Friday, July 17, 2015

Italy - Day 35 (Milan)

We headed off to the Duomo.  As we waited by the train, we were thrilled to find these relics.  Some studly kid was making a call...or was it a spy?

Just about 5 train stops until the Duomo.  The approach...

Breathtaking architecture.  A lot of people and pigeons going on in this square.  We procured some thread bracelets from some young African men, despite our persistent declines.  They managed to bracelet all but Corey of us.  Quite bizarre.

Pigeon proof all over the statue
 The Galleria Vittorio Emanuel II - world's first indoor mall - is just off the Duomo square.  Next on the list...

One of the street performers the kids - and Corey! - were fascinated with.

While Corey bought our Duomo tickets, the kids and I kept busy with Spot It.

This photo is titled, "Reverent kids in the Duomo"

Some of the 500 coins found in the excavation under the Duomo found in the baptismal fountain that date to the 1400's.

Next we ventured to the tour on the roof.  Amazing views...

Next up, we went through the Galleria and looked for a lunch spot.


The gorgeous glass ceiling of the Galleria
 We ended up at McDonald's for lunch.  A few of the differences noted below - lobster sandwich is a mainstay, if you order a salad they give you a baby olive oil with it, and peach slices with the happy meals, which I love!

This place was packed with double lines just outside of McDonald's despite the heat!  We are planning to stop in before we go.

The walk back to our place.  It is all getting quite familiar now in the wonderful Navigli District.

We relaxed the rest of the afternoon, and then around 6 we headed off to Massimo and Chirara's for dinner, giving us our first exposure to the Metro.
Family Selfie - where are those selfie stickes when you need them?!?

Gia and I are twinkies in our new dresses bought at the markets yesterday :)

While Corey worked out the tickets, Gia was trying to work out if the digital billboard was a touch screen.  It wasn't.  But she continuously tapped around the screens and then voila!  It would change, which brought her sheer delight.  So cute!
 Corey did awesome with figuring out our tickets and which train to take - all in Italian - and we made it to Massimo and Chiara's without a hitch... other than Gia falling asleep on my lap on the train which was incredibly hot and sticky jn the 100-degree heat.  Due to my attempts at fitting in Italy and wearing ridiculously high high-heeled shoes, poor Corey had to carry Gia out of the train.

Sweet Massimo greeted us at the Metro exit and walked us to their flat.  We brought along some gifts from ND for their little girl Matilda, however the hat was for Massimo.  Matilda seemed to love it.  She is such a cutie!  Massimo and Chiara call English the "secret" language, since Matilda doesn't speak it yet.  She kept pretending throughout the night, saying "jaw, jaw, jaw" :)

Massimo is in to cooking and made a delicious feast!  The first course was a couscous with veggies and a tomato coulis he used how to make at his cooking school, where by the way, he ended up winning their competition and serving as a chef in a restaurant making the yummy couscous dish he served us :)

The kids played so well while we finished dinner and chatted.  A really enchanting evening with dear friends.  

Dr. Gia

Caden worked on a drawing of a building he could see outside of Massimo and Chiara's, spending over an hour on the detail.  Results below.

True to Caden's rendering, there were wooden beams artistically running the length of the building.
Lily loved the kitchen.  So fun to see the different foods in the Italian toy kitchens - bow tie pasta, ravioli, and Parmesan cheese.  For dessert she served profiteroles by creatively wrapping a Kleenex around a little ball.

Another fun 'toy' was the rotary phone they had.  The girls had a great time making pretend calls.

For dessert, Massimo made tiramisu.  The kids were employed to help with adding the cream.

Lily just adores Massimo.  She has knows him here whole life - AND - he brings her "Italian Frui" whenever he visits, a.k.a. Marzipan.  Funny though that Gia had a deep adoration for Massimo when they were last in Chicago a few years back, having a spell of only wanting to go to Massimo.  He has a knack with the ladies :)

We ended up catching a cab home in lieu of the Metro since it was after 10p and the kids (and parents) were exhausted.

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