|Ciao and Hello Italy
Can I firstly say that I am embarrased by the little amount of Italian that I know. Having said that, I am now fluent in "Excuse me, do you speak English?", "Hello", "Goodbye" and "Thankyou".
I started my trip in Milan by visiting the Milan Cathedral.
As you would know, I am not at all reglious, but extremely facitated by the intricacy of the architecture and the grandure of the buildings. And the amazing artwork within them is worth the visit.
I then made my way to The Church of Santa Maria delle Grazie
which for those who don't know, is the home of da Vinci's Last Supper. Sometimes it helps to be an obvious tourist. They had put up a sign saying that they were sold out (they only let 25 people in every 15 minutes) but I asked anyway and when they realised it was just me, they found a ticket. I had to wait an hour but beleive me it was worth it. The fresco itself is in the Refectory, the hall in which the monks gathered to eat, and takes up a entire wall. If you look at a picture of the painting, you can see the top of the door where Christ's feet should be. And to think it was painted in the late 1400's and has lasted this long, including WWII where most of the church was destroyed in the Blitz.
The next day I spent the day walking around, window shopping and the like. Milan is definately a city for shopping. Especailly when the shopping malls look like this.
I didn't help that it wanted to drizzle all day. It's been ages since I was walking around in a singlet and an umbrella at the same time.
My third day in Milan took me to Lake Como
which was such a great idea. It's only a hour out of Milan on the train and while it was still raining in Milan, it was wonderful weather in Como. And Como is such a wonderful place. No wonder George Clooney bought a house here. I even got a decent start on my tan without getting burnt. The day started with lunch in a little pizzaria on the banks of the lake and then a boat trip out onto the lake itself.
Then I caught the venicular up the hill to a little village at the top which offered a great view of the area. Pitty the photos don't reflect the awesomness of it all.
In contrast, today was a total schmozzle. I missed my train, arriving just as it was pulling out. It was those old grannies on the escalator, not the fact that I didn't leave enough time to get there. So had to buy a new ticket and wait four hours for the next train (there were other trains but I was being cheap and caught a regional train that still had cheap tickets available). Then because I wasn't paying attention, I didn't get a train to the main train station so had to work that out - luckily the nice ticket guy spoke English.
Thankfully I had already rang the hostel telling them that I would be late and there was someone here waiting for me. I was a bit pissed initially cause I had to book a single room as it was really the only thing available in Florence but having arrived, I'm glad I splurged a bit. I have a double bed which I have to admit I've missed and it's more like a B&B than a hostel.
Let's see what the rest of my stay in Florence brings...