It was 6:50 a.m. on Thursday, May 12 and we had landed in Milan after an exhausting 10-hour flight from New York City. Before we were able to explore the city that is known for high fashion and highbrowed Italians, we had to check-in to our hotel and leave behind 100 pounds of luggage. A train ride and a 30-minute walk later, we finally arrived at the NH Hotel Touring. Our room had a spectacular view of the Duomo and was one of the best hotels we stayed in during our trip. The free breakfast wasn't bad either!
We only had a few hours to explore Milan before heading to Venice the next day, so we quickly jumped on the Metro and visited one of the country's largest cathedrals, il Duomo di Milano.
If you plan on visiting il Duomo di Milano, we have to warn you that your personal space will be invaded by persistent street vendors! These were the most persistent street vendors we encountered in all of Italy!
We were amazed by the sheer size of the cathedral. It was the largest we had ever seen, and definitely the most detailed architecture we've ever experienced in our travels. The Duomo took approximately 600 years to build, and it is easy to understand why. The interior of the cathedral glows with stained glass windows depicting scenes from the life of the saints.
The roof of the Duomo was definitely one of the highlights of our trip. Not only is the view spectacular, but the intricate spires and statues of saints that decorate the roof are unbelievable.
Feeling a little jet-lagged and cranky, we decided to take a break and have our first Italian meal. We walked down the street from the Duomo and ate at one of the first cafes we encountered, Bar Madonnina. We shared a prosciutto and fresh mozzarella platter and pasta with pesto sauce. Honestly, the service and ambiance were not great, but the food made up for it. The mozzarella was absolutely divine: fresh and fluffy.
After lunch, we walked to the Castello Storzesco, which dates back to the second half of the 14th century. We spent about a hour walking around the grounds, taking pictures of the beautiful roses that were in bloom and taking in the scenery.
The next day we bravely made our way through Italy's second largest train station, Milano Centrale. It was chaos, but we finally hopped onto the correct train and made our way to Venice, one of our favorite Italian cities. Be sure to visit our blog again to read our blog post about Venice!
For more photos of Milan click here to go to our facebook album.