An adventure is often about the journey, not the destination. Especially when you are in Italy, don’t know the train system, and get lost in an unfamiliar town on your way to go meet your sister in Milan.
As you may have seen from some of my social media posts, my little sister, Charmayne, is spending her spring break exploring Italy. She stayed in a hotel closer to Milan, so we decided to get together near central Milan to spend some time together and explore.
Her trip was quite a bit smoother than mine, but her trip was also a direct train to Milan. Mine had one change, which is now super easy for me to navigate, but my first time? I thought it would be the death of me. Could I find my platform of where my next train was? Yes. Did I know how much time I had? Yes. My issue was having no clue on where I was supposed to buy a ticket for my next train. I started asking around if anybody spoke English, they didn’t. Then, I texted my roommate and got the word for ticket, biglietto, which was apparently on a sign outside with the platforms that I could just not seem to find. Finally, when I was on the verge of really just not knowing what to do, I ran into one of my teammates on the stairs and she was able to straighten me out, show me where to buy my ticket, and I caught the next train to Milano Centrale as I missed my first one.
About 45 minutes later I FINALLY met up with Charmayne and we go on our merry way to Milan. If you have never been, the Milano Centrale Station is an absolutely huge, but beautiful building. We then proceed to go get lunch, and over pizza and macaroni and cheese we decided we would go see the Duomo di Milano, or the Milan Cathedral.
We started out about 2.3 miles away from the cathedral and opted at Charmayne’s suggestion to walk instead of taking a bus or a cab so we could see more of the city. This turned out to be a fantastic journey. Walking the streets we saw beautiful architecture, shops, and restaurants that all had their own style. Charmayne and I stopped to admire everything and snap a few pictures more than once.
As we got closer to the cathedral, we started noticing more high-end shops and let me tell you, walking through the fashion area of Milan made me wish I had more of a fashion sense. (As I read this aloud to Charmayne she said, “same,” at least I wasn’t alone.)
We passed through the Leonardo Piazza and stumbled upon the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II. Pictures do not do this place justice. As you look up and see the beautiful arcade, it just takes your breath away and according to Wikipedia (which I use to spell check some of these places) it says that it is the world’s oldest active shopping mall.
Now, you know how I just said the arcade takes your breath away? The Duomo di Milano will you
leave you gasping for air. Standing in the Piazza del Duomo, the cathedral looks like it was painted into the sky, standing masterfully against the background
of a pale blue sky. Standing next to it, you see how much the cathedral just towers above you and the details, well; you see why it took six centuries to complete. Unfortunately we got there around closing so we weren’t able to take any of the tours, but trust me, I will be going back to do just that.
Our day ended rather peacefully after that. We went and got gelato on our way back to the station and proceeded to our respective homes with plans to meet the following day.
Which brings me to today. I had some business to take care of this morning, so while I was out, Charmayne napped at my place before we went on our next adventure: Lake Como.
We took the trains to the Como Nord Lago train station that spills you out directly in front of the
lake. Of course we went and got lunch immediately after getting there and settled upon a classic restaurant along the water with outdoor seating. This time, however, I did not get pizza, it was Charmayne’s turn and I chose grilled shrimp scampi, which was huge, and absolutely delectable.
Afterwards we walked along the water, stopping for many impromptu photo shoots and explored Como. Charmayne and I came upon another beautiful cathedral called Duomo di Como, or the Como Cathedral. While it did not near compare in size, it was like a beautiful younger cousin to the Duomo di Milano. We were also able to go inside and view the beautiful dome, alters, and tapestries.
Once we got our fill, we proceeded to explore Como again, this time coming upon a theater and a great deal of shops where we certainly enjoyed ourselves.
The day came to a close drifting off on the train towards my home of Caronno Pertusella.
I must say, the journey to the destination is just as memorable as the destination.