This trip began with me walking into our living room and saying, "hey do you want to go to Milano today?" (It's crazy that that's even an option!) we then proceed to look and see when the next train is— twenty minutes. In a mad rush we grab our things and start running out the door (literally running because it takes at least 15 minutes to walk to the train and we still needed to purchase our tickets!) As we are coming down the stairs of the apartment I see a bus and say, "I wonder if it's leaving soon." I said this because the bus is faster if it's leaving when you are, but a few days earlier I got on the bus and then it sat there for 15 minutes. But no joke, before I could even finish the sentence the bus started to pull away!! In a hail Mary I started waving my hand at the driver AND HE STOPPED! People this is no Blacksburg Transit.. I've seen BT drivers leave a kid on crutches hobbling to the bus stop in January, these drivers are so so so nice and actually look to see if anyone is coming so they can wait!
We then proceeded to sprint to the bus and got to the train stop with a few minutes to spare. We purchased a ticket to Chiasso (a town on the border of Switzerland and Italy) since we missed to express train. We got off here thinking we had thirty minutes and we're taking our time finding the ticket booth. We finally found it, stood in line, and got to front front to have the attendant tell us the train was FULL. We didn't even know that was possible since these are standing trains, but the lady didn't speak English so we stepped aside to try and figure out what to do or if we could wait two hours for the next train. Finally, I stepped back over and said, "Is there seriously no other way to get to Milano?" She said, "1 MINUTE GO PLATFORM 13!!!!" We literally threw money at her and ran like it was a track meet to the platform, we stepped on, the doors closed before we even sat down, and off to Milano we went! The tickets we bought took us to a different station in Milano than we originally planned to go to so on the train we decided to take an Uber to the city center, but when we got off it was a SUPER nice part of town and we saw a bike sharing station!
Bike Mi is a really good option for anyone who wants to see a lot of the city without relying on the metro! It's only €4.50 per day per person, however you do have to pay using the app so it's best to plan to do this when you have wifi (if not, find a café, have a coffee and download it! This wasn't really an issue, but you can only have the bike out for 30 minutes at a time without being charged extra. There are stations all over so it's not really an issue and you can check one out again five minutes after returning. It's to prevent people having the bike all day and others not being able to find any when they already paid.
During our first ten minutes we happened to pass by a pretty well-known Herzog and deMuron building... I guess these are the kind of things that happen in a city like Milano!
Then we passed a Domino's and I had to take a photo of their delivery vehicles! Lol!
We knew the general direction of the Duomo so we headed that way and happened to pass the exact bike shop I wanted to go to! Wild! It was closed for lunch so we waited around, happened to find a Moleskin Cafe, bought a sketch book, and then went into the bike shop! I want to get a bike for here because you can see so much more when you have a bike, but by the time you visit three cities you have almost paid for a new bike. They were pretty expensive here, even the used ones so I decided to wait.
We went a little further and found the Duomo, it's pretty hard to miss!
It cost quite a bit to go in so we decided not to. We went into a covered street with shops and restaurants to check it out and happened to run into another VT group!!! Seriously so crazy how small this world is.
We later had dinner here and it was the best pizza and tiramisu I've ever had and it was somewhat reasonably priced! I also bought a small espresso maker here so I can make coffee at the apartment.
Our friends had just been to the Duomo and gave us their tickets, we were only able to go into the main hall but it was so amazing!
After dinner we headed all headed home (we picked up two other VT students for dinner and rode back on the same train!) The train station coming back was much more confusing and a few of us spent nearly twenty minutes looking for the restroom. When we finally found it, it cost €1 to use! We had trouble getting the change machine to work but finally did, get your coins ahead of time people!
We finally made it back to Mendrisio but missed the last train from the station so we walked in the rain back to the Casa. It was a pretty eventful day but so so much fun! I will definitely be back to Milano soon!