Go here to see what I got up to on Day One…
At the event on Tuesday night, Duncan, Stuart and I decided we’d explore Milan together the next day. We met up for some breakfast at the hotel before heading out to the nearest subway station which was just a short walk away.
We got off at Cadorna Station and walked a little while to our first stop – the gorgeous Santa Maria delle Grazie church. Did you know the church’s refectory contains the mural of The Last Supper by Leonardo da Vinci! We tried to get in to see it but unfortunately all the tours for the day were fully booked. (People book weeks/months in advance so we took a chance even enquiring whether there were last minute cancelations.)
On either side of the central space were various different alcoves each with a separate “theme”. Each one would house an original oil painting along with other elements like an altar, pillars, etc. This was one of my favourites.
We then headed back to the metro and caught the train to Cordusio Station where a very short walk took us to the steps of the Duomo Vittorio Emanuele II.
The square in front of the cathedral was a hive of activity. People were sitting on the steps outside the cathedral. People were sitting by the statue on the far side of the square (opposite the cathedral). People feeding the pigeons. It was an amazing place to stop and just people watch.
Once we’d had our full of people-watching, we headed to the cathedral’s entrance. I had to take a moment to capture everything – the detail on the doors, the detail on every part of the exterior walls, the floors inside. As I didn’t have an official photographer tag, which you had to buy, the pic of the inside floors is the only pic I have of this gorgeous cathedral.
Once we had finished viewing the inside we headed to the side of the cathedral. We paid a nominal fee to walk up over 200 steps to the roof top of the cathedral. From there you see the most unbelievable views of Milan. The number of feet that have walked those steps is proved by the imprints in the marble.
After climbing up all those steps, and then going down them all, it was time for gelato! We headed through the Galleria and walked down one of the streets until we found a cafe that took our fancy
The gelato was incredible! And totally worth the search! They really don’t make ice-cream the way the Italians do…
We headed back to the Galleria afterwards to take in an exhibition of Leonardo da Vinci’s manuscripts. The exhibit had recreated a few of his drawings using wood and string which was absolutely amazing. I really loved looking at all the manuscripts on display and seeing the detail up close that he put into the drawings and explanations. Unfortunately photos were not allowed so everything was committed to memory. On the way to the exhibition we spotted this statue of Leonardo which was quite fitting.
In a city filled with history and beautiful architecture, I found myself wanting to take pics of every building, every street, everything… And with autumn filling the air, every sight was filled with gorgeous colours!
We stopped in the Galleria for a pizza lunch. I must say that the pizza was not as amazing as I had hoped it would be. Perhaps the gelato had created high expectations though even if I hadn’t enjoyed it, I would still not have loved the pizza I had. Just so you know, I love the pizza in SA more than the pizza in Italy.
After lunch we caught the train back to Buonarroti Station and walked back to the hotel. The one thing I noticed while walking around Milan is that graffiti is everywhere. I felt it was a lot more artistic than some of the graffiti we see in SA and so I had to capture it.
Once I got back to the hotel I headed to the supermarket across the road and explored the aisles to see what things cost comparatively speaking. I then went back to my hotel room to rest my feet for a bit before Stuart and I met up again to explore Milan some more.
And explore Milan we did! We tried to navigate our way to the “it” section where the nightclubs and nice restaurants were. We tried and failed dismally! I’m not sure whether our map was a little outdated or whether the streets weren’t labelled correctly but we just could not find our way. We ended up walking around Milan in the drizzly rain for 2 hours! By the time we eventually found our way back to the hotel my feet were aching and I looked like a half-drowned rat! But our exploration meant we saw more of Milan. And I was able to get a pic of this gorgeous intercom.