Amsterdam view from Amsterdam Tower

Amsterdam view from Amsterdam Tower
The view from Amsterdam Tower

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Milan, Italy

It's a wrap... Milan is the last city visited during our trip to Italy.
Duomo of Milan, Italy
During this holiday, we had driven around 2,200 km from south of France to south of Italy.  I had been noticed the good quality of the highway and all of the necessary maintenance.  Other than that, it is fun paying attention to the brand of the cars in the highway.  Some of them I had never seen it in Indonesia and Vietnam.

I counted the numbers of tunnels between Milan and Nice; more than 100 tunnels including around 30 giant bridges connecting the hills! The distance between one bridge to another varies; between 76m to 1,500m.
Highway & tunnels, Italy to France
Thanks to GPS, driving from Venice to Milan was easy.  Reaching the apartment was a little bit of a challenge as GPS instruction was puzzling.  Anyway, we turned too fast to the left and had to go back to the main street again.  The small Ferrari behind us made us crazy, il fait “tut tut” and was not patient at all.

But then, voila... We arrived at the nearest parking lot to our apartment.  Still we had to push our luggage to the lift, stairs and walk at the sidewalk to the apartment.

Mr. Right has described the area of the apartment we rented, which is very near to the Duomo (Cathedral)... What we did not realize was that it is exactly located in front of the Duomo of Milan! Perfect...
Passage to go to our apartment
Lift & stairs inside the apartment building
It is a studio type apartment, two bedrooms with the main one on the mezzanine floor, another bed on the ground floor, two bathrooms, a small kitchen, quite spacious living room and a very small balcony with a grand view facing the Duomo!

Once we unpacked, we took a walk to the Duomo before the sunset...  

In front of the Duomo, there is a piazza (public square) and some birds flying around happily and happy people passing by. 

A street vendor persuaded me to feed the birds with his feed, it is nice but I was so sure nothing is for free. I could not be bothered negotiating how much he would charge for that.

The construction of the Duomo started in 1386. It is the most important work of gothic architecture in Italy.  During the construction of five centuries, the style has been influenced by many architects. 

The interior part of the Duomo is beautiful… More than words to describe it; so many beautiful paintings and statues!

The Duomo is open for the public from 7am to 7pm.  Proper clothes are required to enter religious places, no shorts/tanktops.

As such ancient building requires renovation, and so does this Duomo.  In the center of the piazza there is an area that was covered for renovation.  It looks like a statue i.e. the equestrian statue of Vittorio Emanuele II, the first Italian king from 1861-1876

Interior part of the Duomo of Milan
Interior part of the Duomo of Milan
See the painting! Inside the Duomo of Milan
Inside the Duomo of Milan
Even the floor is pretty!

The areas surrounding the Duomo are very posh with high level of taste in Art.

Galleria Vittorio Emanuele is the mall next to the Duomo.  It is occupying an ancient gorgeous building... All stores selling all luxurious brands!  The one that is less expensive is McDonald’s -J

Galleria Vittorio Emanuele

It seems like walking in the church or museum, high rise ceiling, and the building has something similar to dome in the middle of the four halls.
Inside the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele
Inside the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele

Beautiful statues are carved in the high wall, and paintings on the dome ceiling.

Painting is different in each corner

Different painting in different angle

A group of male choir did a performance under the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele and the sound echoed all over the mall.
We walked passing the main hall of the mall, outside there, there is a small fountain and statue of Leonardo Da Vinci… In front of him, there are a few souvenir shops where I found cute souvenir for my 3-year old nephew in Indonesia...
Statue of Leonardo Da Vinci
The sun was still high around 7pm.  Jalan-jalan continues...
We did a survey to this neighborhood around our apartment.
McDonald's, Milan
One of the branches, Citi #almamater

Street Florist
Elegant building of the Post Office
You're selling coffee now, Marilyn?
Buongiorno Signor Polizia!

No specific plan for dinner yet, so we continued walking  Laduree!  I shouted when I noticed the famous Macaron store!  “Why are you so crazy about Macaron dear?” Mr. Right questioned me...  It is because they are cute and yummy... -J

Hey, look at this delicatessen store called Peck across Laduree... The shop reminds me of Ranch Market in Jakarta, Annam Gourmet in Ho Chi Minh City or Great in Hong Kong, and yet it is even much better.  They sell best quality products and fine food, including wine.   
First class dinner in front of the Duomo of Milan
The highlight was Mr. Right agreed to prepare for our dinner... Fresh lobster, cheese, fruit, cakes and wine. The perfect place to enjoy dinner is in the small balcony in our apartment with the first class view to the Duomo...
The view is 99% perfect except a little bit covered by the scaffholding over the statue ...
In the evening, the Duomo shines and looks so white under the light... 

The other side of piazza in front of the Duomo
Crowd around the Duomo
I sat at the balcony facing the white Duomo; many people still wandered around the piazza, a group of cyclist still pedaled their bikes…

Finally, the Duomo is quiet, no one around by midnite
Between me and the Duomo, there is only the renovated equestrian statue of Vittorio Emanuele II -J  When it was almost midnight, the Duomo stayed awake.  
Yes, I was sleepy, but for that moment, I thought sleeping was a waste of time…. I wish to enjoy every minute of my stay in Milan...
Peeping the Duomo from the small whole in my balcony
Lanjut?  Pulang yaa…. Home sweet home. Bye-bye Europe… Hello Asia…

Proud to see "Borobudur" name in this KLM flight! #proudtobeIndonesian

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