Our day started super early since the driver would be coming to pick us up at 5 am. We had already paid the driver for both journeys yesterday, so there was some trepidation about whether or not he’d be back. He showed up right on time though, so it was all good. European train travel is nothing like American plane travel. You don’t know what platform the train’s going to be at until about 20 minutes before the scheduled departure time. So getting there much earlier than that doesn’t help you much. We basically sat at the train station for an hour and a half. We got breakfast at a Paul bakery in the station. Those croissants were so good. I miss them now.
We had a 7-hour train ride ahead of us. I always take the window seats on planes, so Moms took the window for this leg of the journey. It was pretty uneventful, only a couple areas had interesting scenery.
– train food (I think this was lasagna)
– I’m not sure what this was, but Cuz and Nina got this
Many hours later we arrived in Milan. Our hotel, AC Hotel Milano, was super close to the station. I found out just how close it was later on. We grabbed some taxis since we were unaware. Nina and fams driver didn’t want to take them since it was so close, but eventually relented. We got checked in, paid for wifi, and checked out our rooms. They were really nice. Lots of space and the style fit the city.
We added Milan as a rest stop basically. The most famous thing to see there is Da Vinci’s Last Supper. This requires buying tickets online in advance and there are multiple sellers. When we looked during our planning, the sellers were all sold out for the time after our train would be arriving. So we wouldn’t get a chance to see that. We went to the Duomo of Milan instead, which is not a consolation prize. It’s breath-taking.
It started to sprinkle, I swear the rain was following us by this point, as we drove to the Duomo. You can take an elevator to the roof and it’s supposed to have great views of the region. The pictures I had seen showed people in the middle of the roof so I figured I’d be okay with that. I’ve never been more scared in my life. The elevator is in the back. So when you exit there is fencing all the way up. You walk towards the front and when you get there, the fencing goes away. It’s just a waist-high rail. There’s wire mesh below, but you can lean over the edge. You can step up and walk along a path that’s not next to the rail, which I immediately did. As you work towards the front, you pass some archways and when people would be coming the opposite direction of me I had two choices. Step down near the rail, or go up to the slanted roof. I opted to instead hug the side of the archway as they passed me. When you finally get to the front, there are stairs you take to get to the top where it’s flat. Those stairs are right up against the front of the building and I just couldn’t take it anymore. My fear of heights coupled with my shoes lack of grip on the wet surface up there were too much. I didn’t care what the family did I had to get off that building. Moms said she’d come with me, but I wasn’t trying to wait for her if she took too long. I’ve never had one, but I think I was starting to have a panic attack up there. It’s a shame that that’s my memory of my visit. I don’t really remember taking photos up there, but looking at them now it’s beautiful up there.
After giving serious consideration to kissing the ground, the rest of the family joined us a few minutes later. We proceeded to enter the Duomo at this point. Admission is free, but they offer a photo pass for 2 euro. They give you a wristband and those are the only people allowed to take pictures inside. I have no problem with this method. Too many places don’t allow you to take photos inside, and I understand the flashes can cause issues over time, but I feel this is a good way to let people know the rules and let those who want to take pictures the opportunity.
Once I had got my fill of pictures, we went in search of food. I had heard of a place that was popular with locals and tourists alike. Luini, they serve something called panzerotti which are like small calzones but with a softer dough. It’s just down the street from the Duomo, but it’s a little hole in the wall. They don’t have tables, and everybody was tired and wanted to sit and eat, so only Cuz and I got something here. It was so delicious. Just dough, mozzarella, and sauce; but done to perfection. After the terror of the Duomo, this was the thing that I would’ve come back to Milan for. Unfortunately, I didn’t get a picture of them.
In our search for Luini, we had seen a place nearby called Mama Burger that appealed to us. These were some delicious burgers that really felt like home. After dinner we made our way back to the Duomo to catch a taxi. Cuz and I stopped in a chocolate shop and bought some amazing chocolate bars.
– looks so American doesn’t it
Once back in the room, I went out to find a convenience store nearby to get some drinks for us. Directly next to the hotel was a metro stop and the people at the front desk told me to go through that and come out the other side and I’d be near something. Coming out the other side of the tunnel led me to the train station where we arrived. I guess that’s why the taxi drivers were so reluctant to take us, we really were incredibly close. I ended up finding a place to get some water and pop to take back to the room.