Bright and early, packing, tidying, checking and watching the time. Rachael from the apartment agency met us to get our tax which you now have to pay per night to sleep as a tourist in Italy. Maybe we can have this in Australia! We returned the keys and a quick check then we caught the Vaporetto to the Venezia San Lucia Station to catch our Milano train. Managed to get the suitcases up and over 2 bridges and onto the Vaporetto. Plenty of time at the train station and no need to buy tickets as it is all done. The train took ages to show the platform number. Great train as we were able to store the suitcases in the space between the seats and keep an eye on them…..especially after the mans missing bag on the train from Rome last week. Shame they only serve you one drink! Arrived at Milano on time and managed to find our way down to the Metro from the Trenitalia trains. Of course David left it too late to go to the loo on the train so we waited for him. Made our way to the Metro line. Only one station to our hotel at Sondria station which later revealed itself as a big joke! We had to then manage many stairs and I remember reading that train tickets can be purchased from the tabaconist so we did then we walked past the ticket machine? Then we were presented with a huge staircase but luckily a conveyor belt for luggage was I between. That was fun watching David panicking about gathering up the luggage. We finally conquered one more huge lot of steps at Sondria Station until we reached daylight and our hotel the Crown Plaza was on our left. Nice to check in to a modern warm hotel with some creature comforts. Veronica at the front desk spoke English and was very helpful. We were all given Internet and our luggage was taken up,to our room. On arrival in our room we looked out of the window and saw the station in the distance. We could have walked…or even caught a tram. It was quite funny after having to tackle all of the stairs to go underground and then come back up.
After getting settled we headed back to the Metro to check out the city of Milan. We exited the Metro at Duomo and the sight was magnificent of the Duomo Cathedral which illuminated at night and the Piazza had a lovely Christmas Tree. We were very careful of pick pockets and people trying to sell you flying Fluoro spinning things. We made our way to the Galleria Vitorrio which was just spectacular….the first structure to use glass and metal in a structural way. The mosaic floors have Taurus the bull and it is good luck to walk on the genitalia…….very interesting. We then went to Via Turino to check out the shops visiting the Zara store and others. Back up we ventured into Peck….a great deli which has great fine foods. We decided to stay for a light afternoon tea. We had some salmon rolls and Parma ham rolls. The Prosecca sparkling wine was excellent and I will be having more of this! The service was lovely and old fashioned. We then continued our shopping until we were hungry. We finally found a place to eat after keeping up the Moffet tradition of walking aimlessly until we find a place! We ate at Galleria Restaurant and had some Sicilian pizza, margarita pizza, lasagne and spaghetti with Truffles…..even grated on top for an extra 9 euro. We discussed Australia with a waiter, warmed up while the kids had chocolate milkshakes Italian style then we had to head back into the cold.
Back on our 2 day Metro pass. Kate and Thomas were tired so they went back to the room while David and I had a night cap involving a woman named Margarita!