Yesterday, I headed out to Milan in order to attend the Macef convention today at FieraMilano. I used every method of transportation to arrive (except I guess, boat)! I got a ride from Ispra to a train station that had a direct connection to Milan. Once arrived in Milan, I bought a 2 day Metro pass so that I could navigate the city with ease. Milan’s metro system is extremely easy to understand and also very accessible from many parts of the city. After checking in to my favorite hotel, the Westin Palace on Piazza della Repubblica, I headed out for some adventures!
Hopping on the Metro in front of my hotel, I headed to the heart of this vibrant city – Piazza Duomo! Upon exiting the Metro station, I was faced with the incredible facade of the majestic Gothic duomo.
I sat for awhile at it’s door, enjoying a prosciutto panino and doing some people watching! The piazza was hopping! There were throngs of tourists, and also throngs of street merchants trying to sell you junky little souvenirs. Holding on tight to my purse, I sat and admired this architectural wonder. Once I got my fill, I headed out in search of the famed Naviglio Grande. At one time, Milan was compared to Amsterdam in that canals traversed the city. In fact, there was a canal right near the Duomo from which the marble from Lago Maggiore came to build the massive structure. Over time, the canals were filled in and the city was built over them. The Navigli district is the only area in Milan where the canals are still present. At one time, this part of the city was extremely seedy and dangerous…but it has been rejuvenated into a trendy area filled with boutiques and restaurants. I have to say that the shopping kind of disappointed me, but the restaurants looked wonderful.
After exploring this area, I headed back to the Duomo area to do some window shopping. Milan is the city of fashion, so every designer is represented here. The prices are exhorbitant, but if you are looking for designer labels, this is the place for you!
Heading back to the hotel, I decided to spend the evening at the hotel’s bar, enjoying an aperitivo. Aperitivos are always served with food…it helps with the tolerance of the alcohol!
I sat with my IPad and wrote and wrote! Sitting in the corner, I wasn’t disturbed by anyone! Just how I like it! For dinner, since I still haven’t mastered the art of eating alone in public, I played it safe by ordering room service. Lasagne with a glass of white wine….not too shabby!
Today, I attended the giant Macef convention. This event is dedicated to Italian design and gifts. I came for for the sole purpose of looking at bomboniere (favors), but ended up finding so much more. I am inspired to open a gift shop in order to showcase all the gorgeous Italian designs I witnessed today! There is something about the absolute simplicity of Italian design that captivates me! And the ideas I came away with are an inspiration for some future endeavors. I will have to do some legwork in order to introduce the bomboniere concept in the USA! And who knows, maybe some other items will sneak their way in!
After wandering the convention today in my “gladiator” shoes, I had to call it quits! I dressed for success today, but fashion comes with a price!!!! But I came away with such a sense of Italian design, and also a dream of sharing it back home!
And tonight’s “loner” dinner was bruschetta! Yummy!