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Published: June 10th 2018
We arrived in Milan at about 9 am on June 8 and had a transfer to our hotel, Sina Hotel de la Ville, right in the center of Milan near the duomo (cathedral). There we met Paulo, our Overseas Adventure Travel trip leader and fellow traveler Pam from Florida. Paulo took us on a brief walking tour to get oriented, and then Wayne and I toured the duomo terraces (roof), interior, and museum. It is a must-see in Milan with over 100 spires and thousands of statues and gargoyles. The interior feels like a forest with its giant columns. Best of all, someone was playing the pipe organ, something that I had always wished for when visiting other cathedrals in France or England!
Back at the hotel, we met the other people on our tour. We are 15 in all, of a "certain age." As usual for OAT, they seem a lively, energetic group. We all ate dinner together at Focacciaria - a Sicilian menu of green salad with huge round of soft mozzarella, a roulade of eggplant, and a cannoli stuffed with ricotta. Then had to walk off all that rich stuff in the ritzy fashion district, mostly laughing
at the outrageous shoes in the windows. Finally to bed after 38 hours awake!
Saturday we walked with a local guide to La Scala, the famous opera house, the old city library, statue of Leonardo da Vinci, and the Castle with beautiful park filled with children and picnickers.
Then we decided to venture up to Monumentale with Pam and Helene. Although it was worth it to see the huge cemetery in which every grave was decorated with a sculpture depicting something about the family buried there, this was a star-crossed quest. First, we had conflicting advice about how to get there, so we spent over a half hour looking for a trolley stop. Then when we finally found it, we couldn't board without a ticket, which we had to buy at the subway (good for two hours). So, finally we found the place to buy a ticket, got on a trolley, changed to another trolley line with some help from a friendly local, and found Monumentale. It was truly amazing as promised, and we wandered around for quite a while even though it was getting quite hot. Suddenly Pam, who was wearing sandals, got attacked by ants. We
helped hold her up while she brushed them off her legs and tended to the stings. By then we were all dehydrated and hot, and it was time to go back to the hotel. Wayne suggested taking the subway, so we headed underground where it was indeed cooler. We used our trolley tickets to board, but then we could not get through the gate at the end, because our two hours had expired by one minute! The gatekeeper took pity on the dumb tourists and let us through anyway.
Supper was just drinks and appetizers, aperitivo, on a balcony overlooking the duomo square. Hot potato chips and pizzas with hemp crust! Then the obligatory gelato sculpted to look like a flower.
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