The piazza in front of the Duomo, at 9:30. Tourists groups haven’t arrived yet…
From my point of view, Milan is a jungle in 2 very different ways. In one way, I love the buildings between Centrale station and past the Duomo. That’s at least 40 minutes of walking without taking any turns. You have no point of reference as all the buildings are pretty well the same height. It’s best to slowly walk towards the Duomo, enjoying each street as is branches of into different directions…
Tourists, students, and locals combine into massive groups. By the Duomo, you might not even see the ground as everyone converges there between 10:00 and 18:00. That historic centre becomes a zoo, dominated by tourist groups following their leaders voice on their headsets as they hold up different coloured flags on tiny sticks. I couldn’t help but laugh, promising I’d never find myself in the same setting.
HOWEVER, that can be avoided by visiting before busy times. I find this easy because I wake up excited every day, not able to sleep long. I was at the Duomo before 10:00, and immediately headed for the ticket booths on the left side (if you are facing the front of the Duomo). Even at busy times, people converge on the right, leaving more room on the other side of the building. There are also multiple places to buy tickets, but these are the busiest.
Even though it was overcast, I coughed up the €11,00 (€8 to walk to the top and €3 for entrance to inside) and started my ascent to the roof. I laughed to myself as I realized I can’t be too out of shape when compared to other tourists walking up the tight staircase.
I came out and enjoyed the view. Not of the city, but of all the little details on the Duomo. Apparently, there are over 3000 statues. I did NOT count that high.
I took better pictures on my camera, but here are the rest from my phone:
I actually love this one above
After visiting the top, I headed into the church. Wow. I took 4 pictures but will most likely delete them all. Nobody could possibly capture this place in a shot. The stained glass windows have great detail, the ceiling seems unreachable, the alters are all beautifully kept.
Yet, this beautiful setting is ruined by the sound of hundreds of shutters going off and the odd flash as well. That disgusted me. Also, it’s Sunday. And even though I am not very religious, I would like to think that I was respectful to the Italians attending mass. I think that if people want to visit on Sundays, we should be forced to keep our cameras off. Yes, I took a few pictures at first, but stopped once mass started. It was very peaceful to walk back and forth for 40 minutes or so, listening to them going through mass. Something I will never forget, and some will never know after running around and taking pictures before running away.
After walking the neighbourhoods by the Duomo, I headed back to the same park I saw yesterday. The park is the grounds of Castello Sforzesco. Most tourists don’t wander past the Castello, so I was able to enjoy a quiet walk/rest on a bench by the ponds.
I eventually ventured over to Piazza Sempione (same park), where there was an NBA run event for locals to partake in. I assume this is because the NBA will be playing games in Italy. It was hilarious to see 12 young kids playing “bump” on official nets.
I finished my 8 hours of walking by taking the M2 all the way to Agostino station, which was a short walk from an outdoor marker located along the river.
I bought my first panzerroti for €4, and it was f**king delicious. Decent size and very filling. If you go to the market (which I will get the name of later) you should get panzerroti from “il Panzerotto Gnam Gnam”. Awesomely friendly service, even though I don’t know Italian!
I then ventured back to Centrale station and saw the massive train hub for the first time. This is where I have purchased a ticket to Turino! My first train ride will be tomorrow at 14:00!
That’s all for now, folks. I plan on drinking more tonight and then doing one last walk in the empty, non-touristy streets before heading to Turino!