I went to Milano today with my friend John. We were super tourists. We attempted to see everything possible. I was told Milan was an expensive city, but it turns out getting to Milan is the expensive part. I used the lone taxi in this vicinity to get to the train station (20 Euros), I bought a return ticket to Milano (10 Euros), the train was late, so I missed my connecting train in Piacenza (10 Euros for the express), and I lost my return ticket throughout the day (7 Euros) and took a taxi back to Bilegno (20 Euros). A whopping 67 Euros to go to Milan. Worth every penny.
Milano is gorgeous. Bustling and a bit grimey with amazing architecture, just what I like in a city. Arriving at Milano Centrale station I knew I would enjoy my day, it looked like a museum, with dozens of people peddling strange wind up toy horses and bicycles outside. We actually saw a woman buy one. I wonder who was at the receiving end of that gem? We hoped on the subway to make our way to the Duomo. Walking up to street level from the subway, you are immediately overcome with the Duomo. I have never seen such a grand building in my life, I would be surprised if I ever do. Pigeons, peddlers, tourists and milanese are everywhere in the piazza. Slightly overwhelmed, we go in the Duomo. A truly incredible feat of mankind produced this magnificent structure.
We walk across town to find The Last Supper. Turns out, it is closed on Mondays and reservations are required. Alas, we carry on to see the not-so-famous canals of Milano, which the trusty guide book promised would be as good as Venice’s. The canals were used to transport marble to build the Duomo. Facinating, we had to see them. The trusty guide book is clearly meant for summer travel because when we got to the canals, they are not the placid marble highways I was expecting, but lacking water and full of wine bottles and garbage. Alas, we carry on to see the Castello Sforzesco, a 1368 fortress that once housed Da Vinci’s workshop and has 10 museums in it. All 10 museums are closed on Mondays.
We realize we hadn’t climbed to the top of the Duomo. In the last 30 minutes we were in Milano, we participated in our own version of the Amazing Race. We ran up 30 steep, narrow staircases to get to the top, took pictures like maniac tourists, ran back down the staircase, ran to the subway, got on and travelled 4 stops while being seraneded by a violinist who only added to the intensity we were feeling, ran to the train station, bought tickets, and ran to the train with 5 minutes to spare. I would never make it on the amazing race.
Did we eat any good food in Milano? I would love to say we did, but after horrendous stories of being ripped off trying to eat Risotto Milanese, we opted for a trusty, cheap McBacon and a grande coffee. I was so happy with my very large coffee, I took a photo of it in front of the Duomo.