For the remaining three days of last weekend (Friday, Saturday, Sunday), Kristy, Karli, Hayley, Alyssa and I headed to three different cities to experience Northern Italy. Each city was extremely different with totally different things to offer, but I am glad that I went to each one. Here is a little bit on each:
The first city that we hit up was a German-Italian town called Bolzanno. This city was basically like a German city that had been plucked out of some German countryside and plopped down south of Austria. We spent the day eating German food, visiting Utzi (the 5000 year old ice man), wandering around the streets and into churches, and just taking in the city.
Utzi in his freezer. He's a pretty old guy.
Apparently this is what he "should have" looked like when he was alive.
A view from Cable Car #2
Milan was by far my favorite city of the weekend. Along with being the fashion capitol of Italy (and one of the fashion capitols of the world) Milan is full of interesting history and lovely sights. We started off our day in Milan (after the train of course) with a bus and walking tour. This was the best thing we did all weekend. We saw all of the top sights on the tour - the Duomo, the Opera House, the Galleria (shopping mall with a glass ceiling), and most importantly Leonardo Da Vinci's The Last Supper. The Last Supper was simply incredible. The painting is amazing in so many ways, the fact that it is 500 years old, the fact that it is perfect, the sheer size. This was my favorite part of the city. The Duomo (Cathedral) was really great too. I think it was my favorite church of the trip so far. The rooftop was incredible. After climbing a ton of stairs you got to actually walk around on top of the roof, in and out of the spires.
And then there was the shopping. Milan has streets and streets of shopping, and although we didn't go down all of them, we certainly perused a few. My favorite was the Prada store. Although I couldn't even pretend like I was going to buy anything, I had never been in such a big Prada store before. It was two stories full of purses, clothing and shoes. Prada also started in Milan...so yeah, that's pretty cool.
Once we got back to Verona, we quickly found a resturaunt with a TV and settled in for the US v England soccer game. We were the only Americans there. We were the only loud ones there. Surprisingly, the Italians played along.
A perfect day? I think yes.
The Duomo. This is the first thing that we saw as we walked out of the metro station. It made a good first impression.
On the roof of the Duomo.
Milan is home sweet home for Prada.
Our last day was a day to explore one of the past Olympic cities, Torino. Unfortunately, we didn’t find any of the Olympic parts of the city. Actually, to an outside eye, our Torino trip would seem like a complete and utter disaster. It all started with trouble with the taxis getting to our residence. The taxis here won’t carry more than four people…we had five. Then once the taxis finally got to the residence we arrived at the train station in time to run to our platform, hastily cram our ticket into the validator and wait, panting, for the 9:30 train that never arrived. After realizing that our train was MIA, we got to argue in broken Italian with Train Station Employees who spoke broken English about getting our ticket okayed for the next train – all in a matter of twenty-five minutes. Luckily after that, we arrived at Torino without any more difficulty and then we walked in the wrong direction (we found this out later) from everything Olympic.
Anyway, despite our crazy day – we had an enjoyable time walking around Torino. It is a beautiful city. We toured the royal palace (and took a tour in Italian – it was a little long), and walked through the piazzas. Then, right as we decided that we could go for something to eat…the sky fell out. I think I forgot that it rains in Italy, but Sunday was a good reminder. It absolutely poured. At this point in time, we made a friend at a fruit stand who offered to walk us to the Metro Station so that we could get to the Olympic side of town. So in an act of kindness, he walked us through the rain and low and behold…the Metro was randomly closed. At this point in time, we decided it was time to head back to Verona. Luckily we had had such a good time the entire weekend that we took our crazy day with a grain of salt. We laughed it off and considered ourselves lucky to be getting back to Verona earlier than we had planned.
A little bored waiting on the next train after the 9:30 one abandoned us
Soaking after a jog in the rain
Inside the palace (pictures weren't allowed, hehe)
One of the piazzas
All in all, the weekend was a great way to experience the smaller and often less noticed parts of Italy. I am glad to have done this for my last weekend trip. I can’t believe that this is my last week in Verona now, though. Summer, where have you gone?!