The Anonymous Widower

Mind The Gap – Italian Style

They also use London Underground’s catch-phrase in Milan.

Mind The Gap - Italian Style

Mind The Gap – Italian Style

In fact, you also see direction signs to the Underground in Milan. I suppose that both Metro and Underground are understandable to most visitors. The Germans tend to fit too, as they use U-bahn.

October 12, 2013 Posted by | Transport | , , , | Leave a comment

A Nice Touch On The Milan Underground

I saw this plate on a handrail on the Milan Underground.

A Nice Touch On The Milan Underground

A Nice Touch On The Milan Underground

My eyesight may not be good enough to drive, but my brain compensates by turning my head to make my walking safe.

But it is touches like this, that must help those with limited vision to navigate a city safely and successfully.

To contrast, in Turin I’d seen a partially-sighted guy with a cane, having trouble with an escalator on the Metro.

October 12, 2013 Posted by | Transport | , , , | 1 Comment

Supper At Savini

Savini is one of the most prominent and well-known restaurants in Milan. It is in the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II and sitting outside the restaurant, as I did, is one of the best places, I’ve ever found to people watch.  Or as C used to say, watch the bimboni!

I had a good meal and thoroughly overfilled myself. I would of course, have had a better meal, if I’d had a suitable bimboni with me.  But preferably one with intelligence, style and some worldly experience. If a lady can’t remember the 1960s, she’s too young for me!


When C and I met there, I missed a story, that I could have sold to the tabloids.  At the time, there was speculation, that a certain England footballer might be pursuing his career in Milan.  He’d gone missing, but turned up at the next table, with his very pregnant girlfriend. I do remember though, that he chose and ordered her meal for her. But at least they didn’t do anything that might have besmirched their good name, that of their club or their country. In fact his politeness to his girlfriend was a complete surprise, as on the pitch he generally didn’t behave as well.

I think that a few years later, they are still together, so it looks like the tabloids got his antics and personality wrong.

October 12, 2013 Posted by | Food, Transport | , , , | Leave a comment

Milan Cathedral

Milan Cathedral is one of those buildings that you can’t photograph too many times.

The way the spires and the other carvings interact to create different shapes is almost unique and is far superior to the creations of Gaudi.

Again, I’m drawn back to 2001, when the cathedral was surrounded by a massive army of Ipswich supporters dressed in blue. Sadly, I don’t have any photos of that day.

I also went to see the Jackson Pollock exhibition in the Royal Palace.  It emphasised how little I know of modern art.  But it was very well presented and thought provoking.

Milan is a place that you can really do in a weekend, as the public transport is good, and the major sites are clustered around a few points, like the cathedral and the castle. I was only in the vicinity of the cathedral for about two hours, but if I’d had more time, I could have wasted a whole day, not going further than say a kilometre from the cathedral.

One regret was that I didn’t get up very early and go to the piazza in front of the cathedral, as only at that hour do you really appreciate the beauty of any place of architectural integrity. It was raining hard, so I chickened out!

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In Search Of The Last Supper

I’ve seen Leonardo’s Last Supper in the church of Santa Maria delle Grazie, in Milan twice, but felt that as it was a wet afternoon, that I might be greedy and have another look.

However, it was all fully booked, so I just looked at the outside of the church and then got a tram to the Duomo.

Incidentally, the first time I saw the mural, was when Ipswich played Inter Milan in the UEFA Cup in 2001. One of the staff was surprised at how many visitors they had that day all dressed in blue.

Although Ipswich lost as expected, we all had a great day in Milan.

But normally now, twelve years later, you have to pre-book the visit. I suppose now with most visitors having the Internet on their phone, this is not that easy.

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A Snack, Italian Style

When I arrived in Milan, I was hungry and so I went into a  cafe under one of those big plastic covers, you see all over Italy, to see what I can get.

A Snack, Italian Style

A Snack, Italian Style

The picture doesn’t show the large glass of excellent Pinot Grigio.

October 12, 2013 Posted by | Food, Transport | , , , | Leave a comment

Is Milan Station Doing A Kings Cross?

Milan Centrale station is a very grand affair.

But it would appear that the square in front is getting a makeover similar to that at Kings Cross in London.

On the other hand a lot of squares in Italy use different coloured marble and other stone for effect. So perhaps it’s Kings cross that is the copy.

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Welcome To Milan

The tourist office in the station was shut.

In the end, I took the Underground to the Duomo and then found that my hotel was by the station, so I had to come back.

I know there was a lot of building work going on, but surely some maps and posters around the station would have helped. Surely, Milan only has to look two stations down the line to Genoa.

I did fill in the survey, but there was no place for comments.

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Would I Go Back To Turin?

As I said Turin was very disappointing and only if an event like a football match was taking place, in which I was interested, would I go.

I nearly ended up in Turin several years ago.  In this post about Venice, I start with.

I’ve been to Venice many times, including once at New Year and another time to give a software demonstration at Verona.  The latter ended in my giving someone a tour of Venice in the dark.  As he had left before first light in the morning, I suspect he’s one of the few people to have seen the city, but not in the light.

But that is only part of the story of the software demonstration.

I had done the presentation in Cambridge and one of the attendees there had worked for the Department of the Environment. He asked if I would like to do the presentation to some Italian civil servants in Turin on the day after the August Bank Holiday. At the last minute it was switched to Verona, so I never got to Turin!

After the Verona meeting the Department of the Environment man, was driving to Rome to see other Italian officials and then meet his wife for a holiday. Hence the reason we ended up in Venice, as after all is there a better place to stay in that part of Italy.

One other memory of that trip was being given a large handful of lira or was it euros for expenses.

So I made a good profit on the trip.

October 12, 2013 Posted by | Transport | , , | Leave a comment

From Turin To Milan

I was glad to leave Turin for Milan.

I was comfortably in First Class, virtually by myself for €34.50.

There is a high speed route, but my train took the traditional one.

One point to note about Italian trains is that most of their stations are termini, where you often have a long walk down the length of the train to get to your carriage. You realise how good the loading is at Kings Cross and the three major Eurostar termini, where you can use a bridge to get to the middle of the train.

An Italian told me a few years ago, that depending on the journey, he sometimes travels First Class and sometimes travels Second, just to avoid walking the full length of the train twice, as some journeys have intermediate stops, where the train actually reverses.

October 12, 2013 Posted by | Transport | , , , , | Leave a comment