I know am supposed to post about the colosseum first but I shall do it tomorrow morning. Let me talk about Milan while we head back to Rome on the train.
Milan is not a common tourist destination specially because it is far from Rome and not as well known. Sure, everyone knows it as the fashion capital of the world but apart from that, what is there of interest? I was in 2 minds about adding Milan to the itinerary. The fast train tickets cost a bomb, it’s a 3-6 hours journey one way depending on which train you book and is an interest in fashion a good enough reason to spend so much money? My boss convinced me to visit. He has been to Italy and loved Milan.
We took the fast train at 6 am. This train can rival flights, it looks that premium. The journey is very pleasant and the view is amazing. The most well known site in Milan is Leonardo Da Vinci’s painting- Th Last Supper and I really, really wanted to see it. I have grown up with that picture since it was hung in many classrooms at the boarding. But tickets are difficult to get… They are impossible at such short notice. The only possible way is to book another tour for 35-70 Euros which may include tickets to the painting. The official website does not sell the tickets online.
At the metro station we picked up a map and decided to visit The Cathedral at Duomo because it was closest. The plan was to check out as much as we can till lunch and then spend the time till our train at 7 pm window shopping in one of the markets. Doumo is a very happening area. Apart from the cathedral, it has a museum, the world’s oldest mall which houses brands like Prada, LV, Armani etc and a huge market with all the brands. It is so huge that Zara has 2 stores.
The tickets to the cathedral, museum and visit to the roof of the cathedral through the stairs cost us 11 Euros. If we would have chosen to take the lift instead of stairs it would cost 15 Euros. We also bought the one day metro pass for 4.5 Euros which gave us access to unlimited ride on the metro for 24 hours.
The Cathedral is amazing. I didn’t think another church after St Peter’s Basilica could impress me but it did. I will add pictures to the post once I get home. We took some 50-100 steps to the roof and loved it. The weather was perfect because it rained last night. I visited the museum while KC rested his feet outside. And then we spent some 4-5 hours window shopping. It took us that much time to cover very large market and cross most of the stores. And this is not the only market in Milan, there are many more.
I loved Milan… It is happening and bustling. People are on the move. They are so well dressed. And finally, I saw women in heels. We didn’t shop much because we can’t afford or even care about LVs of the world. The rest of the brands – Zara, Mango, Promod, UCB, Nike etc are priced same as India and in some cases even higher. I, of course, bought stuff from L’Oreal boutique because old habits die hard. Mac is so dull here. I didn’t see any shoppers in any of their stores, they have the same stuff as in India and are priced higher in Italy. Now I understand why their customer service in India is so bad. Sephora is priced lower in India- rejoice all you makeup addicts.
I think it is amazing that you can travel abroad these days and go
” All this is already available in India” or
“This stuff is cheaper in India”
The only things that are cheaper are chocolates – Lindt and M&Ms. I plan to bring truckloads of them back. Since there is no concept of MRP the prices are different everywhere. Like, I saw Lindt at 4 Euros in the store at Rome station last night priced at 2 Euros in a supermarket at Milan. Nope, there was no promotion on it.
All in all, Milan is a must visit even if you don’t plan to shop. We don’t do the whole let’s visit 10 places in a city just to tick them off and tire ourselves. KC is the one who prefers to stick to one place while I like to visit as many as I can. So we end up somewhere in the middle. We like to get a feel of the place which is impossible if all you are doing is going from one sightseeing place to another.