The country of Sun - Italy
Milan Travel Blog› entry 16 of 32 › view all entries
So far we have travelled a bit but neverthless we haven't seen the cream of travelling Europe - Italy and France. Perhaps the most obvious reason to visit these two countries are their cultural heritages, but also nature of these two countries are very diverse. Both country has the Alps, very warm mediterranean sea, good food, absolutely good wines, cheerful people,lots of history, and enormous amount of sophisticated culture in fashion and art.
The train now was leaving Bern, and heading for Milan. It is one of the most famous cities in northern Italy, and we are supposed to visit Venice, Florence, Pisa, and Rome. Sorry for Verona, Naples, and many more. One of the good thing is now I can visit Italy for this summer, and preferably go to Naples and southern part, rather than seeking touristic pleausre of Venice and Florence. But visiting twice is not a bad idea either, naturally. I got in the train and eight of the other people were together. Somehow the reservation we made was happened like that. It was an quite old train, and we had six people in the compartment. Two from Germany working in FAO, one engineer from South africa, two girsl from Switzeland travelling to Italy, and me. This guy from Johannesberg instantly became friends in the train, talking about maths, travels, while those "German" speaking people instantly became friends simply becaue the conversation was done in German. If you were in the compartment, you can easily hear both languages and sometimes they all speak in English time to time.
Arriving in Milan, or Milano, it was quite sunny and dry. This time I used some of the sentences to ask directions to hotel, and finally made it through. Speaking native language can never go wrong. The airconditioner at the hotel was not pretty much working to say the least, it was three star hotel (it is a pity that except a couple of cities in this trip, I hardly remember the name of hotels), and turned on TV. I could listen "La Marseilles", and wondering whether this city of Milan had some connections to French. But I realized that it was 14th of July, a big celebration day for French people for their French revolution. It is quite funny that an year ago, you don't remember what you have seen while you still remember what you have seen in TV for an hour thirteen years ago. Guess it was more than just TV, but vividly enough to survive such a long time in memory. We went out to Piazza. The first and the last thing to do in Milan is to see the Duomo. Like every single city in Italy and Europe, church or Duomo is the center of city. Duomo, City hall, and the station, and the bistros or cafes all go along together at all times. You pray, you marry and pay tax, you go for somewhere else, and finally you eat. This hasn't been changes for years except the Duomo's more touristic role than religious side. Santa Maria Della gracie stood in the center of Milan. It is stood up so hight from outside, and just in front of it, there is a big fountain. It looks like the entire duomo is built with white marble, reflecting the strong sunlight, and sunny weather and beautiful sky is just enough to be a background for it, and waters from fountain is cooling down all those sharp sunlight and grandiose posture of duomo.
There was an elevator, a stocky Italian man was grabbing a rose with such a gentle way, and repeatedly saying "Prego Prego"to a lady who is about to take the elevator. Believe it or not, we took the elevator with them, and later we found out that he proposed to the lady at the top of Duomo with rose. We should have recognized that much earlier because he was about to be blown up with anxiety, nervousness, and excitement, and the lady was blushing. At the top of Duomo, you really can overlook what Milan looks like. But before that, you might feel dizzy with the height, and also the countless numbers of statue on the top, you might think it is quite unreal, giving a sense that perhaps 400 years ago people who could be here felt that they might be able to reach to God while surrounded by speckless blue sky and so many statues celebrating Mother Mary. We spent more than three hours there and took walking tour of downtown. Having Milanese sandwich, it was quite OK compared to Mcdonalds, but certainly lacked moisture so need some sparkiling water. Next we went to the castle of Sforza, and spent the entire afternoon. Here I could have been robbed but my friend protected me from behind. My bag was almost about to be stolen, and my friend snatched the thief's hand and he got stunned and ran away. It is quite amazing that I could not realize what is happening in my shoulder for a couple of seconds. It was all dry, and the castle looked dry too. The ground was almost burning in July, and certainly you need sandals or flip-flops to diffuse heat.
One thing we could not do was to see La Scala. The most famous opera theater in the world. It was too late to see, and furthermore we haven't had a chance to buy tickets. This theater was not that far from Duomo, so it could be a good one-day event if you love Opera. We came back to hotel, figuring out how we are going to manage our trip in Italy after Rome. Although we were a party of nine people, we were about to be split after Rome, and make their own way to Paris in about 10 days. The final destination was a hotel in Paris after this "go wherever you want" trip. While we were looking at the map for more than two hours, finally we decided go to North after Rome,hence giving up Naples and Capri. It is quite ironical that these left out places (Spain and Souther Italy) become the spots I visit after 10 years or later. Where to go tomorrow afternoon? A city of water - Venice. I was particularly excited with this beautiful city.