After breakfast, we headed out to the metro on our now very familiar walk to and from the hotel. Every time we crossed the road, we saw the little trolley coming down the road. At 9:00 AM, we entered the cathedral and were instantly taken back by the vast interiors, massive columns, and ornate stain glass. It felt like we were in the Mines of Moria. After taking in the cathedral and poor St. Bartholomew, we headed back outside and started the climb up to the terraces. Aside from its vast interior and exterior, the intricate nature of the cathedral is quite stunning. With its 3,400 statues, 200 reliefs, 150 gargoyles, and 135 spires, it is difficult to take it all in. Even the main door is amazing in and of itself with its depiction of the joys and sorrows of Mary. It was truly a marvel to behold.
After taking in the terraces and rooftop, we headed back down to the metro and then went to explore the quiet quadrangle (mostly for the pink flamingos). At this point, Emma’s metro card wasn’t working well because she had crumpled it and covered it in grease, but we made it work for her to continue to ride with us. After seeing the flamingos, we walked over to the park and played on the slides, swings, and then just walked around. The trees were starting to bloom, and spring had started to arrive in Milan. People were out enjoying the parks with their dogs, kids, and since its Milan, everyone was well dressed.
After the park, we headed back to the hotel, gathered up our bags, said goodbye to our nice little haven, and then made the journey to the train station one last time. We tried to switch our tickets to an earlier train, but there was no such luck. With time on our hands, Mike busted out his Italian and ordered a bunch of sandwiches and calzones and we ate tasty food in the train station until our train arrived. From there, we boarded the train and made our way smoothly toward Venice.
Upon arriving in Venice, we were met by waves of tourists and people trying to get us to take a taxi ride. It was quite confusing at first on how to buy tickets for the Vaporetto, the little water bus that takes you around Venice (unless you are a super-rich person, then you come by water taxi). Even as a regular person, the Vaporetto tickets for a 48-hour pass were pretty spendy at 30 Euros each. Fortunately, Madeline was free because she is still a little bambina. We took the waterbus to the Rialto bridge station and the walked through the narrow alley ways to our apartment. The crazy thing is that the narrow alleyways are full of first-class stores that you would see in Manhattan, not in some crusty old alleyway. The apartment was on the top floor and so we had to carry our luggage up to the top floor, or at least Mike had to carry it up. The apartment was pretty fun with a little balcony at the top that overlooked St. Mark’s Basilica.
After dropping of our stuff, we headed out and walked over to St. Mark’s Square and saw about 1.2 million tourists mulling about. From there, we headed over to the Ponte dell’Accademia and then to a little restaurant down an alleyway for some dinner. Mike got squid ink pasta, which Emma nicknamed the pasta you eat in hell, and the girls got spaghetti carbonara with Abby rounding things out with a pork cutlet. The walk home was in the pouring rain. Fortunately, we had three umbrellas, so everyone stayed pretty dry. Mike had to go without in the rain to navigate our way home, which is hard to do in the dark, when it’s raining, in the narrow alleyways of Venice. However, we made it home, warmed up in the shower, and tucked into bed. It had been quite a long day from the streets of Milan in the morning to the canals of Venice in the evening.