Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Day 1 in Milano, Self-Guided Walking Tour Around the City

Milan was an unexpected stop on my trip through Italy, I had not initially planned to spend anytime here.  However, when I was searching for flights to Italy from Tel Aviv, Meridiana's direct flight was the best option.  Going to Rome was more expensive and required a 10 hour layover in Istanbul, I decided a trip to Milan would not be so bad, another city to explore.

I went to sleep late last night and got a slow start today. I woke up around 9 am, Italy time, which is one hour behind Israel.  I stayed in bed most of the morning, I was in no hurry to get started, had no big sightseeing plans for the day, no walking tour to go on.  I read my Europe travel books, had an idea of the sites to see in Milan, and I figured a day was plenty of time to see the city.

I began my day with lunch at a nearby cafe, I ordered the calzone, it looked good from the window, I saw another customer eating it too.  The calzone was good, not outstanding but good, and a nice change from the Middle Eastern fare I have burned out on over the past two weeks.  After lunch I headed to Piazza Duomo, Milan's Central Square, a short walk from my hostel.

The most prominent building in Milan's main square is the Gothic Cathedral, which is one of the largest Gothic Cathedral's in the world. I briefly went inside the Cathedral  I took out my camera to take a picture and was approached by a woman who told me I would have to pay 2 Euros to take photos.  I decided I have enough pictures of interiors of European churches, I am not going to pay to accumulate more. I did not stay at the cathedral long, did not pay to go to the roof or the baptistery.  I was keeping my Milan tour basic,  I explore the interiors of building in more depth in Rome and Florence.

Lynnae in front of Milan's Cathederal
After spending some time at Milan's Cathedral, I went across the Piazza Duomo to the Galleria Vittorio Emanuale, a glass-domed gallery designed in 1865 by Giuesppe Mengoni, who was killed a few days before it opened when he fell to his death from its roof, according to the Rough Guide to Europe on a Budget.  I walked through the gallery, there were a lot of high end shops and some expensive restaurants.  I asked two police officers how to get to Castello Sforzesco after I finished looking around the gallery.

Lynnae in Galleria Vittorio Emanuale
Castello Sforzesco was my last stop on my self-guided tour of Milan, is there more to see in this city, definitely. There is a canal district and the Church of Santa Maria dell Grazie, which is famous for the Last Supper by Leonardo da Vinci.  The Last Supper viewing required advanced purchased tickets, Milan was an unexpected stop on my trip to Italy, I did not book anything in advance. 

Lynnae at Castello Sforzesco
After my walk around Milan, I went back to my hostel, met a hostel mate from Brazil and later 2 from Finland. I am in a mixed dorm in this hostel, men and women, the female dorms were booked.  This time there is an even gender split, 3 men and 3 women.  In Jerusalem I spent 3 nights in a mixed hostel where I was the mix, I prefer the mix in this room.  I got pizza for dinner, nothing special like the pizza in Naples, it was average, a thin crust pizza I could find in the US.

Tomorrow I go to Venice for two nights, I will have my own room there, with a shared bathroom  at an inexpensive hotel.  I finished booking my Italy trip, it ends on May 31st, them I go to Barcelona, booked the flight already.  My tour of Europe will end in a couple of weeks, I may go teach English in Istanbul or go and get my TEFL certification, I have not decided yet.  Well, it is time to get some sleep, I have a train to catch to Venice sometime tomorrow, I did not reserve a seat in advance. 

Day 1 in Milan Photo Album

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