We took a side trip to Milano because Mr G got a bit bored with Water World after 4 days of 'sameness', as he refers to Venice. Unbeknown to us, the world's largest Furniture Trade Fair was on at the same time, which explained why our fairly ordinary 3-star hotel in Milano cost at much as a 5-star hotel in Rome.
The train was (as usual) clean, fast and on time, and the railway station at Milano is an incredible building, inaugurated in 1931, but begun (officially) in 1906. It was easy to find the Metro lines, easy to buy a local 48 hour ticket (without the assistance of the helpful girl standing next to the machine who wanted me to give her E2.00 for showing me the button that said 'change language' (in English) and who didn't particularly like being told to "bugger off"), but remarkably hard to find our hotel.
We got to the proper station (Repubblica), but the map was a bit vague, so we stopped a couple of locals and attempted to find the street. One very helpful man told we needed to get on the #12 Tram and go about 5 miles in that direction, so we wandered up to a taxi rank and asked the drivers, who were doing the typical Italian thing of chatting over a fag*. They all turned and looked at us as if we were foreigners (oh yes, so we were!), and one of them jokingly said "Hop on my back". Turns out it was on the street (round the corner) where we'd asked the other man for directions. Ah well. At least it was close.
We wandered the streets, which, despite the Trade Fair, were not that crowded, stopped for coffee, and took lots of photos in some of the richly decorated churches:
Oh yes, and we had Pizza for lunch:
Then, we climbed the Duomo:
The roof of the Milano Duomo is made of slabs of stone, nice and flat and easy to walk on,
and there are some incredible examples of the stonemasons art:
And we found the Museo Nazionale della Scienza e della Tecnologia "Leonardo Da Vinci", where they had working scale models of Leonardo Da Vinci's drawings, as well as about 10,000 other things, all housed here:
And we spent a highly amusing evening at "La Tana del Lupo", but more on that later, the washing calls!