Disclaimer: This post was written on 19 Aug, 6 weeks into my new semester in uni and 7 weeks after the end of my Europe trip. 3 July/day 33 is when our trip officially come to a close. 😦 Reflecting back on this trip 7 weeks after, I am immensely grateful to my trip mate, YS, for making everything possible. To do something so fun and adventurous in my early twenties will become a defining event of my youth for the rest of my life. I’m totally hyped for my upcoming trips! 🙂
We woke up bright and early to avoid the queues at the Duomo and to make it for our free walking tour. It is a shame that is Monday and we had to miss most of the free walking tours. (Only one was available on Monday, so take note people!) We enjoyed FWT throughout our entire trips so much that it has become a priority for us when we tours cities hahaha.
We enjoyed breakfast with a view as our apartment overlooked a roundabout 10m from the building and a main train station 50m away. In the far distance, we could see the alps. No wonder the Italians love sticking out their heads outta their windows all the time. It is actually therapeutic to people watch while doing absolutely nothing else. Speaking of our apartment, it is one of the best airbnb that we ever stayed because the furnishing is perfectly Italian. (It competes with the apartment that I stayed when I visited Venice for the first time because that one had a 180 deg shower jet in the bathroom.) The owner very kindly provided breakfast for us (muffin plus unlimited tea bags and 2 espresso shots per person, self service at the espresso machine) and if you get bored of the view outside, there is a fish tank to admire in the living room. It is a pity that we only get to stay for one night since we don’t have much business in Milan haha.
The Duomo in Milan is the BEST Duomo that I have seen (the only other being the one in Firenze). The exterior is very exquisite and its spires and doors are absolutely fine works of art. The interior wasn’t memorable for me and we spent around 30-45mins inside before desperately trying to locate our tour guide. It was an absolute disaster because we couldn’t find anyone despite waiting at the pin drop provided by its website. We asked a tourist office nearby and got directed to the 19th century museum opposite of the piazza, but still couldn’t find anyone. After walking around for a while trying to locate any tour group, we gave up and visited the Duomo museum, which to my surprise, is not bad afterall! (Considering that we were so sick of museums/touring by the end of 5 weeks in Europe.) We could see the designs of the spires up close (it was very difficult to appreciate on the actual building outside because the spires are so high and we often had to squint our eyes against the sun) and a very beautiful miniature of the Duomo also helped us to appreciate the entire building better. They also displayed the sculptures that formed the exteriors/interiors and most of the depicted mythological and biblical scenes. As we were quite free for the rest of the day, I had luxury of time to Google and learn about the life of Jesus Christs and his apostles. The trip to the museum was very educational and inspired me to learn more about Christianity because I realised that some basic knowledge is essential to appreciate famous artworks and buildings (mostly Churches/Cathedrals anyway) around Europe.
We had a chill lunch and YS made a final attempt to find to buy as a gift for her mom and sister. Eventually I stumbled upon an affordable chocolate shop that sold products more or less which tell people that I got them from Italy and we spent a lot of time picking out stuff to bring back. Last but not the least, we did a final, last chance shopping session at a local supermarket and to our surprise, did not find anything that was very much worth the money and effort to bring back to SG hahaha! I had a cuppa in the extra time and we walked back to the apartment to collect our bags (the owner was so kind to let us leave our baggage beyond the check out time)!
All in all, this trip deepened my love for Europe because it is such a diverse place that offers something for everyone. I will be back, hopefully, not too long. 🙂