They're Charging $3000 for THAT???

Trip Start Jun 03, 2011
Trip End Jun 11, 2011

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Flag of Italy  , Lombardy,
Friday, June 10, 2011

It's our last full day in Italy. We were awakened in Venice by ringing church bells after a good night's sleep. We're finally getting over jetlag just in time to get it again back at home or, in Mary's case, at Governor's School. We enjoyed a simple breakfast of croissants and cappuccino in the garden at our B&B and felt frustrated at not being able to access the Internet. We checked out and rode the vaporetto to the train station where Rich searched for sandwiches we could take on the train and Mary and I people watched and talked about desegregation of schools in Mississippi in the 60's and early 70's.

The train ride to Milan took about two and a half hours.  Unfortunately the air conditioning wasn't working so we took our minds off the heat by playing cards. I finally won at Casino in my first victory of the entire trip! We got to the Centrale Statione in Milan close to 3:00, found the Hotel Florida just a block from the station on Via Lepetit and headed out to see some high fashion houses.

We figured out how to get to where the action was on a new Metro line that takes you straight to the Duomo from the train station instead of the old way involving two different lines--a major improvement. On the way, we stopped for (surprise!) gelato! We saw the Duomo, newly cleaned and looking magnificent, and had Mary take our picture in front of La Scala. Our fashion walk was down Via Montenapoleone, Via Santa Spirito, and Via della Spiga. Mary checked out the likes of Yves San Laurent, Versace, Stella McCartney, Balenciaga, Armani, Prada, Gucci, and Louis Vuitton. I think the high point for Mary was when Abba took a photo of a perfectly lovely dress in the window of Yves San Laurent causing her to nearly die of embarrassment. The two of us darted away pretending we had never seen him before in our lives. Actually, the high point was probably when the woman we are sure was a high fashion model walked right in front of us to an elevator where a sign indicated "casting call." She was lovely, stood about six feet tall, was dressed rather spiffily, and had the skinniest legs any of us had ever seen. The only thing that could have improved the outing for Mary would have been actually purchasing something in one of those stores. For that, she'll have to return after making her fortune.

We came back to the hotel to chill a bit before dinner and luxuriate in the speedy internet. The only problem is that they block all streaming media and gaming. Boo.

Dinner was a terrific last night experience. First Rich went out in search of the restaurant recommended by a guy at the front desk to no avail. So he went into another hotel near the supposed site of the recommendation to ask if they knew about the restaurant and no one did, but one person recommended another place that was a bit of a walk. So Rich set off in search of it and walked his legs off through some shady parts of town at which point he decided he did not want to take us there at night. So…on his way back (and quite close to the hotel) he found a great little neighborhood place, Ristorante La Baita. It turned out to be perfect! We had a very nice attentive waiter who complimented Rich's Italian and seemed determined to give us a good experience and he succeeded. We've decided this hotel and restaurant are the perfect combo for the last night in Italy before catching a morning plane.

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