Milan, Italy Day 43

Woke up today to a bright sunshiny day in Milan. I decided to go check out the area of Navigli. It’s been a working class neighbourhood for over 800 years, but is now becoming trendy with ateliers, restaurants and artist studio’s. There are 2 canals around Navigli, the Navigli Grande (which leads out to the Ticino River) and Navigli Pavese. I enjoyed just wandering around and people watching and listening. Yes, in Italy, I can just sit and listen to people talk. I don’t even care what they’re saying, it’s such a melodic and beautiful language it doesn’t matter. And the talking with their hands! I was sitting on the bus, and was watching this man on the street telling a story to some woman, couldn’t hear a word of it, but almost could understand what he was saying because of his hand gestures. I’m absolutely fascinated by the cultural differences from country to country. And it’s not like these countries are so far removed from each other… in reality they’re uber close to each other,  yet each seems to retain their own identity . I love Europe!
This was my lunch… I bough it at a local bakery where they had all kinds of freshly made breads, pizzas, sweets and pasta. This was like pizza bread with a tomato and bocconcini salad on top of it. Oh, it was good! Crispy on the edges and soft in the center from the tomato and cheese. It was sprinkled with sea salt and olive oil. Yes, a very good start to eating in Italy…
Street in the Navigli.
There were some teeny tiny baby ducks in the canal. My picture looked crappy though so I’m not including it.
Milan is a fashion capital… everyone knows that. If you want high end designer duds, this is the place to come! If you’re like me and you don’t give a crap about Gucci, Prada and the like (not to mention can’t afford!), then there are the cheap-a*s clothing stands in the streets. Not the greatest quality, but made in Italy! I got a cute pair of leggings and top for 17 euro. I’m on a budget money wise, but I also have to think about every single thing I buy because I’m the one who has to haul it all around for the next 4 months…. not to mention I’ve already sent a 10 lb. box home…
I really do love gnomes.
Fresh pasta!
I’ve never seen this before… the gelati and slushie trucks have coconut trays with a water source that continuously dribbles the water over the slices to keep them moist. I don’t really like coconut so I didn’t try any. I DID have a citron sorbetto though…
I went back to the Duomo di Milano today to go inside. It’s the only Gothic Cathedral in Italy (which I found surprising) and is the 4th largest cathedral in the world. Construction of the cathedral started in the 1300’s and was completed in the 1800’s. Just imagine working on a project of that scale knowing you’ll never see it finished? That is devotion. I was fascinated by the huge bronze doors of the cathedral. They tell the story of the life of the Virgin Mary. There is a gold statue of Mary on top of the cathedral as well. As I was going in I started to pull my scarf around me like a shawl, because I remember in Italy they’re really backwards about the “dirty women showing their bodies in the church” thing. That’s the way I remember it anyways. I’m visiting their domain so I follow the rules even if I disagree with them. They turned this woman in front of me away because her skirt was too short!!!!!! It was short, but not like a hooker or anything. I couldn’t believe it! Yet there were men walking around wearing tank tops and short “Euro style” shorts. Yup, things really haven’t changed all that much, have they?
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This is one of the panels in the door. There are about 6 panels where the patina on the bronze has been worn off from people touching them.
You’re not supposed to feed the pigeons but there are men who have bird seed and offer to take your photo with the pigeons landing on your hand, your head or whatever you want (for a fee, of course!) This couple were pretty cute… I’m guessing newlyweds who wanted to be kissing while the pigeons landed all over them. I like pigeons as much as the next guy, but I really don’t want to touch them, you know?
Inside the GalleriaVittorio Emanuele II.
This is the tiniest vehicle I think I’ve ever seen. It makes the Smart Car look like a sedan!
I didn’t wind up doing the Happy Hour thing tonight… but it’s a good idea and hopefully I’ll be able to partake somewhere else in Italy.

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One Response to Milan, Italy Day 43

  1. anne rhodes June 28, 2011 at 3:50 pm #

    Hi,
    It’s me again. I just want to say that I love your blog and have enjoyed reading your comments. When I travel with my daughter, Taylor, we will follow some of your advice and suggestions. You seem to like alot of the same things that we do. Hope you are having a great time

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