Italian Vacation: Milan

After Venice, we headed over to Milan by train. It was an easy 2.5 hour train ride. (While I’m thinking of it, I realized I ought to explain how I got train tickets while I was over there. For almost everything, I used an app called Omio. It let me search for train and bus tickets, sort them by time or price, buy them, and then store them on my phone. It was easy to use, and didn’t give me a single hiccup. Some of the other cities I was in had apps as well, and I would download and use them for public transportation if possible, though most often I bought a two day, three day, or week long pass, depending on what was most economical.)

Milan had been a specific request by Daniela. She wanted to make it to the fashion capital of the world while we were in the country, and when my kids make specific requests like that, I try to do what I can to make them happen. Milan isn’t often listed as one of The Cities to see in Italy, but it’s up there. It also has the Last Supper. Who doesn’t want to see the Last Supper?

That leads me to another observation. While I did technically get to see the Last Supper while I was in Milan, in practice, that meant I googled it and looked at it on my phone. Why? Because they only let in about 20 people at a time to see the painting, and so there are very limited number of tickets. I bought tickets to most of the popular places around two months before our trip (which was good, since many of them sold out), but that wasn’t early enough to snag tickets to the Last Supper. So if you’re going to go to these places at a popular time like . . . the height of summer, be sure to plan accordingly.

So what did we do in Milan? We checked out the cathedral (Duomo) and hiked to its roof to look out over the city. The Duomo is right smack dab in the middle of everything, so it was kind of a no brainer. (Though I will say that by the end of our trip, the younger members of our party were beginning to wonder just how many churches it was possible to see at once. The answer? More than they preferred.) But other than that, we’d come to Milan to check out the fashions, so we walked around the shopping areas to check out the stores.

When I say that, what I mean is “I walked around with people and stood outside while they checked out the stores.” Gucci, Prada, Louis Vuitton, Ferrari, Tiffany, Tom Ford. You name it, there was a store there. But due to COVID, they were capping the number of people they’d allow in each store at once. So since I have the fashion sense of a drunk walrus, I just stayed outside and let people who actually could appreciate the stores go in and appreciate them. Did I enjoy myself? I enjoyed the fact that my family was enjoying the experience.

We ate dinner at a place just off the main square, called Pino. I had lasagna, and it was delicious, but others didn’t fare as well. It probably would have been smarter to find something a street or two farther away, but sometimes you just can’t plan everything. What can I say?

We stayed at another Booking place: ESTH Suite. It was a bit different. There was a guy in the lobby at certain times, and it felt very much like I was buying something out of the back of a van. Like someone had been on the street and said, “Psst! Wanna get a room for two nights? Real cheap?” That said, the A/C worked, the rooms were fine, and it wasn’t expensive. But a luxury experience it was not.

That was it for our day of touring Milan. Although we would spend two nights in the city, we’d decided to use our second day taking a trip out to Lake Como. More about that tomorrow. Would I go back to Milan? No. Once was enough. But if you’re into fashion and shopping (and seeing many ridiculously expensive cars), then it’s worth the trip.


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