, tasted our first ‘piccolo cono, due gelato’, had a delicious lunch and then headed in to see a great exhibition of Leonado Da Vinci’s experimental inventions, precursors for many later engineering feats.
Back to the Duomo early the next morning, after a very refreshing sleep and breakfast (very handy subway goes right to the square) we were able to wander through the beautiful and huge church while it was quiet (before the herds of cattle and sheep arrived!), say the first of many prayers in many churches and climbed to the roof for the most amazing views of the structure itself and the city.
Milan was getting ready for Fashion Week-we just missed it, like we just missed George Clooney’s wedding in Venice. We wandered around the streets window shopping until we found a lovely cafe for coffee and lunch and then headed back to our accommodation to collect our luggage, then back to the station for our train to Cinque Terre. Milan is another city I will have to return to, to explore further.