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Two Crazy Guys In Milan - Due pazzi ragazzi a Milano

Finding the soul of Milan


View Due pazzi ragazzi a Milano - March 4 - March 13, 2019 on littlesam1's travel map.

Mark and I made a last minute decision to travel to Milan in March 2019. This was truly a last minute decision. We had been planning for a year to travel to Bulgaria to meet with our Virtual Tourist friends for their annual Euromeet in June. Then suddenly Mark had a drastic change in employment The bank where he works was sold and we had no idea what he employment situation would be for the rest of the year so we put all travel plans on the back burner. Fortunately Mark found a new job before his current job ended. He was to start his new job the end of March. So there was no way we could still plan the trip to Bulgaria in June. He would have no time accumulated for a vacation and let's face it, it's not good practice to start a new job asking for vacation two months later. So we decided to take take a brief vacation between the ending of one job and the starting of the other. But we only had two weeks to make the plans and leave for the trip to make this work. And how do you plan, research,and book a trip in that short of a time span? The easiest thing would be to plan a car trip locally. Maybe the Blue Ridge Parkway, maybe North Carolina's Outer Banks. Even a flight to the the western US using airline mileage and a rental car would not be too difficult to pull off. So what did we end up doing? We went to Milan, Italy.

I always like to name my vacations. It makes it easy to label the file folders for my photos in my computer. It gives me an instant reference when thinking about the trip and reflecting on it months later. Since this was such a crazy last minute idea I named this vacation Due Paazi Ragazzi a Milano which is Italian for Two crazy guys in Milan.

When we plan vacations we brainstorm ideas of places we might both want to see, especially places neither of us have visited before. Many times we mention places to visit and then realize one or the other of us have already been there and we always say "But you have already been there. Let's find someplace we both have not seen." So I was hesitant to mention Milan at first as I had been there in 2002 long before I knew Mark. And also Milan is not always the most popular choice of cities to visit in Italy. I fell in love with Milan on my first visit although most of the guide books warned me there were more exciting cities to visit. Even at the airport when I was checking in for my flight the woman at the Alitalia ticket counter questioned my choice of visiting Milan. So it may have been that I was not expecting a lot when I arrived which caused me to be pleasantly surprised. But I thoroughly enjoyed my time there and have always said I wanted to return one day. However I was concerned when Mark agreed on Milan. I knew it would be his only major vacation this year and I did not want him to be disappointed. I warned him Milan was not Rome or Venice or even Florence. It was unique to itself and its treasures were not obvious. You had to walk the street, keep your eyes open and explore the back streets to find the hidden treasures of Milan. Other than the beautiful Duomo not a lot screams at you Stop Now in Milan. You have to go find it. I think this is what sold Mark on Milan. He loves to walk and explore. Give him a map and he is thrilled to see what he can discover.

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We found many churches to visit of course. However we did not get to see DaVinci's The Last Supper. You have to make reservations way in advance. So after two trip to Milan I still have not seen the masterpiece. Maybe I will get back one day to to eventually see it. Instead I saw lots of interesting people like this romantic couple in the photo below. The girl is obviously in a romantic mode in this beautiful city and the guy is obviously more interested in his cell phone. She has no idea.

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I also discovered a new beer which became a favorite. I have not seen it here at home so I made sure to have plenty while in Milan.

We stayed at a kooky hotel named Allegroitalia Espresso Hotel. It had a strange subway map motif in the hallway.

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Our hotel room had a wine cork screw design on the door.

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And the hotel had no morning breakfast which is common is so many European hotel. But we were not disappointed because they had a free dinner buffet in the evening instead. This hotel did everything out of the ordinary. They had a huge lounge area with the food and also a bar. There were huge flat screen TV's where we got to watch soccer live. The employees were encouraged to interact with the guests. So they watched the games with us. Ate at the dinner buffet and also played table top and video games with everyone.

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Next subject. Food. We love Italian food. It is my favorite type of food And Mark is Italian so he knows good Italian food. We loved Rome two years ago. We had great meals in Rome. But we both agreed we were more impressed with the food in Milan. We ate most of our meals in our little neighborhood where the kooky hotel was located. And we found a favorite bar and restaurant which was on the unusual side also. It was named Le Biciclette. Small, ecelectic, and very much a small neighborhood favorite. We had great food, interesting drinks and laughs with the bartenders. I love a good Aperol Spritz when in Italy. But I have never seen one made with an olive and a cherry. Always just a cherry. But the bartender added an olive each time and it elevated the drink to a very different and interesting level.

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We sat in a rooftop bar near the Duomo on another day for another Aperol Spritz, this time without the olive. But look at my view in the photo. Could there be a more picturesque location for a mid afternoon cocktail?caa527a0-a316-11e9-99ff-313902cae6f6.JPG

Other than Aperol Spritz's and Ichnusa beer we also found time for some of our favorite foods in all of Italy.

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We could have planned for months in advance. We could have booked reservations for The Last Supper. We could have taken hours visiting churches and monuments we found on internet searches instead of just finding them by surprise on our daily walks. But we would have missed the soul of Milan. I think this is why so many people do not find Milan to be a favorite. It's a city with a hidden soul. It's a city that is waiting for you to take the time to discover it's secrets. And it was so worth the effort. So if you are planning a last minute trip and only have two weeks to book the trip do something different. Discover the back neighborhoods and side streets of Milan.

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Be like the Due pazzi regazzi a Milano, the two crazy guys in Milan

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Posted by littlesam1 06:43 Archived in Italy Tagged food italy duomo milan Comments (3)

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