jn82’s Epic Adventure

Day 46 [16 Mar 09] – Milan

Posted in Milan by jn82 on March 16, 2009

Took the inter-city train from Nice to Milan today. We first had to catch a SNCF TER from Nice to Ventimiglia (boarder Italian town), and then the Trenitalia Intercity Plus from Ventimiglia to Milan. As we were traveling during peak hour, the one hour TER ride from Nice to Ventimiglia was packed with Nice residents heading to Monaco for work, and we did not even have space to sit down until everyone got off at Monaco. It did not strike me before that many of the people working in Monaco were actually French residents. The Trenitalia Intercity Plus ride from Ventimiglia to Milan was pretty normal, and I had both my breakfast and lunch (which I pre-bought at the Nice station) on the train today to save time.

Trenitalia Intercity Plus 657.

Inside the carriage.

Upon reaching Milano Centrale, we made our train reservations for all the Intalian trains we will be taking from Milan to Rome, Rome to Naples, and Naples to Geneva via Rome. 63€ in all, wow!! Pretty expensive, but that is because we have a Eurostar Italia AV train reservation from Milan to Rome which cost 20€, as well as the sleeper from Rome to Geneva which cost 35€. Train reservations in Italy are comparable with Spain as being the most expensive thus far, and you do not have the option to pay less to downgrade to second class for the fast trains because they cost the same amount in Italy, unlike Spain.

We took over an hour to get from the train station to the hostel (although it was less than 1km away) because there was no map anywhere in or around the vacinity of the train station! How stupid and not tourist friendly.

Almost hard to believe, but apart from being one of the fashion capitals of the world and the financial centre of Italy, there are hardly any tourist sites in Milan worth going to. This was pretty good news for us today as we were pretty tired already, so we ended up going to the “main” Milan tourist site, Il Duomo di Milano (The Cathedral of Milan), the largest gothic cathedral in Europe.

The view from the Duomo of the square below is pretty okay, but we have seen better. The interior of the cathedral is much more impressive than the exterior, but photographs are now allowed to be taken inside.

Duomo, from the roof.

From the plaza.

The streets in the city centre are pretty nice to walk around, as there are many big and old buildings to see. However after a while it looks more or less all the same. I cannot believe this is one of the fashion capitals of the world, as I saw nothing today to lead be to believe it was such. After the city, we headed back to the hotel and for an authentic Italian dinner (as recommened in the Lonely Planet guide and just nextdoor to our hotel), in a restaurent operated by Chinese(!), go figure.

Off to Lake Como tomorrow, maybe I will get to meet George Clooney?

Today’s pictures here.

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