Sunday, November 16, 2008

Italy - Day 6 (Milan)

Day 6. We said goodbye to Manarola (and the great views) over breakfast. In addition to the typical Italian hotel breakfast of coffee, juice, pastry, and yogurt, this hotel offered omelets, a mini pizza, caprese salad, and chocolate mousse. A very eclectic mix of foods....We took the small local train to Monterosso al Mare, the northernmost town in the Cinque Terre, in order to catch the larger trains to Milan. Unfortunately, our local train was late , making us miss the first train for Milan. There are certainly worse places than the Cinque Terre to be stuck for a few hours. With our extra time, we hung out on the beach and had some lunch.....Originally, our goal for the day in Milan was to see the Duomo, the Duomo roof, Galleria Vittorio Emanuele, and time-permitting, the Sforza Castle for one of four Michelangelo Pietas. When we finally arrived in Milan at 3pm, we frantically tried to find our way out of the enormous Milan Central Train Station and catch the first taxi to the hotel. We finally got a taxi and loaded all of our luggage into the trunk, we handed the hotel address to the driver, he looked it over for a few seconds and then started laughing. Our hotel was clearly visible from where we were, it was literally across the street.
A few shots inside the train station.......
At $289 USD, our room at the Starhotels Anderson Milano, was by far the most expensive of the trip....but it was sure luxurious. High ceilings, bath robes, slippers, 2 TVs, 2 phones, large closet, and a great breakfast! The only minor problem with the room was that it was on the first floor, so anytime a subway went by below us, the entire room shook....
We got to the Milan Duomo at 4:30pm, half hour before the roof closed. Fortunately, unlike most other cathedrals, this one had an elevator (for a few extra Euros). The views from the roof were nice, but the Milan skyline is fairly flat and without many distinguishing features.
Interior of the Milan Duomo.... This place is HUGE. According to wikipedia, it's the 7th largest church by sq footage. That's Brooke at the far end of this picture.....Adjacent to the Duomo is the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele, a large shopping mall with a cross-shaped floor plan and tall vaulted glass ceilings.On the floor, at the center of the Galleria. Spinning on the bull's testicles is believed to bring good luck. Simply place your heel into the well-worn hole and spin around 3 times.... video

For dinner, we decided to try an Italian chain restaurant, Pastarito Pizzarito. In hindsight, the restaurant's goofy name should have acted as a warning. The food was aweful, the saffron risotto was crunchy, and the pasta was flavorless....After dinner, we made our way to a high fashion area of Milan. Window shopping is more fun in Italy. A majority of the store windows will include a price list.....As we headed back to our hotel that evening, we noticed there were a bunch of Obama posters in the subway stations. He's a rockstar in Italy.

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