Jean was here for a few days. She had just turned 70 and, for her birthday present, I bought her the ticket to come.
The first time she came, about 18 months ago, we did all the things I do, if possible, for first time visitors – Duomo, Duomo roof, Dialogue in the Dark, Villa Necchi.
So, what to do this time?
Well, although it involved an early start, the day after she came, we went to Venice. I didn’t tell her where we were going and, in spite of the fact that the train was for Venezia, I hoped that Venezia and Venice were different enough for her not to realise. Luckily I was right. She has only started going abroad in her 60s, so is a little more naive than most – but in a good way.
We passed Verona (which she had heard of) and the sun was shining. As we approached Venice, the weather was a bit more miserable – fog – and it seemed cold. We got to Mestre, the stop before Venice and the sign said VE Mestre. She asked me what VE stood for and I said it was just part of the name. I said that the weather didn’t seem so good so at the next station we would go back to Verona.
When the train pulled up in Venice, we got out (with everyone else, of course as it was the end of the line) but she didn’t seem to notice. I said that we needed to see when the next train back to Verona was. And then I said I had to have a cigarette first. So we walked outside to the front of the station which looks out over the Grand Canal.
She cried, which was rather sweet. Anyway, we had a rather lovely day, although, in Venice, there are just too many people/tourists. Living there must be a nightmare!
Day two was much easier. I took her to Casa Museo Boschi di Stefano, which is only a short walk from my house. Then we sat at a café on Corso Buenos Aires, then did a bit of shopping, then another café. As we were sitting, we saw one of the sightseeing buses and I asked if she would like to do that for the next day. She replied that she would. After all, we had walked so much in Venice I was a bit worried about over-doing it.
So,day three was a trip to the Castle where we caught the City Sightseeing bus. It costs €20 per person and there are three different routes (the €20 covers all three) or you can get a 48 hours pass for €5 more! The automatic guide (you get headphones to plug in) are in a number of languages. We went on two of the routes and, if you’re a first-time visitor, I think it’s well worth it. You get to see all the main tourist sights, can hop on and off at any of the stops to visit something you want to see and/or enjoy the ride. It was the first time I had been and I wish they had had them when I first came to Milan.
I’ve put a link to the right (in the useful sites for Milan section).
If you come, do it. It’s a great way to see the city.