What we did in Italy: Day 10-11

Here’s what we did on our last 2 days in Italy.  

In case you missed it, here are earlier parts:

Days 1-2 Rome
Days 2-4 Rome
Days 5-9 Tuscany & Bologna

Fri Sept 24  (Day 10)

Return car to Hertz at the train station in Bologna – they accepted it and reduced the rental cost by €50.  Then we got the next fast train to Milan.

Rachel LOVED the train!  On arrival in Milan, we took the Metro to Puerto Romano neighborhood and walked a few blocks to the hotel.  (This was our one day roughing it with public transportation with luggage – exhausting!  Back to taxis for our departure from Milan!)

Our hotel was the Hotel Romana Residence, which Rick Steves described as “a perfectly soulless business hotel with all the amenities”.  He must have been smoking something or wrote this 10 years ago, because the hotel was a real dump.  The lobby was nice enough but our first room smelled terrible and everything looked dirty or broken.  I went to the desk and they put us in a suite, which was just as bad, just larger.  I think there was even blood on the lamp shade!  We changed and went out but spent all afternoon talking about what to do.

We took the Metro to the Duomo stop at the center of town and walked around and had lunch at an outdoor cafe.  We visited the Duomo, which was incredible.

We went into the La Rinascente Dept store (with a great food floor) and when we came out it was pouring.  The covered sidewalks were mobbed, the cafes nearby all had €10 cover charges just to sit down, and we didn’t want to go back to that disgusting hotel!  I bought an umbrella from a street vendor and we tried to figure out where to go next.

We finally sat down at a cafe inside the galleria arcade (near a small fashion show), had a couple beverages, and I called hotels.  Most were full because of fashion week but with Charlie’s help, I found the Sheraton Four Points in another part of town.

We took the Metro back to the hotel, got our luggage, and left.  Told the guy at the front desk that the room was disgusting and we were leaving, and he said we should have told him when we arrived.  We left anyway and planned to call the credit card company to dispute any charges.

We took a taxi to the Sheraton hotel, which was great.

This was a stressful afternoon for us – Rachel wanted to go home early and I wanted to find a new hotel.

We went out to dinner to Rangoli Indian restaurant and decided to spend the day in Milan tomorrow and see the things that interest us.

Back to hotel, lobby for wifi to plan tomorrow.

Sat, Sept 25 (Day 11) 
Small breakfast in hotel, then we walk to the Metro to go to the center of town.

We try to see La Scala, but it is closed for the morning due to a student rehearsal.

We go to the upscale fashion area and enjoy walking through Prada, Armani, Gucci, Valentino, etc.  We check out a home store called B&B Italia hoping to find little kitchen things but it was just furniture.

Lunch at Brek Caffeteria (like the restaurant on the top of Water Tower Chicago, just smaller) and then we go to the Duomo.  I ride the elevator to the roof to walk around and take photos and

Rachel hangs out in the piazza, people watching.

We walk to the Four Seasons hotel to have coffee in the lobby – just to relax and sit down for a while (great idea Rachel!).

Metro back to our hotel for a 2 hour nap.  Then we go out to the Brera neighborhood for dinner… we end up at Pizzeria Il Kaimano for pizza and penne all’arrabbiata, both pretty good.
(The Brera neighborhood looks really interesting – would be a good place to stay and/or visit if I am in Milan again).

Taxi back to the hotel.

Sun, Sept 26 (Dept day)

Taxi to Cadorna station
Train to airport
Looong flight to JFK, then JFK to STL.
Taxi home.
Kevin goes to sleep at 8 PM!