About Me

I am a 45 year husband and dad, currently adjusting to life back in the United States after living in Italy for a little over two years. I love spending time with my family, cycling, model railroading, mosaics and watching TV and movies.

Saturday, November 7, 2009


Brandon and I both woke up early today. Actually, I think he was up before 7am. I got up around 7:15am.

Laurie woke up next, then decided to go back to bed. Katrina woke up and made Laurie get back up and stay awake. They decided to watch Twilight. Carolyn and Heather were still sleeping on the fold out couch, so they decided to watch the movie on my laptop in the kitchen.

Carolyn and Heather slept until a little after 11am. We asked Brandon to go open the shades and wake them up. Jetlag!

Our plan was to spend the afternoon in Milano. Once everyone was ready we drove over to Sesto SG and caught the red line Metro to the Duomo. We were all armed with umbrellas since the day had turned out to be fairly rainy.

We had planned on doing the Milano bus tour, but after checking the info sign, we found that the schedule didn't work for us. Next stop, lunch. Katrina thought we should find a restaurnat on Via Dante, the pedestrian street leading to the Castello. We ended up at the Dante Cafe and enjoyed a great meal. Everyone had pasta dishes except Katrina and I. We both had pizzas.

After lunch it was time to head towards the Church of Santa Maria delle Grazie. We had a 3:45 reservation to see The Last Supper. It was a wet and rainy walk, but we made it right on time.

Church of Santa Maria delle Grazie

Mother and Daughters

To see The Last Supper, visitors must proceed through two dehumidifation rooms. Leonardo used an experimental fresco painting technique and the painting began deteriorating within six years of its completion. Today it is has been restored from hundreds of years of bad rehabs, touchups, pollution and moisture. The room is specially fitted with a controlled atmosphere to protect its precious work of art. Of course, no pictures were allowed.

After our 20 minute time slot was up, we walked back towards Piazza Duomo, stopping for gelato along the way.

Laurie wanted to make sure she stayed dry.

Meemaw and Brandon

By now it was getting dark. We decided to view the inside of the Duomo before catching the Metro back home. The Duomo was not very crowded and there was a service in progress, so we had to remain extra quiet.


Heather was having issues with her cheap umbrella.

Metro Story:

We had some issues getting home on the Metro. Normally we catch the Metro at Sesto San Giovanni to ride into the city, and we usually buy roundtrip tickets from the cashier. The cashier was closed, so we could only buy one way tickets from a machine.

It is difficult to purchase the correct ticket when riding the Metro from Milano back to Sesto San Giovanni. It would take pages to explain why this is difficult and you might still not understand...sometimes I'm not sure we truly understand...basically we just say, "It's Italy" and go with the flow anytime we don't understand something.

So, we were unable to buy the proper tickets to ride all the way back to Sesto. We ended up buying what we thought were the correct tickets, only to be have them rejected at the automated turnstiles. We had a discussion with one of the Metro officials and ended up buying different tickets. These were the wrong tickets as well, but they got us on the Metro.

We knew that they were the wrong tickets to ride as far as we needed to ride, but we took the risk because they were the only ones that worked. From experience we also knew that Metro officials might be stationed at Sesto San Giovanni checking for valid tickets since it is the end of the line, a risk we had to take.

When we arrived at Sesto San Giovanni and ascended the steps we spotted Metro officials checking tickets. Katrina warned everyone to wait until the officials were busy with others then walk quickly by them. Long story short - Heather, Brandon, Katrina and I made it out the exit gates. Carolyn and Laurie were stopped and were quickly told they didn't have valid tickets and would be issued fines. It didn't help that the Metro officials didn't speak English and there was little to no Italian from Laurie and Carolyn.

Those of us who made it out the gates watched to see what would happen, hoping they would let it slide since on the basis of being 'dumb' tourists who bought the wrong ticket. After several minutes we saw Laurie giving us the 'help us' glare. We sent Katrina back in since she speaks the most fluent Italian. Heather, Brandon and I stayed out so that we wouldn't add to the problem.

After several minutes of discussion and other Metro officials getting involved, a solution was decided upon that didn't involve expensive fines. They would let them go without a ticket, but Katrina had to give them three of the orignal tickets we bought that didn't work so that we could not save them for another time. No fines, which can be very expensive and we had an interesting story to tell.

Katrina trying to explain their way out of the situation.

30 Week Gelato Count: 160
30 Week Wine Bottle Count: 32

No comments:

Post a Comment