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Friday, July 7: So after another high-speed train ride — through the southern Alps! — I made it to Milan.

Milan, more specifically seeing Alexei Ratmansky’s Swan Lake at La Scala, was the impetus for this whole trip.

Milan was the city in which I was only looking forward to La Scala, having read that it wasn’t very scenic or some such. But turns out I really liked Milan. It helped that I had splurged on a lovely terrace room in a lovely little hotel in the historic district (to be able to easily walk to and from La Scala) for the two nights spent there. And it helped that I met up with my brother and sister-in-law there, and would be going to Venice with them, so would not have to struggle with language (they have learned to speak Italian) (not that it was an issue in the touristy area). But I liked the city itself enough to want to return some day.

The highlights this visit include:

  • La Scala and Il lago dei cigni, of course.
  • The bella locanda, to which I sincerely hope I did not bring any unwanted guests along with me. It was too hot to really enjoy the terrace after about 10 a.m., but I have no regrets on the splurge.
  • The roof of the Duomo, despite the heat, the crowd, and the scary last-flight-of-stairs-to-the-top climb.
  • The Sforza Castle, where I only had time to see a handful of its many art and history museums.
  • The cozy, friendly Caffe Vecchia Brera, where I enjoyed two meals on Saturday.
  • Gelato. Twice!
  • The public transit system.  I only rode a couple of subway lines – very easy to use – but enjoyed ogling the streetcars and trams and buses (remember, I’m a transit geek). Next time, I’ll ride them and explore some other neighborhoods.


Ciao until next time, Milano!

And finally on to Venezia…



  1. Sounds like Milan really hit the spot after the Lyon disaster.

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