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Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Milan, Italy

May 6, 2010

While staying in Lake Como area in the town of Malgrate. We found out that it was only a 40 minute train ride and only cost around 3.60 euros to go to Milan from Lake Como.  So my husband and I decided  to take my two eldest daughters on a little late afternoon/evening trip to Milan. This particular trip, we were very lucky to be traveling with my husbands parents as they agreed to babysit my youngest.(thanks S&G!)

As we got on the train that afternoon we all talked about what we thought Milan would be like. When I think of Milan I think of vibrant high fashion and beauty. You hear about Milan as a place where the famous fashion designers congregate to show their new clothing line at the many runway shows held throughout the city. My daughters were reeling with anticipation and wonder. They pictured an afternoon of shopping and fantastic people watching. I imagined an artsy modern quaint city. I envisioned walking down the street and seeing sophisticated beautiful people wandering around and looking suave.

When we got off at the train station and got our first glimpse of Milan, we were very surprised to find ourselves in an industrial looking city. Now the city wasn't at all what we had all expected. Milan was giant, rough, dark, and dare I say, ugly. You have to remember, we had just came from Lake Como where the Lake, encrusted with green lush mountains,and  tropical flowers was surrounded with little Italian villages and castles up on the hills. In the city of Milan there was billboards along many buildings. There was not many colors and only a few buildings that weren't just flat grey, tall hovering, concrete. It felt as if we were in a black and white film.  Although the people were what we had pictured. We did see a gorgeous woman wearing an evening dress, high heels, and shiny jewelry, while riding her bike, with some shopping bags and a child on the back. These Italian woman are amazing!.. "always" looking beautiful on every occasion.

We wandered around down streets looking for clothing stores and trying hard to find the essence of Milan. My daughters and I found some shops and lingered searching for a unique piece of clothing to purchase. We   couldn't find anything that looked any different from all the other stores we had been in, while in Italy. So we moved on.  Outside we saw tents up down a street and decide to head toward them. When we got there we found lace made in China and cheap clothing knockoffs. It's very confusing, when I know that there is a lot of lace made in Italy.  Here we were in Milan, the city that you should be able to find some extraordinary styles of clothing. My girls were beginning to get depressed about the city when my husband insisted we get on a Metro and see the Duomo.  We walked till we found the metro station as my girls complained the whole time that they just wanted to go back to Lake Como to the hotel. As we were sitting on the Metro at one of the stops, a guy stepped on. He began to sing and play music. Both my daughters smiled, as the guy started to sing louder and dance around while playing the music. It lifted up all our spirits. It's amazing what music can do. By the time we got off at our stop the girls were in much better moods. They giggled as they got up and headed for the Metro door. When we reached the top of the steps and found ourselves in the shadow of the Duomo, the enormous massive building took my breathe away.

A street that wasn't as industrial looking
On the Metro. If you look closely, you can see the man playing his instrument (below we only caught the music part on our camera, didn't expect him to start singing) :))

This is what most of the streets looked like

inside the Train station














The Duomo
Can you see the giant billboard behind the statue?
sad they have to cover up such beautiful buildings.







close up of middle window


The pigeons were out of control. My oldest daughter made a mistake of feeding them a cracker.










This was a building beside the Duomo. In it,
 there was restaurants and clothing shops. Of course, the clothing shops
were what we had been looking for and by this time closed.







Seafood window shopping




A couple more buildings that we found and  liked, except the bill boards.



One of the shops we found that was already closed




Side views of the Duomo













Before we got on the Metro to go back to the train, to go back to Lake Como,
We  decided we were hungry for pizza. We looked around and found this place. It was packed with people. We walked inside  and talked to the waiter and he was so nice! Knowing we were in a hurry to catch a train  he put our order in right away and we got to see them make it for us. Ooohh it was so yummy!
There was a very happy bunch of us at the end of the day.







If I were to go to Milan again, I would head first... straight for the Duomo.
Then see the rest of the city. :)