Milan a second chance

Trip Start Nov 27, 2012
Trip End May 18, 2013

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Where I stayed
Holiday Inn Milan - Garibaldi Station
Read my review - 4/5 stars

Flag of Italy  , Lombardy,
Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Leaving Salerno we headed north to the fashion capital of Italy, Milan. We had a very brief stop -over in Milan in 2011 but time did not give us a great chance to explore this city. This time we decided to walk to our hotel which we thought was the one we stayed at last time - only to find we had booked the wrong hotel.

A quick taxi ride fixed the situation and soon we were on a tram and in the shopping heart of the city. Now if you are a shopper this is the place to come. Streets full of designer stores and those trying to make it - so many you could not see everything in a day.

Expecting Milan to be a bit more expensive than everywhere else we were surprised to see so many sales on with reduced prices of up to 70% - except of course for the top of the range stores. The elegant Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II shopping arcade is the pinnacle of sophisticated shopping.

Our opinion of whether or not Milan is expensive soon changed when we sat down to lunch. The meals were not too over priced but when the bill came -wow! Try $16.00 for a beer, $12.00 pot of tea (using a tea bag – not even 'real tea'), $9.00 for a bottle of water, and $5.00 each to sit down. The latter was considered to be a ‘cover charge’ and included a basket of bread which Del could obviously not even eat.  The waitress,( who Del said before this was a bit snooty), then stood around looking for a tip – fat chance! Word of warning - don’t eat in the main shopping area. Travelling is a great learning experience and this is one lesson which we will learn from. Having travelled before, we should have known better and we kicked ourselves at our own stupidity.

Still the next day faith was restored when meals and drinks got back to the normal and cheap levels along with some really good service and they were only 400 meters from where we were the day before!

Being recommended a restaurant later that night we wandered down some dark back alleys before finding the door to EX MAURI restaurant. Once inside we were greeted by the owner who made us feel so welcome. Sitting down we looked at the floor and it was glass straight through to the cellar. Rows of bottles stacked against the walls with the floor full of corks-I thought Jimmy Relph must have been here before me!!!

The main square with the Duomo is spectacular, completely marble it is one of the most impressive buildings, inside and out that you will ever see.  It is ornate with the entire facade sculptured with figurines. It is the world’s largest gothic cathedral and the third largest church in Europe. In a continent renowned for its churches, this one is truly spectacular.

We are glad we came back to Milan.  The city is more expensive than others we have been too but it has lots to see and some wonderful local food.
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My Review Of The Place I Stayed

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