Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Italy with the Beabouts #1: Milano

After running 8 miles that Saturday morning (had to get in one long run before our week long vacation), I picked up Josh, James and Sofia at the airport and we were all exhausted. They flew in from a conference they attended in Berlin and were looking forward to a week off. After a nap and some refreshments we went down to the center of Milano to see the duomo, La Scala (the famous opera house) and the Galleria (the famous indoor shopping center). We toured the inside of the duomo and saw that the cardinal was giving mass. Sofia was excited because he is apparently one of the favorites to be the next pope. Sofia couldn’t believe that she was witnessing a mass from someone that could be the next pope. She was overwhelmed. We also toured the rooftop of the duomo where you could see the mountains since the air was clear (this is not a normal occurrence… usually its too hazy because of the humidity and smog that you can’t see the mountains from the city). They lucked out with the weather- it was a beautiful 80 degrees, clear and sunny. The week leading up to their visit was a hot week with each day in the 90’s.
Leonardo DaVinci statue outside of La Scala

climbing to the top of the duomo

Spires on the duomo have people, including
this little face we found

looking at the Galleria from the roof of the duomo

They regularly have concerts on the roof
of the duomo in the summer

Creepy gargoyle we found... looks like a platypus

inside the Galleria

We walked around downtown for a while and went home to cook some dinner before going out. Josh cooked a great Risotto alla Milanese- he has made this a few times and it keeps getting better each time. Risotto is not easy to make… it is more of an art than just a meal. It takes a lot of practice and a lot of patience to make it right.

After our tasty meal and feeling full, we rolled out of the apartment to meet up with our friends Marina and Andrea in the Navigli district of the Milan. The Navigli district is an interesting part of town where canals were made to bring in the large pieces of marble used to build the duomo. This area has turned into a nightlife hotspot in the summer time where people sit at tables in the streets along the canal and have cocktails. It was packed with people just walking around and having a good time. It is a very laid back atmosphere where it is the norm to buy a beer/cocktail from a vendor, and walk around while drinking it. There is great people watching here! There are also some great restaurants. Of course, the boys decided they wanted some late night pizza, so they stopped in one of the shops for a midnight snack.

Marina, me and Sofia

James, Josh and Andrea


Marina and Andrea are two new friends that we have made in Milano through Josh’s work. Marina works at the Boston Scientific offices in Milano, but is originally from Croatia. Her husband Andrea is from Milan so it makes for an entertaining conversation when you bring up Marco Polo- Croatians say he is from Croatia, but Italians say he was Italian. We established that he lived in modern day Croatia, but at that time it was a part of the kingdom of Venice. So, we decided that he was Venetian. Marina has graciously invited us to visit her home in Croatia, so that will be our next vacation! I'm SO excited for that!

After a fun day/night in Milano, we headed home for some much needed rest before heading out on Sunday morning. James and Sofia enjoyed their time in Milano but were excited to see what else Italy has to offer. Next stop, Venezia!

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