09 May 2012

Mostly rainy but with some well-timed sunshine: Day two

This hilarious feature by Christoph Niemann for The New York Times has motivated me to return to my pictures and notes and finish writing about our trip to Italy.

Our second day did not get off to a very promising start in the weather department, so we opted to get value for the money we spent on the City Sightseeing bus tickets that are valid for two days. We learnt some more about Milan, this time on the blue route. We opted to be warm and dry on the lower deck, so I didn't take pictures.

During a ten-minute stop at the Piazza del Duomo we got out to "admire" a Hummer limo and peek into the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele. A bridal couple and their entourage were exiting onto the piazza to take pictures... Condolences on the weather, guys.

For lunch we stopped in at the charming Van Bol & Feste. I made a note about "farro soup". Definitely something to find a good recipe for.

To further escape the weather, we spent the afternoon at the National Museum of Science and Technology Leonardo da Vinci. As per usual the museum was a bit larger than my attention span is long, but it did have its moments. One of my favourites was two frames with interacting videos. Retired refuse workers were discussing the tools they used to use, and then sometimes their video would stop, or they would hand something out of the screen, and a man in the other frame would take it and talk about current practice. I liked that the way the profession was discussed gave one respect for the hard work that we often forget someone has to do, but also that one realises how many technical details can go into something as seemingly simple as sweeping the streets.

On the Da Vinci front there were some cool things, like models based on his drawings. I also learnt that "composer" can be tacked onto the long list of accomplishments of this true Renaissance Man.

The rain finally lifted and we took to the streets to look for a bookstore a friend had told me about. We didn't find it, but I saw some nice balconies and window reflections, and we found what we later agreed was the best gelato of the trip. We think the shop was at Via Andrea Solari 1, but it may have been new and so Google maps does not confirm. The place has coloured floorboards, we know that much*. Anyway, I had Greek yoghurt and chocolate fondante, and Evan had pistachio and peanut butter something or other. All super delicious! We had some gelato in Böblingen a week later and we were both like, "this is sub-par, remember that one in Milan? No gelato will ever taste as good again." Yes, first world problems, we know.

We made our way back to the Piazza del Duomo to start hunting for dinner and as we arrived, there it was, wham, the sun was hitting that cathedral in the face. Gorgeous!

After poking around the Galleria a bit, we walked around some more and picked a restaurant across from the Piccolo Teatro. A restaurant where, as it turns out, the owner likes to sing to a backtrack. A female German guest also elected to European-cheek-kiss their waiter, young Luca, goodbye. Okay?

After dinner we did something that one can tend to neglect when you're tired at the end of a long day of sightseeing—we took to the night streets. In the end we didn't have a drink anywhere, but we saw some of the city by night before heading back to our hotel to pass out.

*UPDATE!!! Upon zooming in on some picture details I worked out that the gelateria is called latoG!

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