*Note: This post was first published on the blog I kept in 2011 while studying abroad
How on Earth can I begin to sum up this weekend into a single blog entry? I guess I’ll start by saying Italy is amazing! Milan is supposed to be a really really expensive cities to travel in and we managed to get away without spending too much.
I had to get up at 6:45am to take the metro 25 minutes to where I could catch a 20 minute bus to the airport to catch a 1.5 hour plane. Once we were in Milan we hopped on a train from the airport in order to reach the metro where we traveled some more to find out hostel. It was 3:00 by the time we got to our hostel.
Our hostel was wonderful. We had sheets, blankets and a very clean bathroom, and breakfast included for only 20 euros a night which is quite decent considering how expensive Milan is. We also managed to find a place that served giant slices of pizza for less than 3 euros.
After we ate we made our way to Castello Sforzesco in Parco Sempione which was amazing to walk through. We also saw the Arco Della Pace.
Oh, and if you’re every traveling in Europe to touristy places do not take anything from someone who offers it for free because they will still demand money for it. We were given good luck bracelets by a man from Senegal and were then asked for coins. It’s also not a bad idea to make up a name and where you’re from.
After the castle we went to the Duomo (by then it was dark) and it was incredible. It is huge and the detailed carvings in the architecture are amazing. I could go on and on about the cathedral (which is what Duomo means in Italian, I believe) but I wouldn’t be able to do the place justice.
After the Duomo we hunted down dinner that included bread, coke and lasagna for only 11 euros. Oh, and water is almost never free in Europe. Very few places allow you to have tap water. After dinner, we went to a crepería where my friend Diana and I shared a honey (miele) crepe.
On Saturday we returned to the Duomo where we climbed the stairs to the top for only 5 euros and it was worth it. Everything else we did up to that point and after was free besides the food and metro passes, so it was 5 euros well spent. The architecture is breathtaking and so is the view. It’s also fun to hear the accents of the other tourists. I’m so glad we went when it wasn’t tourist season, otherwise it might have been pretty busy.
Next we walked to an older part of Milan that wasn’t nearly so touristy (no people trying to sell us things). We found a sandwich shop where I got a ham panini with cheese and red peppers. We saw the Basilica di San Lorenzo and columns and attempted to find a Roman amphitheater. However, the amphitheater was closed.
We then got gelato and headed to the Sant’Ambrogio Church which also has a university attached.
Next, we headed to the Giardini Publici (Public Gardens) which was a lovely park. Apparently we walked by the Villa Belgoioso Bonaparte without realizing it but I believe I took a picture next to it…
Lastly we went shopping and bought nothing, ate dinner at a nice restaurant and hunted down a (sort of) cafe where I got my second cappuccino of the day (and my life) which had a lovely heart in it.
Sunday we flew home to Bilbao and took a lot of goofy pictures on the plane since we were bored.