Thursday May 12
I arrived at Milano Centrale at 9:30 am and met my friend Angela there. We had not seen each other since January of last year, when she went back to Italy after spending three months with me in the U.S.
It was great to see each other again and we immediately got on the Metro to see some of Milano. Coming up the steps of the Metro at the Duomo stop, I could not believe the sight in front of me. The Duomo was right there, this huge Gothic cathedral, and seeing it for the first time took my breath away!
I always thought the Duomo in Florence was an incredible sight, but I think this is even more spectacular. It can hold 40,000 people and is one of the largest cathedrals in the world. The Duomo in Milano is the only Gothic cathedral in Italy, and construction took over 500 years, with renovations always continuing. It truly is an amazing sight!
In the center on the floor is a painting of an ox, and there is a hole in the floor where his genitals should be. The hole was created from people stepping in this area and twirling around, believing that this will bring good luck. Of course at Angela’s urging, I had to try it too.
We walked over to Teatro alla Scala, the famous opera venue, La Scala, which is over 200 years old. How could any of us forget that scene from Monstruck when Cher and Nicholas Cage met each other at the opera at the Met in NYC?
We had lunch on the top floor at La Rinascente and the views were great as well as the panini. More browsing around and a friend of Angela’s met up with us and we continued on to Castello Sforzesco, built in the 1300’s and onto Parco Sempione for a much needed break in the shade. The temperature reached 82 degrees here today and we were feeling it.
I spent the evening in the hotel lobby with some Canadians, some Americans, some New Zealanders, and some travelers from England, and we all spoke English comparing notes as to our various itineraries. I didn’t need dinner as we were partaking of “un aperitivo” with drinks and various appetizers provided by Massimiliano. It was a great way to unwind after a day in the city. Milano reminds me of New York a little, and I loved it.
Tomorrow morning I will be going to Malpensa airport to meet my brother and sister-in-law, who are arriving. We will be traveling together for the next two and a half weeks, so I am excited to have some company!