24 heures à milan

9 March 2009 at 12:53 pm 2 comments

I feel as though seredipity is becoming more and more useful in my vocabulary since I’ve been to Europe. I continually find myself in situations in which I am blessed with good luck, and I would say that a lot of them happened this weekend, in Milan. It was a jam-packed trip. My friend Craig and I headed out on Saturday morning for the Cannes train station and caught a train to Nice. Our train from Nice to Milan left at 10:02 and we arrived around 3 pm. The following 24 hours were a whirlwind.

The trip commenced with a bit of bad luck. We were supposed to take a bus to our Hotel, the Hotel Brasil, but of course, we couldn’t find the bus. After walking around the train station for about a half an hour, we decided to suck it up and attempt to navigate the metro. After a bit of trouble with that, we finally arrived at what the thought was the metro station closest to our hotel. We spent another half hour trying to orient ourselves and looking like awkward tourists (well, I guess that’s what we were) on the side of the street, trying to read maps indiscretely. Finally, we found the Hotel Brasil. It felt like such a triumph! That is, until we got to the desk and were told “No room for you, we overbook room.” Craig and I looked at each other , petrified.

Fortunately, good news followed the bad. “We have no room, but we send you to other hotel. You pay same price, same room, we pay for taxi.” So, shortly after that, we ended up at the Hotel San Giovanni, in a little quaint room, with a clean bathroom, and… a balcony! It was actually so nice! We really lucked out, because I am sure that the new hotel was nicer than the one we had booked (which was the cheapest one we could find.) Lucky us!



We immediately set out to meet our friends, Tara and Marissa (two other girls from the Cannes trip who happened to be in Milan for the weekend as well – check out their awesome blog, www.twogirlsonecannes.blogspot.com) at the Duomo. The hotel receptionist was so nice, and gave us his personal map for the day, as well as telling us exactly what bus to take (#54) to get right to the Duomo. The Duomo in Milan was absolutely amazing. It took 5 centuries to build, and I am not surprised. The amount of detail in the structure once again blew my mind. I felt so small next to something so magnificent. Unfortunately, we didn’t get to see the inside, because of services, but I was so amazed by the facade that I was not upset!

From there, the four of us walked around and did some small shopping — I splurged on my first dress – a short black dress with exquisite beading along the neckline (and by splurging, I mean a very small splurge – only 23 euros!) which I can’t wait to wear out in Cannes. Shortly after that, I received a text from Sara Soldano. What? Who? you ask. Yes, Sara Soldano — my namesake from across the world. To fill those in who haven’t yet heard about this Sarah: A little less than a year ago, I received a message on Facebook from a girl named Sara Soldano. She wrote “Hi! We’re namesake!!! I’m an italian girl from Milan, I’m 25 years-old…I was looking for some possible relative in the world and I’ve found you! Do you know if there is some relation??” We corresponded a bit after that, and then when I came to Cannes, she wrote to me, telling me that I must come to Milan. Long story short… Sara and her friend Michele met up with us in front of the Duomo on Saturday night. I was so amazing, that in the whole world, it was so easy for us to meet!

I’d say that meeting with Sara was quite seredipitous. She showed us a great night, and it was so interesting to spend our one night in Milan with a native. She took us too a bar for happy hour, but when we got there, they told them (it was nice to have Sara and Michele as translators) that they had private parties and didn’t have room. But, since they felt so badly, they gave us free drinks and delicious bruschetta! After that, we moved on to a Pizzeria where we had some wine and more free appetizers and had some wonderful cross-cultural conversation. Afterwards, Sara took us to one of the most expensive streets in the world where designer stores lined the street left and right. Louis Vuitton, Prada, Dior, D&G, Versace… just to name a few. Don’t I wish I could do more than window shop in that district!

Sara parted ways with us after that, and Craig, Marissa, Tara and I got a late dinner (again, DELICIOUS Italian spaghetti) and then headed back to the hotel on the 54 bus around midnight. And I slept wonderfully.

Sunday morning, we actually slept in a  little, until about 8:45, and then we headed back out on the 54 to see a castle near the Duomo which Sara recommended for us to visit. Inside the castle was a beautiful park. Unfortunatley, our morning was broken up by the fact that we had to get back to the hotel by 11 for check out. Back on the 54! We arrived with merely ten minutes to back up, and then we startled by the fact that we had to pay cash. Luckily (again!) we had just enough (with only two euros left) to pay it. Back on the 54! We spent some time people watching by the Duomo, and then, lugging our bags, we headed towards our last big stop at the Pinacoeteca Ambrosiana (a beautiful museum that has been open for 400 years). As we walked, I heard my name called – in an American accent! As I turn around, we saw Marissa and Tara across the street! What luck! We went with them to the gallery, where we saw the cartoon (the ORIGINAL sketch by Raffaello) of School of Athens. It was immense, overwhelming…truly amazing. Apparently, in order to paint a fresco, one has very little time (only a day!) to complete each small section. Therefore, Raffaello had to spend time planning and sketching all of the figures before he commenced. Then, he placed the cartoon on the wall, and poked tiny holes through each line that he’d draw, and sprayed carbon over the sketch, making a faint outline on the wall to follow as he painted. When we stood up close to the cartoon, we actually could see the tiny holes.

Craig and I got lunch at an outdoor cafe (mmm, pizza) adorned with Mimosas (they were all over the city all weekend for Women’s Day) and then headed back to the train station. We got there early, so we walked around a nearby flea market in the beautiful sun as we waited. As 3 pm rolled around, our 24 hours in Milan ended. What a day.

[New pictures from Milan are up! Check out the photos tab!]


Entry filed under: Uncategorized.

le parfum, une anniversaire, une excursion à pied, et le carnaval paris, je t’aime

2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Baird  |  9 March 2009 at 4:47 pm

    Your experience makes the Italian people sound so welcoming and considerate. Free taxi trips and bruschetta just because they’ve inconvenienced you? Incredible.

    And I LOVED your pictures of the Duomo. What a breathtaking building.

    That may be the fullest, richest 24 hours I’ve ever heard.

  • 2. Victoria  |  10 March 2009 at 6:53 am

    !!!!! Fun!!!
    While I certainly don’t have anything as exciting as Milan, I just looked outside and it’s so foggy that I can only see the trees outside my window and not the buildings behind them, so it looks really cool. Mysterious silhouettes in the mist and whatnot. I wouldn’t be terribly surprised if a unicorn came out.

    Oh, and I’m not sure if I’ve updated you, but Grace and I are going to the Cape/Provincetown for spring break. 🙂 Pretty psyched about that.

    That sounds like so much fun though, really! Sounds like such yummy food as well.

    Miss you! Love love love love.


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Sarah in Cannes

Welcome to my blog! I am studying in Cannes, France for Spring of '09 and will be telling my stories here.

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