Milan; Sunday, 27 September, 2009

It was the point at which I set my alarm for 7am on a Sunday morning last night that I really resented booking a hotel so far out from the city centre. Dutifully, at 7am I was woken up, dragged my still slumbering body through a shower and up into breakfast, before heading out to catch an early tram into town.

The reason for the early start was so that I could get out to Bergamo, part way between Milan and Verona, and the choices of train, that I had found out about, were either 9am or 11am (it was only after getting to Bergamo that I found out that there were more trains from a different Milan station!) So, at a little after 10am I found myself stepping off of the train at Bergamo station and heading for the bus up to the old town.

The city is really two cities in one. The old town, medieval in structure, perched precariously on the top of the hill, surrounded by its Venetian walls, and the new town down in the valley beneath it. All the main attractions are, naturally, located in the old town at the top of the hill, hence the lazy approach and catching the bus all the way to the top (or I could have walked to the Funicular station and caught that up, but as the bus was there...)

From the bus stop I wandered a bit further up hill, thanks to the help of the citys other Funicular railway, to the remains of the castle at San Vigilio. After taking in the views I came back down on the Funicular, and had a long wander around the old city centre, taking in many of the main sights including the bell tower, remembrance garden and castle ruins and a couple of the city museums.

I then caught the Funicular and bus (well it was there when I got off the funicular, I wasnt going to let it go to waste) back to the station to pick up the open-top sight seeing tour of the city. Having done a circuit and a bit I got off back at the main entrance into the old town and had a bit more of a wander around, taking in the Cathedral and the even larger and more impressive Santa Maria Maggiore.

I stopped for a late afternoon drink and snack in the main square before it was time to wander back to the open-top tour stop for the bus back to the station. I could have taken the normal bus, but as all of these were heaving, and the tour bus was almost empty, and I had paid for it, it seemed a shame to let it go to waste.

In the end I had a 40 minute wait for any train back to Milan, and opted to go back a different (and at this point I also discovered cheaper!) way. I arrived back at the Porta Garibaldi station so caught the metro the couple of stops round to central station to grab a quick bite to eat, before catching the trolley bus and tram back to the hotel for some decent sleep.


Sunny Sunny
Hot (20-30C, 68-86F)