Due to an early morning flight home on May 3, it is necessary to book a last night in Milan. I decide to try and get tickets for The Last Supper, because as many times as AA/BA as taken us to Italy through Milan, we have yet to do this. And it was not easy, as I could not get tickets through the official Cenacolo site; eventually I did pay a bit more and went through an agency. Small matter, we are going to see The Last Supper.
So here it is, our last morning in Venice, waking up to another quiet morning in Santa Croce. We have breakfast, pack, and leaving our bags, walk around the corner to to a Majer shop for some snacks for the train – cheese, spinach and broccoli puff pastries look good.
Then the final shlep, with all our bags, over one small bridge and a few steps to Pz. Roma, where we take a vaporetto one short stop to the train station. We are early, and there is no binario number yet for our train to Milan. We go to the coffee bar, and have an espresso. And then we see Shannon, who came to our hotel to help us move bags, but having said goodbye night before, I did not expect to see her in the morning. She and David have a prosecco for the road.
The train arrives, Shannon helps us board and off we go to Milan, 2 and ½ hours of pleasant motion; this time as we are not in the dark I see Lake Garda as we pass by.
At Milano Centrale, we haul our bags to the taxi stand and drive through the big city to our hotel.
I was not sure when I booked how close we might be to Santa Maria de Grazie, where The Last Supper is, but it turns out that we can walk a few short blocks to Il Duomo, and then take the subway 4 stops, a few blocks from the church. Add subway to our last of transportation on this trip. We take the walk, admire the Duomo, and then subway it. The church and museum are a short walk, and we are over an hour early for our reserved time. We collect our tickets, tour the church and garden, then go in search of a bar, a café. We find a small gelato shop, more of a neighborhood ice cream parlor in our vernacular, with tables outside. We share the sidewalk with a few groups of schoolchildren and their parents; it is just after school for them and they are having treats too.
We walk back to the church to wait our turn. We are moved into a series of holding rooms, and finally have our 15 minutes with the masterful frescoe. I am truly moved being in front of this work, finally. It is larger than I had imagined, and just truly beautiful. We have 15 minutes, and when our time is up, we go to the bookstore abd collect the book that is part of our ticket purchase.
We have an hour or so before the dinner reservation the hotel clerk says he will make, so we take the subway back to the Duomo, and decide to have a glass of wine at at café right on the square. It is definitely a higher priced drink than the ones we have been enjoying in Venice, but it is Milan, it is right next to the Duomo. I choose a Friuli from Bastianich, David has another white; we are surprised when a full plate of appetizers, not just the expected chips, arrives with our glasses of wine: Panini slices, chips and some deep fried olives. We sit and watch the face of the Duomo fall into shadow.
On to our last dinner in Italy. David had found a trattoria not far from our hotel, with good reviews on TripAdvisor – it is on a street that promises to be hard to find. And it is; we see what looks promising but it is not the place. After a little walking back and forth we do find the street number, and it is definitely chiuso, closed. We walk back to the place we have passed and they are not full. It is a trattoria in the Tuscan style, but there are many other specialities on the menu. First there is a complimentary bruschetta. I have a raw artichoke and grana starter, David has a pasta with a cianghiale sauce, wild boar, he loves it. Then we each have a veal dish, scallopine with lemon sauce, and a cottaleto Milanese. A nice bottle of Tuscan red wine completes our meal.
Walking out of there is a little difficult, and I feel we are doing a maze circle, in the dark, strange city, not a lot of people around. It is a David adventure, and once again, he gets us home. To bed because we have a 5 am wake up call for our travels home.
I do hope that I do get these last blog posts up after we return home, my track record is not all that good once the jet lag hits and the laundry begins. Thank you all who have read these postings, and have gone on this travel adventure with us.