From Venice, we traveled by train for approximately two hours to Milan (pronounced ‘Milano’ in Italian). It is the second-largest city in Italy and the capital of Lombardy as well as of the province of Milan. The city proper has a population of about 1.3 million, while its urban area is the fifth largest in the European Union and the largest in Italy with an estimated population of more than 4.3 million. Milan is recognized as a major fashion and design center, and is home to Milan Fashion Week. It also is home to important museums, theaters (most notably opera), and landmarks that help the city attract its 2 million visitors annually.
We arrived at the train station and taxi’d to our hotel, Ritter. With a somewhat rude front desk person and a charge of $3/one hour of Internet, I will not be staying at this hotel again. From our hotel, we enjoyed a nice walk through Parco Sempione until we found Ristorante Pizzaria Momus on Via Arco. Momus was the perfect place for us to stop and eat lunch as we felt right at home with the local businessmen who were enjoying their lunchtime break (with some beer or vino). We all had amazing meals, and Katie enjoyed one of the largest calzones we have ever seen!
Like most cities in Italy, Milan and its surrounding area has its own regional cuisine, which, as it is typical for Lombard cuisines, uses more frequently rice than pasta, and features almost no tomato. So don’t be surprised if the menus look different from Olive Garden :).
After lunch, we continued walk as we strolled through the streets of Milan to the city’s Duomo (or cathedral). Dedicated to Santa Maria Nascente (Saint Mary Nascent), it is the seat of the Archbishop of Milan. The Gothic cathedral took nearly six centuries to complete. It is the fourth largest cathedral in the world and the largest in the Italian state territory. It was truly a remarkable site.