Sunday, May 8, 2011

In which our author leaves Florence, visits Milan, and arrives in Venice

Yeah, that's pretty much it. I'll write again tomorrow.


We left Florence yesterday afternoon, arriving in Milan to learn that our hotel was NOT 1.6km from the train station, but, rather, 7.6km. We managed to get taken for a ride by an unscrupulous cabby (-whew- THAT part of the trip is over!) who was not very happy when I didn't cough up the extra money he wanted. We checked into a gorgeous hotel, found by Debbi at, and had a great, if short, night of sleep.

This morning we joined a tour of Milan. Well, actually, first we caught another cab (this guy was nicer) and took our luggage to the train station. Maybe you knew this already, but I didn't know that you could check your bags at a train station, tour around for the day, and pick them up later. Best $40 I spent today. Not having to haul around 5 suitcases....Honestly, I don't know how we would have done it.

Back to our adventure. We saw Theatro La Scala; Mary was not impressed. "Why aer we seeing an opera house?" I reminded her that when she was an adorable 3 year-old, she would sit in front of opera on PBS, transfixed for entire performances, saying, "Mommy, this is SO pretty." She reminded me that she's not a 3 year-old anymore! We stopped at Milan's Duomo.

As it was Sunday, there were services being conducted. It is very special to visit a church when your visit is accompanied by the sound of chanting and the sell of incense!

Our tour included a visit to The Last Supper. We got to see Leonardo DaVinci's famous painting, which was done on the wall of the refectory of a Dominican monastery in Milan. It gave me chills. I can't post pictures because, unlike the Sistine, they actually stopped you from taking pictures. Go figure. And it was quiet, and respectful, and lovely. We then took a wild cab ride through Milan to see his horse sculpture.

Actually, he just designed it. He did not have the technology, or maybe, the money, to get it done during his lifetime. It took an American to put that together in time for the 500th anniversary of his death. It was then given to the city of Milan. Mary read a book about it when she was very small, and, when we decided to include Milan on this trip, we decided that we had to see this. We're glad we did; it's beautiful.

Tonight we're in Venice. Tomorrow I meet a friend I haven't met yet; New Girl on Post. She and her husband are here in Italy, at the behest of the US Army, and she has agreed to come over and show us around town for a day! Right now it is stormy here, but we are told that the morning will be lovely again. Let's hope so!!

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