Europe Day 2: Milano, Italia

Our plane landed close to midnight. 

Our gracious AirBnB host Mila picked us up. She had told us to look out for her little red car. We drove about 45 minutes from Malpensa Airport to her place across town. 

She pointed out the monuments we passed on the drive. Her place was on the seventh floor, and a little elevator took us up. She had two rooms that shared a bathroom. I did not tell her in time that we needed a double bed, so we slept in two single beds. It was a cozy, comfortable room. 

We did share a bathroom with whoever was in the other room, but we rarely saw them, and it felt like we had it to ourselves. 

Mila left snacks out and had a helpful map up in the hallway. 

We probably fell asleep around 2 a.m. We woke up at 9. The first thing we needed to do was exchange money. We visited a few local banks and quickly learned you’ve got to go into the city center tourist areas for that.

It was a 20-minute walk to the inner loop of Milan. We passed up high-fashion stores. The weather was perfect. We got to the Piazza Del Duomo, the main city square with the country’s second largest cathedral. 

It was 11 a.m. Instead of eating breakfast, we sat at an outdoor cafe and ordered bufalina pizza. Then we realized everyone else was ordering coffee and pastries. 

Our bottle of water cost 4 euros. And I saw another charge for 4 euros, which I think was for the luxury of eating outside and having two glasses for our water.

We walked across town. My plan was to hit up Santa Maria delle Grazie, where the Last Supper is. But we stumbled upon an old castle first, Castello Sforzeca. We walked through Parco Sempione. 

Then we made it to Santa Maria delle Grazie and took pictures outside. It was Monday, so it was closed. You have to book a visit weeks or months in advance to get in. And then you get 15 minutes to see The Last Supper. It was funny to stand in front of this church on a Monday and see no crowds or fanfare. 

After all this walking, we trekked toward home. We stopped at a caffetteria for coffee/tea and pastries. 

We got to the AirBnB and called home. The kids were getting ready for school. 

We had only a few minutes to rest. Then we caught a bus to il Duomo for our 4 p.m. skip-the-line tour.

 I was a little panicked about making it on time. We were supposed to meet our tour at United Colors of Benetton. But the one Google maps showed me seemed like the wrong one. We asked a guy in a rickshaw. He generously drove us down the piazza to the right location. We made it. They gave us earbuds, so we could hear our tour guide. 

It was a large gothic cathedral, with every inch, it seemed, covered in symbolic sculptures or stained glass stories. Every element had been designed as a way to remember church history. 

We climbed to the terrace. You could see all of Milan, even some of the Alps, on this clear day. 

On the way home, we stopped by a restaurant recommended by our host Mila. 

They picked appetizers for us, which were extremely good. Some kind of raw tuna with vegetables. 

Sajan had seafood ravioli, and I had seafood tagliatelle. Mine was overwhelmed with little baby squids. 

We headed home and edited videos. I fell asleep at 9:30. Then I woke up for two hours in the middle of the night editing and reading. Throughout the trip, my sweet spot for sleeping was 3 a.m., which equates to around 7 p.m. in the states. 

I should have asked how to turn on our room’s air conditioner. It got warm and stuffy at night. 


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