Buon Serra from Italy!
This is our fourth day here. I am typing to you from an internet cafe in Vernazza, and I am very thrown off by the Italian keyboard layout/language preferences, so forgive me if this reads somewhat funkily.
We arrived in Milan early wednesday morning and immediately crammed ourselves on a bus to the city center train station, built by facist Mussolini in 1931. Milan is fast paced, dirty, expensive, dirty and also very pro-fashion and has tiny cars and zooming scooters everywhere. Did I mention how drty it was? It is a very dirty city, but also very exciting. After hopping the metro and landing in the center of old town, we registered at our hotel and then head for the Duomo, an amazing cathedral that took over 400 years to build - please google "Il Duomo" and see for yourself. We only took the self-led tour of the roof and outside, where you can view all of sprawling Milan in all of its oldness and glory. (oh yeah - no apostrophe on this keyboard - get used to it) A cabbie took us on a short tour of very-old, pre-Christian buildings and monuments - magnifico! We also did very much walking, enjoying beer and appetizers at a local bar and taking in the insane street scene on a warm summer night, with the fabulously-dressed Milanese sauntering about the streets. Outside the Duomo at night, we had coffee and gelato and viewed the absolute best people-watching I have ever experienced. Fashion in Milan is over the top, with even the poor street kids looking very chic and up-to-date. Unnecessary zippers, ripped jeans, t-shirts with sometimes vulgar slogans printed on them, hotties in skin-tight outfits that might make an American stripper gasp - everyone was wearing something completely different, yet they all looked distinctly Italian. Even the business men in their suits came in a huge variety - sometimes pin-stripes, sometimes bright colors, sometimes mafioso black and white, always impeccably fitted and usually travelling at high-speed on a scooter or in a tiny car.
Ok, I must run but I shall write more soon.