Thursday, April 1st: Long Island
"We were picked up by SFG Limo at 3:30 pm and picked our way through the traffic on Southern State to Kennedy airport. Our flight on TWA departed at 7 pm. The dinner was good, but there was a noted problem getting anything to drink, even just water, after that point. The flight was fairly smooth, but Mike and I didn't sleep at all."
Friday, April 2nd: Milan, Italy
"We landed at Milan's airport ~10 am (Italy time, which is 7 hours ahead of NY time). This airport was larger, newer, and farther away from Milan than the one we landed in twelve years ago. We actually got stamps for our passports (unlike the first time I was in Italy), and our luggage came almost immediately. Customs consisted of two guys in gray uniforms gawking at the passers-by. Dad had some trouble getting a car from Hertz, as they did not seem to understand "mini-van". They did understand that we had a lot of luggage (3 pieces for Mike and I, 5 pieces and a bag for Mom and Dad). So, we got a monster of a van. It seats 3 across, 4 rows deep. And it resembles a giant box by Ford travelling down the road. Needless to say, the locals stare at us wherever we go.
Then, the adventure was on. We were looking for our hotel:
Aspromonte Hotel- and we didn't have a street map. Since the airport was outside of Milan by quite a few miles, we set out on Autostrada A8. When that ended, we were still far outside of the city center and hopelessly lost without a map.
Piazza Aspromonte 12-14
Phone: 02 236-1119
Two hours and three stops for directions later, we finally found the hotel. We went to lunch (~3 pm) at a Trattoria in a local plaza. After some champagne, bruschetta, bread sticks, a delicious antipasto of beans and shrimp tossed in basil and olive oil, and a pasta dish, we were all pretty exhausted - but we decided to do a little sight-seeing anyway.
We took the subway to see Del Duomo of Milan.
This is a rather elaborate cathedral in a square. The tiles in the square were under construction. We wandered inside the cathedral, where a pre-Easter service was being held. We also walked along the cathedral's roof. We marveled at the time and dedication that would have been required to create all the stone figures and buttresses."
Information from "Eyewitness Travel Guides: Italy", page 187: "Situated at the very heart of Milan is its giant cathedral, one of the largest Gothic churches in the world at 515 feet long and, at its widest point, 301 feet across. It was begun in the 14th century under Prince Gian Galeazzo Visconti but not completed until more than 500 years later. The building's most startling feature is the extraordinary roof, with its 135 spires and innumerable statues and gargoyles."
Mike and I climb the stairs leading to the roof.
Mike and I on the roof
"Since we were all exhausted, we returned to the hotel for a two-hour nap, dinner (pizza), and some conversation on the hotel's patio. I went to bed ~10:30 pm."