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Thursday, November 03, 2011

Milan-Fashion Capital of the World

Day 1 We landed really early in the morning but hotel check in was 3pm. We walked around Venezia ate at cafes and had machiato and cappuccino. We walked to a nearby park where Tau played in the playground and rode on a merry-go-round which he didn't want to get out of. It was fun walking all over the place until around 10am we were really tired and went to check the hotel Sheraton again. To our delight we were allowed to check in early. We went had a good days nap and then went to the Duomo to look around and enjoyed the sights and food. We found the famous Luini bakery but it was closed. After dinner we went to the Cioccolati Itali gelato shop and had an ice cream each. It was yummy with raw chocolate. The shop's so popular there were queues of people to buy ice cream in October!
Day 2:
We were up early so we got dressed and strolled to Ottolina cafe on the way to the metro to have our Italian breakfast of croissant and latte machiatto baby chino for Tau before we headed for the Duomo. We went inside had a look around the centuries old Cathedral. Beautiful inside and just amazed at the grand-ness of the structure that was built by hand out of marble by people centuries ago. We made our way around the back of the Cathedral and bought tickets to climb up the roof of the Duomo. €10 per person to use the elevator or €6 to use the steps 250 of them. As we're eating our way through Milan we decided to take the steps the healthier, adventurous and also cheaper option not by much. Tau happily climbed up the steps on his own ahead of me an very fast too. Alex brought up the rear with stroller in tow. We hung out at the top and took photos. Beautiful views from up there plus a closer look at the intricate work on the Gothic designs and statues that surround the top of the Duomo! After awhile we made our way back down and walked to Sforzesco Castle. Tau had enough and I piggy-backed him down which wasn't too hard a task seeing that we were descending. Another breath-taking structure was the castle. Towered over the city in all it's red brick clay glory. Just mesmerizing and imagination provoking. Mentioning the word castle had Tau enthralled that we might see Rapunzel or Swords there.
Hung
We came across a guy playing an instrument called a hüng that looked like a wok with a lid covered with dents on the top. He tapped and rubbed on the top of it and it produced an unusual sound like that of an harp and xylophone put together. He made this melodic music that resonated around the castle walls. Apparently according to him only 3000 of these instruments were made in Switzerland and no two hüngs produced the same sound. As it turned out he was from Liverpool. I had a fleeting strange thought that he could be my estranged English half-brother!(long story for another time) I wandered through the castle grounds then came back to where hubby and Tau rested on a bench enjoying the sun and the music. We strolleed down Castello Piazza and chose a restaurant named after the castle and ordered cold meats and what was Italian schnitzel for lunch. It was scrumptious and afterwards we made our way back to the metro and headed back to the Sheraton Diana for a rest. 
Boots are not made for walking
I went for a walk around the area for a look and to check out the shoes. I really wanted to be the owner of winter walking boots. I bought some gorgeous high heeled boots before we left but had my hideous trainers in tow for practicality, so dire measures were necessary to confine the trainers to gym use only! And having seen the beautiful clothes and shoes people wore in Milan, my feet took a battering as I braved my stiletto boots into town and back. And whoever said comfort comes before beauty should have their head checked as I felt better in the fancy boots then in my trainers that made me feel like the circus was in town!
After losing my way around the area and feeling revitalized from my long walk I went back to the hotel for a rest. Later we headed into the shopping street to look for boots. The lowest priced boots in the area were €69 up to €450(Versace, Gucci and the like of course) but I didn't come across any that jumped at me within my limited price range.
After walking up and down the shopping street we headed towards the metro and then we spotted a pizzeria restaurante nearby that we thought we'd check out. Well it turned out to be an authentic beauty of a discovery as it was a local family run place with every table taken except for one, we were lucky to get a table by the door and close to the wood oven where the expert pizza maker was throwing pizza dough in the air to our 3 year old's amusement. The waiters were very nice and the food was excellent. There were queues of people waiting for a table. We all ate and drank our fill heartily before we strolled back to our hotel room for a good night's sleep.

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