After having an amazing last night in the Cinque Terre, Brian and I were excited to see what the last leg of our trip had in store.
We were headed to Milan! Or Milano as the Italians would call it.
Goodbye Riomaggiore and quaint, small town!
Hello Milano and big, bustling city!
Can you believe that is the train station? It was gorgeous enough to be a museum.
After about a 3 hour train ride, we arrived in Milan, which was very much like New York City. The train station was hustling and bustling…and it was a Sunday! Because it was a Sunday, when we went to the travel information booth…it was closed. Brian and I did not freak out, we put our heads together, used our knowledge of navigating previous public transportation systems and we were able to figure out how to purchase a subway ticket and take the subway and tram to get to our hotel.
There was only one instance when we got on the train going in the wrong direction…luckily it didn’t take us too long to figure out that we were wrong and hop off so we could get on a train going in the RIGHT direction.
We actually ended up taking the tram quite a bit. Every time we went from our hotel into the main part of town we would just hop on a tram. Thankfully it was very simple, and the trams were rarely ever crowded.
Although we navigated our way through the city’s public transportation system (kind of), Brian and I were thankful to arrive at our hotel because our backpacks were getting a bit heavy, and we were ready to relax for a minute.
We stayed at the Enterprise Hotel, which was a complete 180 from what we were staying in while visiting Riomaggiore. Although we were in Italy, the hotel had an Asian theme to it. Not sure why, but I guess it did add a relaxing and calming feel to the room. 😉
Our favorite part about the hotel….
The complimentary slippers! They were great, and we both love being cozy so we were sure to put these suckers on right away.
After lounging in our slippers for a bit, we decided that we should probably go out and explore the city of Milan. We didn’t have a set agenda, we simply wanted to walk around and see what the city had to offer and develop some sort of strategy for exploring the next day.
Because it was Sunday, there were not very many shops open or people around in certain parts of the city. However, there were a lot of unique little shops along the streets that had fun things like flowers to sell.
We were a bit hungry, so we stopped for some street food. I can’t remember what Brian got (maybe foccacia!?) but I enjoyed some yummy cinnamon roasted nuts. Yes, these were SO good.
Milan has a Duomo too! It was very gorgeous and HUGE. We didn’t climb to the top of this one, but we still spent time admiring the gorgeous architecture.
Of course we made time to window shop at all of the fancy stores like Prada and Dolce n Gabbana.
We didn’t go into very many stores because we were saving that for the following day, but we did go into a couple.
Because Milan is known to be the fashion capitol of the world…I just HAD to try on a couple of articles of clothing that I thought were really cute and stylish, like this pink jump suit!
Ha!! I didn’t really think it looked cute, but I did think it would be fun to try on 🙂
After exploring the sites, Brian and I were ready for dinner. We decided that this would be our last real “dinner” because we had tickets to an opera the next evening that would conflict with dinner plans. Because it was our last dinner, we wanted to pick something we knew would be good.
I read about the Ristorante da Bruno in my Rick Steve’s guide and liked the sound of it, so Brian and I scoped it out and decided to eat our dinner there.
The table settings were pretty and the wait staff was dressed extremely well, but we basically had the restaurant to ourselves because it was a Sunday evening. We didn’t mind that one bit!
There was a specific reason that we selected this restaurant. Throughout the entire trip, Brian and I had been sharing a “Secondi” or fish portion of the meal along with a side dish or two to keep the cost down and to keep our fullness factor down. We wanted to enjoy all of the flavors without feeling Thanksgiving full after every meal.
Because we were sharing, and we didn’t want to be TOO full we rarely ordered the antipasti despite how delicious the selections looked. Luckily, this restaurant was the answer to that problem
There was an antipasti buffet!
Brian and I both ordered the antipasti buffet and then shared a main course pasta dish after. We were SO happy with this decision.
The buffet included grilled veggies, blanched veggies, pickled veggies, olives, salads, smoked fish, and just about anything that we ever thought about trying.
We loaded our plates so that we could have a taste of as many dishes as possible.
Everything tasted amazing, it was such a treat to sample so many different dishes.
After our antipasti, we shared the most amazing gnocchi in the entire world. I know the picture below is not flattering, but the dish seriously one of the best we had while visiting Italy. The gnocchi was soft, and the sauce (Bruno’s specialty) was the perfect compliment.
If you are eating at Ristorante da Bruno…you must get this dish 🙂
After dinner, we spent more time walking around and enjoying the cool “city” feel.
Brian is wearing his Ray-Bans and wanted a picture with the Ray-Ban sign.
After walking around in the hot, humid night Brian was in the mood for a granita like we had in the Cinque Terre. I had read about Grom in our travel guide and I had several people recommend trying the gelateria. This seemed like the perfect place to find Brian’s lemon granita…but we were wrong!
We ordered the granita and it ended up being coffee flavored…oops! It still tasted good, but wasn’t exactly the refreshing lemon flavor we were hoping for.
Once we had our granita, we hopped on the tram to go back to the hotel. The next day would be our last day of any touristy site seeing, and we wanted to be well rested!