Tuesday, October 13, 2009

the Italian stairmaster

The Duomo in Milano-the 4th largest in Europe

Milano food market. We loved the open air markets we found in Italy and Switz as they usually let you taste before buying

Inside Sforza castle (Milano)

Grill work on side stree in Milano

Sforza castle tower

Milano Duomo gargoyle from roof


From rooftop

Milano from the Duomo roof

We are still in Milano trying to leave but again, we've missed the train to the coast. The train will leave in 2 hours but fortunately there is an internet cafe here. Seeing the
Duomo at night was magical! We also saw La Scala but the outside is not so impressive. So many restaurants in Milano close early much to our surprise and we violated the cardinal rule: Don't eat where tourists eat, which here is on the via Dante. So far, everyone has been super nice to us and helpful except for 2 people: the crab who runs the internet cafe in Stresa and this nasty waiter last night who hovered over us the whole time demanding that we get this or this. So pushy! I wish we had just walked away but it was very late and the food was not too bad but grossly overpriced. We did have a nice lunch today in a small cafe on the way to the train station, which was not touristy. We both had ripieni, which are stuffed things. Mine was a stuffed eggplant and Teri had stuffed eggplant. We shared some Milanese risotto and pasta arrabbiata and of course, more red wine. No inglese in this place.
I wish I were an Italian Milanesa. All the women are so thin and stylish. Lots of window shopping. I went into their fancy department store, La Rinascente this morning and looked at their 'style ' department. Very interesting. Our hotel was on a 7 foot wide street but that didn't stop the cars from going top speed. Lots of close calls though it was in Bern that Teri saved me from being in the path of one of their very silent electric buses. Our hotel was very basic but had a very good spread of goodies for breakfast. A cocker spaniel, Consueulio, walked freely through the breakfast room. On the news this morning was that a terrorist planted a bomb that went off here yesterday. They didn't seem too alarmed by it. The hotel owner just shrugged his shoulders when I asked about it. Me listening to the Italian news is like Spud (back in his hearing days) carefully scanning my speech with his head cutely cocked listening to the few words he understood--treat, walk, ride in the middle of a bunch of useless to him verbiage. While Teri went to the Internet cafe this morning (little did she know that that would be our afternoon's entertainment-we should have bought our tickets earlier), I went exploring.I climbed to the roof of the Duomo (not nearly as high as Notre Dame or even the steep hill the Bern Rosengarten was on) The Duomo looks like it were carved out of pink sugar. I took lots of pictures of its delicate carvings. I wasn't allowed to take any inside but it was too dark anyway. It is either the 3rd or 4th largest cathedral in Europe. Very impressive. Then into the Galleria, the very fancy shopping mall very similar to the one in Napoli. We were to turn on the testicle of the bull mosaic on the floor for good luck. Lots of people were there before us as a huge hole is where Tororito's privates were. I explored some of the stores, met up with Teri and went to the Sforza castle (which sounds like Schvartzer castle). On the way to the train, we ate a very good lunch at a local place where there were only Italians. Good wine too!

So we will take a train to Sestri Levente and transfer to a local to get to Bonassola where Esther, an eccentric but interesting woman will pick us up. She isn't Italian but Swiss who speaks very good English from living in India. We will have a balcony facing the Mediterranean and have bought wine in the rare case Esther doesn't share with us. Cinque Terre is only about 10 miles south. Maybe she knows of a good place so .....take me to the station and put me on a train...I've got no destination....

The Duomo at night


Daria said...

It's very exciting following along ...

Alli said...

Sue your trip sounds absolutely amazing. I can put a visual to some of the things you describe...


Blog Archive