Sleepless in Milano

It’s 8:30 a.m. in Venice.  Aaron is still snoring next to me, but I woke up two hours ago at the first sign of daylight. I’m happy to have finally roused him enough to extract his laptop password so that I can update my imaginary audience on the details of our trip. We arrived in Venezia yesterday via a 2.5 hour trip on TrenItalia, a train originating in our first stop, Milan.

We arrived in Milan at 9:00 a.m. in state of crappy-flight-induced exhaustion. And as I write this, I realize how dazed I was, because the first few hours of that day are a little fuzzy to me (and I promise there was no boozing on the flight, either).  So let’s just say we caught trains to our hotel and dropped our bags.  The reason we were in Milan, and our first order of business, was to make our 2:10 p.m. reservation at the Church of Santa Maria del Grazie.

No, they don’t require reservations for confession or food. Leonardo da Vinci’s “The Last Supper” was painted on a wall within the church. We arrived early and hungry, so across the street we bought paninis and a Chimay “for takeaway” and then, as is quite common here, stood outside on the sidewalk and had our lunch (well, after an episode involving the realization that they do not accept credit cards while having not yet obtained euros).

Lunch caused a case of the sleepies.  While in the waiting room to see the painting, I definitely dozed off. Nevertheless, I woke for our reservation, and the painting was truly incredible.  Even in its state of deterioration. my uneducated eyes could tell that it was a masterpiece, one that stands apart from most anything else. When our 15 minutes were up, and we finally figured out how to exit the building, we caught the streetcar back to the city center.

And there it was, not far away: The Duomo.  A massive gothic-style church with a million almost over-the-top details on the exterior, and a stark, dark, but (to me) beautiful interior.  It so happened there was a church service going on while we were there, so to hear the singing in a space of that magnitude was awesome. Next, we procured tickets to walk up to the roof of the church.  Seven euros each to walk a million stairs, and it was absolutely worth it to see the details of the roof exterior up close, and for the amazing view of the city.

With our one day in Milan nearly over, we trained over to Birrifico Lambrate, a small brewery filled with regulars. It took us nearly an hour to realize that the food spread that was sitting out was actually free, so we had a small plate while we sampled the very good beers.  I could easily become a regular here, as well, with its great atmosphere and animated staff.

Enough, though. We old folks desperately needed sleep.

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