So yes, we went back to Milan. I’d promised myself to try again if I had a better plan and a whole lot cooler day. And those criteria were filled.
My plan – start in NoLo (the immigrant area) head down to lunch with Daniele in his proposed lunch spot Mad’son, then on to Brera, down to Navigli and end up in Chinatown – if time I was going back to where Yayamoto was – which I believe is the old town. Plans!
(Now despite still not falling in love -or maybe not even like -with Milan, I did take far too many photos so I’ll try not to go overboard…bear with me.
A much better ride to Porta Susa – thanks to an earlier start (we were in a tearing hurry last time) and then arriving in Milan Central, now a familiar spot. We started walking towards the NoLo district, with my notes not really helping and, not too far along, decided again to separate and get on with our respective days.
I wanted to ride the historic tram number one and found the stop quite easily. It reminded me of riding in Lisbon or Budapest as it sped along. I don’t think I actually made it to the real NoLo. I wasn’t as prepared as I thought and the map didn’t really help. This, paired with the alarming way my phone battery was draining, so winged it.
I was, however, north of Loreto, and the population seemed mixed so perhaps I touched on it. The streets were not poor, though. Quite the opposite. I wandered around and needed a toilet so popped into a tabaccheria-bar. They were wonderful in there, falling over themselves to be helpful and make sure I was happy. Quite a nice experience to sit with a coffee and brioche, studying and marking the map and just generally feeling content
We have gone through Milan on the train a few times. Each time we’ve looked out the window and thought, no. However, for this trip we wanted to not be so biased but make a visit or two. So two visits were booked.
This was the first one. It’s hard to know what to say but I will say that it was very hot. We had changed our first train journey to a week later because of the heat but it was barely one degree cooler than the cancelled date – forecasts had been promising a bigger drop. No matter, we went ahead.
It’s only a fast (300kmh) journey to Milan from Turin. When we arrived at the station, my first reaction was wow. It’s an immense and extremely grand and elegant station, definitely the most glamorous I’ve ever seen. Before I’d even left the station I was impressed. It’s large, grand, bustling and impressive in every way. I had no idea what I was going to do but I’d done some research and hoped to cover a couple of areas and eat a little along the way and get a taste of Milan.
We decided to head off towards a modern area. It was called Samsung District – Porta Nuova Smart Community (apparently a prize winning area). The heat was building and I was very tired already. The modern area was wide open with no shade. I soldiered on.
From quite a distance we’d noticed a building covered with trees, as we’ve seen in Turin, so we kept going.
By now I was flagging so left Krish to take photos, while I sat on a park bench near a fountain – no bull heads here! Looks like a little demon.
Also in the park was a wall with darker bricks that formed a picture.
So here’s my confession. I lingered over no photos, I lingered over nothing. I wasn’t impressed enough by anything. By the time I reached this park I already knew I was done! Tired, hot, and in pain. I told Krish that I couldn’t wander and that he should walk by himself at his own pace and I’d use the day in any way I could that would keep me comfortable. We talked about it a bit and then agreed.
I asked him to try to meet me at Yamaoto, a restaurant he’d wanted to eat, a few hours from then. So he sent off on foot to explore and I set off for the closest metro station, no mean feat!
I’d heard about a gourmet food store, Peck. It sounded wonderful and maybe somewhere I could sit with a cold drink before going to the restaurant. This meant travelling to Duomo metro, luckily on the same (yellow) metro line. When I came out of the station, again I was completely blown away by what it was like. The pictures don’t show it as well as I’d hoped but it’s an enormous open square with the duomo on one side and on the other three sides, shopping. It was overwhelming and not in a good way. Tourists were milling everywhere, the noise and confusion were high. I really just wanted to leave so I set off to find Peck.
I couldn’t find it and I was still very hot and unhappy. I wandered about trying to follow my map app’s instructions and found a nice little back area where people were miling a bit to get lunch, but again I was too hot to snap a proper photo or investigate. The name of the game was Find Cool Shelter!