Europe: Day 15

Milan, Italy

Milan was very quiet. I had a different picture of it in my head since it was one of the fashion capital of the world. I thought perhaps it would be a lot livelier than it was. My train arrived in Milan around 2:00PM. From the train station to my hotel was about a 30 minute walk. The streets were quiet and the roads were quiet. I’m slightly exaggerated here but it almost seemed as if Milan was a ghost town. I’ve heard of siestas before but since there weren’t many siestas in the previous Italian cities, I didn’t think Milan would be any different. Also, with the Milan Expo happening, I thought that the city would be swarming with people.

After checking into the hotel, I plotted my course for the day. The plan was to visit the cathdral, the galleria and the theatre, all of which was bout 45 minutes away. Since it was the middle of the afternoon, it was going to be a hot and sweaty walk.

As I roamed the streets, I only came across a handful of people. Certain restaurants had signs stating that they were closed from 2:00PM and will be opened again at 7:00 PM. But I could have sworn that I saw one resturant stating that it closes at 8:00PM. I’m not sure how much business that place would get if it’s closed after lunch, only to be opened again later for an hour.

After walking for 45 minutes, I finally found where all the people were. Across the street from the Teatro alla Scala is a little square called the Piazza della Scalla. At the center of the square is a momument of Leonardo da Vinci in the center. People, mainly tourists were sitting around and enjoying the day. I found a water fountain close by so I quickly filled up my water bottle. All that walking made me sweat a lot.

I guess the locals are all on siestas while the tourists were around the cathdral area. In order to get to the cathedral, you had to walk through the shopping mall. There were a lot of people just walking around in the Galleria Vittoria Emanuele II. This mall had a lot of big brand name companies like Louis Vuitton, Guicci and Prada. I can’t afford anything from any of these stores so I didn’t bother going in. I was atempted to dine at one of the restaurants but decided not to.

The shopping mall is inside a four story arcade style building. I’m not sure what the upper floors are used for. It didn’t look like it was occupied. At the center, where the path ways intersect is a glass dome that lets in a lot of lights. Underneath the dome is a mosaic of a coat of arms. It almosted looked like a flag of England.

Once you go through the mall, you’re greeted by the Milan Cathedral. It looks almost like the cathedral in Cologne. I’m not sure which is bigger but I think the one in Cologne was higher. Tickets can be purchased on the right side of the cathedral and the entrance was on the left. The line up to get into the cathedral wasn’t busy at all. I think most of the people were walking around the rest of the mall, which was located behind the cathedral.

I do not recall doing much in Milan. I remember just walking around and then heading back to the hotel before evening. Milan could have been a city that I could have skipped but given my train schedule from Rome to Zurich, it made sense to stop by Milan.