Since then, we've been dying to go back and were thrilled when the opportunity came up! It was a last-minute trip (we had less than a week to find hotels, decided on a travel route, pack and square away the pets), but we made it work and 18 hours of travel time later we arrived in Milan. I'm writing this post from our hotel room in Bergamo, Italy but have managed to put together some photo boards and a post for each of our visits to the three cities—Milan, Verona and Bergamo—for your viewing pleasure!
Left to right, from top: the husband and I waiting on a taxi to the train station; typical transportation around Italia; the duomo in Milan's city centre; a Christmas market, including a large cheese booth, at the train station; our hotel in Milan; a street sign indicating the building's architect and date.
While Milan is certainly a tourist attraction on many accounts, it's not really the ideal place to soak in unrefined Italian culture and Tuscan countryside views. It's a hustling business centre and is the hub for many of Italy's famous high-end shopping meccas as well as the country's many corporate offices and headquarters. The husband and I realized this during our previous (and our first) visit to Milan. So upon returning this time, we mainly used it as our jumping off point—flying in and out of the city, stopping overnight for some rest, then hopping on a train out the next day.
From top: Milan's Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, a sort of galleria-type (and very high end) shopping center that kick-started the entire galleria mall concept; spaghetti bolognese for dinner at a local cafe; that's me stopping for a quick photo on a street in Milan as we walked back to our hotel; sidewalk cafes continue in full force despite the cold, adding heaters to their setup... this is the main mode of tourist-driven dining in much of Italy.