Milano – IT

shirt.pngAfter waiting just for a little while, the Frecciarossa arrived at the train station from Verona. The famous train was almost full but luckily there was enough space for a tall guy like me, to rest his legs. The problem with most high-speed trains, is that tall people must have a uncomfortable posture on the seat. But the Italians did an awesome job here and I can only say BRAVO! Also, just like on planes, on the table in front of me I had several magazines and two train timetable books. I started to look in them and saw that Frecciarossa does 2,2 hours to Venezia. Interesting, I said to myself.

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This train, was said that it can go with 300km/h and almost all the road it did not do that. But before reaching the straight line to Milano (some 20 minutes before arrival), on the screen behind me, there were almost 300km/h on the screen. It was even more than that since I was feeling that it is accelerating, except when I took my photo I found out it was to underexposed (we might have passed under a bridge or something) so I have no proof. But I can say is so great so be in such a fast transportation. It does Milano to Rome in 3 hours – 578km.

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We arrived in Milano, and the first thing I saw was a huge number of people getting out of this one train and a huge station. So huge that made me google for it.

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It took many years to finish and one of the major figures that played a role here, was Benito Mussolini, who wanted that the station to represent the fascism power. Perhaps that is why, the station is huge, tall, made of stone. It does make you feel small just like intended. I love it and for this alone I am proud I’ve been here in Milano!

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On sunset.

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At night (no artificial colors added in edit)

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The iconic Apple statue in front of the train station.

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I inverted some colors, to bring up my subject. Perhaps next time I actually use my filters… This technique was first invented or used by Ansel Adams, to separate the clouds from the sky and also the mountains.

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I have made lots of pictures with this monument and for once I agree with Wikipedia, as this train station is really one of the most beautiful in Europe.

Now my enthusiasm was drastically reduced to a 30% when I found out that I have to pay the tourist tax, 5 euros per nigh per person, in an 4 star hotel that is way cheaper then the next door 2 star Ibis hotel. I have recorded myself not being able to enter the shower cabinet and not being able to shower properly on the 3+1 stars hotel (the forth one, was added with a black liner). More than that they forgot to bring 2 sets of towels and we had just one soup the whole period (the one from the shower). Another thing was that Rosie (the morning receptionist) said that we have breakfast in the morning included but in the end we had to pay a lot for that too. So yeah, this is the Mokinba Hotels Baviera that I recommend to no one.

I found on google that the tax is legit and it will vary between 1-5 euros… But it is not applied in all cities and the value is up to the hotel. Well, for Milano I would pay not even 1 euro, since is all the city a huge Commercial Center full of clothing brands that 99% of the population on globe cannot touch. At those brands is a couple of hundreds of euros a white t-shirt. So I would apply sever taxes to those companies, to restore the buildings in which they sell their products. Yep, except a few places and museums, most of the great buildings are just commercial stores or banks. (for every church in Italy there is a bank in Milano)

With this impression on Milano and Verona and later Venezia, Italy for me is to this date, is the most sad place in Europe. Sad in a sense of what has been done and the direction is heading. I pushed to do as much and many possible things during my stay, since I plan to never step on Italy once again, unless I am forced.

Anyway here is what I liked because there are many:

On my top 10 the first place has to be science museum (which in one day we saw 2 floors only). I still think that museums are hundreds of years behind of what they could actually be. They are more a collection of items and a text label. Children and Adults rarely can have an interaction with what they see there. To this date the best museum to do so is Cite des  Sciences et de l’Industrie in Paris region. But lets carry on.

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On the outside, this museum is one of the most beautiful I have ever seen (science museums). It is not as big as the one in Munchen but is big non the less. When we saw that on the map, we decided to all choose one floor and with coin flip, decide to see at a random order.

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The first section seen was the one with DaVinci.

There we saw many wood models (that can only be looked at) and also the interest of Leonardo to the study of earth (geology). Here I saw how concerned he was also on rivers and it is no wonder that he had success by engineering the connections of  Milano with the sea, by making channels in the city on which boats can transit. Also added to the romantic side of Milano.

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Outside of the main museum building, there are a few Transformers like robots, that are not made out of plastic, but by actual steel, wheels, gears and what not.

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In not even 20 minutes, I had to visit the train museum part because it was closing time already. Here are many unique locomotives, the old electric ones that were used for the Alpine routes made my heart rate explode. Such a great place, beautiful beasts…

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Since we talked a bit about Leonardo, here are two shots with him (one at night and another one at daylight) made at Piazza della Scala.

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Next to him is also the famous Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II. On the roof we can see paintings that represent the four continents (known back then). This is the oldest commercial center and today every major city in Europe has such a thing. (even Bucharest). This place is clean, well protected against pigeons (with nets) and has only luxurious brands and a museum on Leonardo.

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The entrance from Duomo.

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The famous Taurus mosaic that can be found inside. It has a hole in its testicles because the tradition is that if you spin 3 times on one heel, this should bring you good luck. But not so many people went after that to Prada store… But this myth is more interesting than dropping euros into fountains, rusting the metal and killing the fish.

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The same Galleria, but at night with the African continent shown (in ancient Egypt period).

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Since I spoke about Vittorio Emanuele II, the first king of the united Italy, here is his statue, full of pigeons. (in fact in this place, Duomo, has more pigeons than humans). It is not an easy job to cross the Square with eyes closed 😅.

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Now, the Duomo di Milano. This place is huge, and is the third, as size, from Italy. It is not yet finished and it has Samsung and Intel commercials on it 😒 (talking about paying tourist tax). They say if you donate a lot of money, you can actually own a statue on top (there are hundreds). If I had money, I would rather do this than pay for Gucci.

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At night. Here we can see that the Samsung commercial actually helps me take a good night shot of the lateral side of the Cathedral.

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Here are also pictures of the Canal.

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I did not get to see one of the most famous paintings of Leonardo Da Vinci – The last supper- , since I needed a reservation, with at least one month ahead. Actually I did not thought it was in Milano, I was always thinking about Venezia or Vatican. But there is a replica in the Science Museum…

But in my opinion to see the Canal or just to wonder on the streets, was more fun that staying at another huge line…

For instance this historical monument, that was hidden in someones garden. I found it when returning home from Caiazzo to the Central train station.

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Also this frame right here, the metro station (Republica) looks a lot like the one from Bucharest Romania, Republicii. At least now I know where the design came from.

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Many old buildings

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Just outside of a painters house. (his drawings consist mostly of the same yellow tram with more than 700 euro each, with some more than 2000 euro). I took some prints of some works just to use them as page separators.

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Here is another painting atelier. The big painting to the right was a few thousands of euros. And there are a lot of paintings and the woman selling them said it is hard since people prefer the printed ones. (instead of the hundreds of euro for a small tram frame).

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Art is art, but if you do some 100 drawings per month with the same subject, I would lower the price to a 100 euro max. This way you can pay for materials and also live a decent life. What it really happens, is that tourists pay 20 euro for a printed painting, and the artists starve. Well bravo to the business man, sorry for the artist… He has to use youtube for some new skills or he will starve like for real.

Other than that here are some more great places seen.

Basilica of Sant’Eustorgio.

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Porta Ticinese

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Collone di San Lorenzo

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Porta Ticinese

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Wide frame with Basilica di San Lorenzo Maggiore and the columns, at night. (yes the light behind me comes from a commercial LCD panel)

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Chineese town on a rainy day.

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Arco della Pace and a blue VW beetle.

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Crazy details on the Arc.

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The road from here leads to Arena Civica Gianni Brera.

Is free entry (one of very few) but you can donate after the tour. I did so and got myself a pin from them.

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Here, back in the day, among races and battles, were organized model ship battles. The river would flood the Arena and model wood ships would be put on the water with cannons. This one sport I would so like to see it. But sadly, the gates are closed, grass is put on top and… sad transformation. (but some images on google show the history of this great great idea of an entertainment place).

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Acquario Civico, not to far from the Arena and on the way to the Castle. This edifice has one of the greatest architecture (for a small building) of what i’ve seen. I would definitely make my house in the same way (if I had the money).

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Detail shot.

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Pallazzo della Veneranda Fabbrica del Duomo. From this angle this edifice looks more like a train station. Because it is a beautiful building it means it has more interesting stores. To be more exact it has a 3 big floors of sweets – OD Store. If I were a kid I would so eat everything they have. And so I did, bought a bag of sweets, but most new things I did not really like.

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In the same area you can find a curious store that sells just soaps (ironic because in Italian hotels we did not find soaps). Most soaps smell tasty and you can try the sample ones. Many people do that, and employees smile to them and close the water tap every time after them.

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But I said something about a castle so here it is: Castello Sforzesco

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Now this place is a gem (sadly it was closed and so was the Egyptian exposition – for 1 year). The coffee took here was, I think, the best ever, actually was a Cappuccino, but who cares😍👌🏻 Was the best and that says something about Italian reputation. Sadly no Ravioli and no good pizza.

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This place is great and its awesome to have such monument inside the city. No wonder is the biggest citadel in Europe and its impressive in 3D (no matter if you look in front or up or even down, it makes you feel small. At my arrival there were no activities here (sadly). The only thing Milano should have is an Arena like in Verona or Rome and with that you would have everything ever wanted.

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A shot of the same Castle from an antique book store: American Bookstore

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An old building.

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New vs Old.

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Again, new vs old

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The city of fashion, the city of banks and the city of the yellow tram.

Clearly is not Milano. Not the one I saw!

The one I saw had many public fountains for the people unlike Madrid, had yellow trams and big and great metro sistem much like Munchen.

It had some interesting monuments and big parks. Towers to climb into, lines to wait to see paintings and just like any big city, many activities. If you are the type of persone who does wedding photography, even in the city there are some fabulous spots.

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This single violist was gathering crowds after crowds with modern interpretation of classics and not only. He, alone, made more profit than the other “tram painting artists”.

His music was so great, that many children came in the center and started to dance. Beautiful moment.

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Aside the money aspect, taxes, poor hotel and noisy and crowded atmosphere, Milano is a must see city. After staying here for 4 days, I can say that this city is competing with Paris in being romantic and inspirational. Is full of young people (unlike other places I visited), full of immigrants (a lot from the African continent) and the Italian food is not expensive. The most important aspect is that it tastes good and it comes fast to your table.

Compared to France or Spain where you wait sometimes for ages, here is fast. Just like in Romania or Bulgaria.

I recommend Milano, but be careful with the taxes and hotels. Do not take cabs (they tend to take the worst route) and also walk a lot. Is beautiful even with the trillions of fashion shops.

From an Antique shop next to the Duomo I found a beautiful Lima old carriage that I slightly negotiated the price for.

MiDe.

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