7 May 2018 – Walking, with a side of eating

After an okay sleep last night, my roommate Russell and I woke up this morning at around 9:00 and went downstairs to Hotel Sempione’s breakfast room and enjoyed a breakfast of croissants and yogurt.  I also had a cappucino.  The Milanese shorten “cappucino” to “cappuci”, which I have never heard in Sicily where most of my travels have taken place.  This is a really good example of regional slang  After breakfast, the group went down into the basement of the hotel for a few hours and were given a crash course on basic Italian.  I knew basically everything taught in the course, but it was still good for the other students and a lot of them tried to apply what they learned later in the day during meals.

After the crash course all the guys went around the corner to a place called Churchill’s.  They had very good and inexpensive sandwiches, and the meal cost less than ten euro after paying for my sandwich and share of the water we bought.  After lunch, which lasted around two hours, the group met up again to go on the walking tour.  The tour was guided and we had to wear radios, which I did not like wearing because I have been doing walking tours of Italian cities with my parents with no guide since I was five and I do not like being as high-profile as we were today, but the guide was very  knowledgeable about the history of the city and the locations we visited and the radios ensured that we could hear her so they made the tour more useful.

The tour ended at Milano’s duomo in the center of the city.  We walked through the large gallery where the original Fratelli Prada store is located to emerge on the other side in the piazza where the duomo is.  I did the same thing several years ago with my parents, but in the reverse.  The gallery is a pretty cool testament to commercialism from a time before commercialism was cool everywhere, which is shown in the scale of the gallery.  Intricate artwork and design is always indicative of an important place, and to have that in the world’s first shopping mall shows that the Milanese were really ahead of the curve.

After the tour ended, I went to a rooftop restaurant on the north side of the duomo and enjoyed an enjoyable and affordable meal of Sicilian wine, pasta con bolognese ragu, and tiramisu.  We sat on couches and stools and the table was at knee height, which is the first time I have ever enjoyed seating in that style.  We were on location for around two hours, and walked back to the hotel through the city and were able to do it without using a map or gps, which is much more exciting than using a map or gps.  At the end of the day, my fitbit had recorded more than 16,500 steps


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