Our visit to Slovenia was short and on the second day we woke up at a brisk 5 AM to catch a bus. The bus was late, due to arrive about an hour later than scheduled. We had a train to catch, so we were luckily able to switch buses and prayed for a no traffic miracle.
A few days prior a van had driven through Las Ramblas in Barcelona, a busy shopping street in the middle of the city. Europe was still on high alert and it showed.
On our very tightly scheduled bus ride to the train station, we were pulled over by the police and asked to turn over all of our passports. Everyone on the bus handed them over and then the cop returned to his car and checked every single one. The bus was getting stressed out, everyone else clearly had their own trains to catch.
Our passports were eventually returned to us and we were back on the road.
With only minutes to spare we made it to our train. A few hours later, we were in Milan checking into our hotel. We made it to our apartment and it was actually very nice and pretty high end for the price.
We were starving and lunchtime was over for the Italians. So we searched and searched for something to eat. We stumbled upon a small panini shop called Panino Giusto. After receiving our menus, we realized it was actually a pretty popular place, indicated by the couple Michelin stars on the menus.
We ordered our Michelin star paninis and ate them too quickly to take photos. But they were both pretty incredible.
After a nice nap, we returned to the outside world for some dinner. One of the main downsides to our hotel was the location, no restaurants in sight. Some searching online led us to Da Cecco, a small mom and pop place serving homemade Italian food reasonably priced. M enjoyed some Milanese risotto, I got a veggie pasta and we both devoured some cantaloupe with prosciutto and wine. Yum
Following a late wakeup call, we headed to the Cathedral of Milan. As soon as we exited the subway station to the square, we were bombarded with illegal vendors, tons. It was overwhelming and it may have been the worse we had ever seen. And we had been in the south just a couple weeks earlier.
We took a couple photos of the church but did not go in due to their entrance fee. So we got some paninis, drinks, and sat by the church to enjoy.
We looked around a bit at a beautiful shopping area nearby. The stores were filled with Prada, Channel, and Gucci. Cute, but I would rather spend my money on Bellinis and Paninis.
We took a tram to a nearby castle, with built up walls, large fields, and a man playing La Vie en Rose. M and I pick up our postcards and stickers then headed back to the tram for our next adventure.
We arrived at the cemetery, yes the cemetery, and were amazed a place so sad could also be so beautiful.
M had heard about the place online. It was supposedly a burial site for the wealthy and we could certainly see why it was so popular. There are a lot of photos to follow, but I couldn’t pick just one.
After the cemetery, we returned to our hotel and rested for a bit before heading back out. We were scheduled to visit the famous Last Supper painting at the refectory in Santa Maria Delle Grazie.
The Santa Maria is a very heavily guarded building. You are strictly watched and guided from one temperature controlled room to another. Once you enter the old hall where the Last Supper was first painted, you are given 15 minutes to look, reflect, and take pictures from afar.
Along with our Santa Maria Delle Grazie tickets was an included admission to the Pinacoteca Ambrosiana Museum. After our tour, we headed over to the beautiful building and saw plenty of beautiful Leonardo and Dante art. We spent a bit of time wandering around looking at both the art and building. Unfortunately, no photos.
On our way out we stopped at a bar for some afternoon cafe. Which ended up being some very fancy ice coffees.
A bit of a rest at the hotel, then we enjoyed a fun Milan tradition. During happy hour the bars of Milan put out plenty of snacks and appetizers, or antipasta. The typical rule is when you purchase a drink, you are allowed to their accompanied buffet. It can be a pretty lovely dinner.
We bar hopped, stopping at 3 different local places for drinks and small plates of treats. The perfect way to end our Italian adventure and celebrate our living in Europe for 1 whole year.
Our Hotel: We stayed at an apartment hotel during our stay in Milan. It was spacious, clean, and very beautiful for the price. The only downsides were the location and the hidden cleaning fees we did not learn about until after we checked in.