A friend of mine who has been living in Italy for some time told me that it’s best to be 30 minutes early for your train, especially since tickets are nonrefundable and train platforms can change without much information. And so, being the obedient travelers we are, we had lunch at the central station 2 hours before our scheduled departure. After lunch, we shopped at the nearby grocery store for food and drinks we could carry aboard the train, went up to where the train platforms were, and waited for our platform to be shown on the screen.
It wasn’t complicated, and I’m glad we came early. We did not rush, and we were confident that we weren’t getting left behind. We found seats in front of the screen, so we were able to see when our platform number became available.
Milano Centrale is one of the prettiest train stations I’ve ever been to, and getting to the station early afforded me the time to snap a few photos here and there. The main arrival hall has high ceilings that were apparently patterned after the Union Station in Washington DC. Milano Centrale has 24 platforms, serving 300,000 passengers every day. The building was inaugurated in 1931.
Our first day of being in Italy for the first time went off without a major hitch! We’ve capped off a long day of walking in Milan with a nice meal from Trattoria Toscana di Giovanni. The food was delicioso, but *oh boy* our bill burned a hole in our pockets. And here I was thinking Copenhagen food was costly! Maybe we just need to explore Milan some more to discover the delicious, cheap food places.
Spaghetti di Vongole at Trattoria Toscana di Giovanni
Risotto at Trattoria Toscana di Giovanni
A huge cheese that costs 6 EURs per person!!!
We arrived today on a RyanAir flight from Copenhagen to Milan Bergamo. From Milan Bergamo, we took an autobus for 5 EUR to Milan. It was a quick bus ride that delivered us to Milano Centrale where we walked for less than 10 minutes to our hotel. After checking-in and unpacking a bit, we walked past Castello Sforzesco on the way to see if our puppy dog eyes can get entrance tickets to see Leonardo da Vinci’s Last Supper at Santa Maria delle Grazie. We weren’t counting on it, but thought that there was no harm in trying. Lucky us, we got free tickets for a late afternoon viewing!!! This definitely made it to the best thing that had happened today. And so, while we waited for our turn to see the Last Supper, we decided to explore the surrounding areas. We visited the Basilica romana minore collegiata abbaziale prepositurale di Sant’Ambrogio, saw the corpse of St. Ambrose and gazed upon several frescos. We also dropped by and admired the façade of the Italian Stock Exchange and giggled at the interesting looking sculpture at Piazza Affari. From there, we walked to the Duomo di Milano, admired the architecture, took lots of photo and then started walking back to Santa Maria delle Grazie. We would not want to miss this sought-after opportunity to gaze upon da Vinci’s much copied work.
One of the gates of Castello Sforzesco
Inside the castle courtyard
Impressive Santa Maria delle Grazie
We got free admission tickets to the the Last Supper (because it was Sunday!)