What a train station spectacle. Mussolini loved Milan for all of its pre-fascist fascist tendencies and capitalized on the … well, wealth and materialistic nature of the city. This train station is enormous, inside and out. It is designed to overpower the viewer, and let me tell you – it works. Not only is the station huge, there are people EVERYWHERE. Regardless, we found our way out to the taxi stand to find our hotel.
Guess what the taxi man said? “No, you walk, is close. There, turn by that building.”
Turns out close is NOT CLOSE. Not close period, much less when we each have a rolling bag (Alison’s wheel is broken), a duffle bag (WINE IS HEAVY TO CARRY) and a backpack. Turns out close is NOT CLOSE in 100 degree weather. We are a sight, always. This was no exception. The good news is, the 3 of us manage to always find humor in our predicaments and this was the right time to take advantage of that. We eventually found our hotel, which turned out to be very practical and nice for a 1-night stay for two reasons: 1. Air conditioning and 2. Proximity to Corso Buenos Aires.
Corso Buenos Aires is a famous street in Milan, known for its centralized shopping and people watching capabilities. It also leads directly to the Duomo and therefore, the Galleria (the shops that I couldn’t even afford to go in to look, such as Prada, Gucci, etc.) We showered off and then set out to explore Milan. July is a special month in this city as it is: THE MONTH OF SALES!!!! What a treat right?
Fortunately for my bank account, there weren’t a whole lot of things for me to buy. I’ve maxed out room in my luggage, so clothes were out of the question and I couldn’t see much else I needed besides a tacky Italia t-shirt. Obviously.
We also found the Duomo, which was the most unique Duomo we have seen yet. Like I was saying earlier about the Fascism in Milan, it was built in the same fashion as the train station. We thought Kirk would be proud we went to look at it, much less we took my guide book and learned about it, too. Go students!
Besides this enormous cathedral and the vast amounts of shopping, Milan’s artistic and architectural history is stunted due to the bombing of the city during WWII. Which is sad for them, but it wasn’t like we were looking for a museum or anything.
Here’s another stroke of luck we encountered: July 7th is a special night in Milan called Shopping Under the Stars, where all the shops on Buenos Aires are open until 2 a.m. and there’s a mini street carnival with games and kiddie rides and food. Awesome, right?
After we ate a quick dinner, we showered and then headed out to basically people watch and search for gypsies. We missed the G’s in Switzerland and we were not disappointed in them in Milan. We also slightly missed the Italian language, because it is such a pretty language. Especially compared to Dutch or German or whatever the Swiss speak because it’s ugly and sounds like they’re hawking loogies the whole time. Yuck.
I’m glad we got to see Milan, which means we’ve hit up Italy in all the major places with the least likely chance of getting killed by Mafia men.
Cinque Terre – Monterosso
Cool, right? Va bene, Italia, va bene.