By Ang Xue Er Epoch Times ContributorPasta, gelato, pasta, gelato. That’s basically how my meals were during my 10 days in Italy. However, that being said, I wouldn’t say the prices were unreasonable—most of my meals were recommended by friends or Tripadvisor, and the dishes were awesomely delicious and worth the price of around S$15-20 per meal. In addition we usually ate only one proper meal a day to cut costs. That’s what you get for being students I guess. Just trying the best out of every city will do.
I visited Milan, Venice, Florence and Rome!
Sightseeing in Milan
On the first day, we went to Europe’s most magnificent Gothic Cathedral—Milan Cathedral (Duomo). Dedicated to St Mary of the Nativity, this grandiose architecture took nearly six centuries to complete and is the fifth-largest church in the world and the largest in Italy. We climbed to the rooftop of this gorgeous cathedral, and were rewarded with a breathtaking view of Milan amid the beautifully sculpted statues and spires.
Lake Como recently earned fame as being home to Hollywood star George Clooney.
Next, we visited the Castello Sforzesco which was built in 1368, and demolished by the people of Milan in 1447 and rebuilt again from 1450 onwards. Also known as the Sforza Castle, this magnificent castle houses a collection of medieval and modern sculptures together with some early Christian material and graves.
Between the two rear courtyards of the Castello is a passage leading to the park, which is a lovely surprise.
After that, we went to grab some gelato at Grom. This gelato shop is widely seen around Italy.
To end the night, a lovely Aperitivo at the old Navigli District on the canals of Milan. We ate at the Slice Café. Aperitivo is a famous Italian tradition, where all you have to do is order a drink, and you get a free-flow choice of various finger foods—buffet-style—to fill your stomach. It usually cost around €8 to 15 (S$12 to 22). The finger foods usually consist of meat slices or cubes, cheese, pizza, potatoes, pastas, salads, and so on—similar to what our kopitiam ‘zhi cha’ style is like.
The next day, we went to a sightseeing destination called Como, which is an hour-long train ride from Milan. It is a gorgeous spot that’s a convenient day trip from Milan. Lake Como recently earned fame as being home to Hollywood star George Clooney. But celeb-spotting aside, it’s known for its jaw-dropping natural beauty, elegant old villas, and the scenic towns surrounding the lake. We took a train out to Como station, then a walk to the village.
When we reached the actual place, the view was utterly majestic.
The lake was so blue and calm, that boat passengers could easily sleep soundly on the lake. Even people with motion sickness like myself would definitely be able to sleep. So don’t fret for people with motion sickness. Give it a try on the passenger boat.
Next, we visited the Como Cathedral, which is the Roman Catholic cathedral of the city of Como, Lombardy, Italy, and the seat of the Bishop of Como. It is dedicated to the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
The next time you happen to be in front of the cathedral in Como, Italy—and I hope it is soon—take a moment to look at the stone porches protruding on either side of the main entrance. You can’t miss them.
They dwarf every other statue on the façade. Each porch houses the seated figure of a man holding tightly to a book. Like pheasants under glass, both are protected by reinforced glass enclosures.
From Como Cathedral, we took a diagonal train up to the top and we were rewarded with the fascinating landscape of the Italian Alps and the lake!
We decided to trudge our way through snow to get to Volta Lighthouse Tower. But climbing up wasn’t easy at all. The snow was so slippery.
Luckily my €15 (S$22) boots could get me through it. And ta-dah, when we reached the light house, the view was awe-inspiring! And we managed to catch a bit of sunset too. Regretfully we had to go soon after as we had a train to catch!
On the way down, we saw children sliding down the snow on their sleds, it looked like such fun that I wish I could give it a try too.