A terrible shot of a train ride through the Alps. From Lyon’s central train station to Milan.
Milan was a stop-over city. Admittedly, it was a stop-over city mostly because of me. We had limited time in Europe and had to prioritize some places over others… and I prioritized Florence over any other city. So in Miriamese, “Milano” meant “Almost in Florence.” We’d been doing a lot of research on different cities in western Europe and with Italy, I was most looking forward to returning to Florence and prepping F for what would probably be his first and last time in Venice. Milan fell by the wayside.
We’ll probably return to Milan one day, so I don’t feel too bad about making it a stop-over city. F wants to come back to see more of the city, and I won’t mind, because Milanese food. But this time, we kept it short.
We arrived at around 10pm, to the sound of rain & thunder. The twenty minutes prior to pulling into Milan’s central train station (which is gorgeous) we were given a dazzling lightning display against fields of farmland. It was mesmerizing.
We exited the train station and stepped into a very dark, muggy, rainy night, but we didn’t mind too much. We were in Italy!
We made our way over to our Airbnb & chatted with Richard, our Airbnb host Jorge’s partner. Jorge was out on business, but Richard was the perfect host, great to talk to, and fun fact: he’s an actual Italian who spent a few years living in the Jersey Shore. Cue flashbacks to shitty reality tv shows your sister watched in 2010.
F and him talked about traveling and career paths for a bit before we turned in for the night and drifted off to the sounds of rainstorms.
The next morning, waking to clear skies, we went straight for the tourist-heart of Milan and bought tickets to the Duomo.
Bright an’ early.
We didn’t stray much from the Piazza del Duomo for our morning in Milan. We purchased our tickets by the time they opened the doors to the cathedral and in we went! Side note: kind of obvious tip, but always go early if you’re not buying advance, especially in June.
The Duomo di Milano is one of those cathedrals that are massive and never let you forget it. All cathedrals are pretty vast and spacious, but in the Duomo di Milano you feel so small and it feels so important that you’re small.
Those ‘Shot on iPhone’ ads always look better than anything I’ve ever shot on my iPhone.
We wandered around inside, and down to the paleo-Christian church excavated below the present-day cathedral. To top it all off, we took the stairs up to the roof, which is some 250 steps or so. It’s cheaper than taking the lift and really not a difficult climb–and you also feel more accomplished once you get to the top!
We sat down and relaxed at the top, peeking through the cathedral’s spires (all decorated with numerous figures) at the vast expanse of the city.
And then our stomachs started growling. Time to find food & window shop!
The Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II.
We went into the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele to find food. The Galleria is a beautiful outdoor shopping mall that lines one side of the Piazza, and it’s one of the oldest in the world of its kind. I picked up a nutella brioche and mixed fruit cup, and F ordered a capri sandwich at the small cafeteria at the entrance of the mall. Then we perused the dressed up windows of Prada and looked at silk tie & leather glove stores, where I had to remind F to wait for Florence before going on a spending spree. It was pure fun.
Later on, we went to the Duomo museum, located just across the street from the Duomo, on the ticket sales side. It was dark, so I didn’t take any pictures (also, we weren’t supposed to), but know that I genuinely enjoyed it. I was almost surprised I did–I didn’t think there’d be much to see. But other than sculptures and various parts of the Duomo, there were also several small and large-scale models of previous iterations of the Duomo facade, and old plans for renovation. The museum comes in one of the combo pack tickets you can get for the Duomo, so if you’re looking to get an enhanced experience, definitely go with that.
After the museum, we wandered around the area outside of the Piazza until it was time to head back to the Airbnb and get read for our 1:00pm train ride.
That pretty much wraps up our time in Milan!
And we played Fire Emblem Fates all the way to Florence.
Until next time!