Switzerland, Italy · 4 Days · 10 Moments · October 2017

Milan and Lake Como, Italy

31 October 2017

We had dinner at a Japanese restaurant called Iyo last night. It’s about 20 minutes out of the city center, but it is highly rated by locals and even has a Michelin Star. And since sushi in Germany sucks, we thought we’d try this place out. It was delicious. Scott finally got to have sushi prepared correctly and I had Black Cod that only lasted about 5 minutes on my plate. It was the best thing I’ve eaten in a long time. After dinner I had some jasmine tea and it came to the table with this three hour glass timer so I could determine how long to steep the tea. Pretty neat - I’ve never seen something like that before. The last picture is dessert: a lime meringue sphere containing white chocolate mousse and a Japanese melon sorbet sitting on top of a marinated green apple/celery/mint confit. Yum.

30 October 2017

We ate a light lunch near the Duomo trying pizza once again (good but the pizza in Bellagio was better). Last night we ate at Cracco - a restaurant from the famous Italian chef who is popular for his inventive takes on traditional Milan dishes - namely risotto. After eating his risotto we realized that we overcook ours... 1. Chips made from rice, vegetables, etc 2. Small bites 3. Lentil stew - this was amazing 4. Pork Belly 5. Saffron Risotto - excellent 6. Sea Bass - excellent 7. Dried fruit, candies Along with a montepulciano... a delicious meal.
The Milan Duomo
Teatro alla Scala. The museum mostly showcases an opera singer named Maria Callas who played leads in all the famous operas. These were her dresses from operas like Medea, La Traviata, The Marriage of Figaro and Rigoletto.
We spent the day walking through Milan focusing most of our time in the area around the Milan Duomo. We stopped at La Scala which is the famous Opera House here in the city and took the museum tour which allowed us to view the Opera Hall. It was impressive but the building was not nearly as ornate as the Opera House in Vienna. The Duomo was very impressive as it is one of the largest Gothic Cathedrals in the world able to accommodate 44,000 people. The entire building is covered in statues both inside and outside. The stained glass was impressive throughout the building. They have housed the remains of the Milan archbishops which have a mask covering their faces. We also went to the roof to view the spires of the Duomo along with views of Milan - the skip the line tickets we purchased were a great value and saved us a bunch of time.

29 October 2017

Today we took a full day tour of Lake Como. We took a bus from Milan to Lake Como where we had a short tour of the city (mainly focusing on the two main churches). We spent the rest of the time shopping and viewing the city sights. The main Duomo in Como is the second oldest in Lombardy - the oldest is the Duomo in Milan itself. We wandered through the markets and a few shops before taking a boat to Bellagio. The Lake was carved out of glaciers and is spectacular. It is also very deep at 1450m which I think is much deeper than Lake Michigan back home. Several small towns are on the water and the tour guide pointed out several villas owned by rich or famous people - Clooney, Versace, a Saudi Prince, etc. the best site was the villa that was used in Attack of the Clones where Anakin and Padme were married. Our last stop was in Bellagio which has neither gambling or fountains (like in Vegas) but was nonetheless a beautiful little town.
Entering the Bellagio docking area and walking around town.
The second picture is George Clooney’s villa. The fifth picture is the location Anikin and Padme get married in Star Wars and it’s also the spot James Bond recovers from being tortured in Casino Royale. The sixth picture is The Grand Hotel featured in a Greta Garbo movie of the same name in the 30’s.
All along Lake Como. I’m the fourth picture you can see a white plane taking off from the water. You have to zoom.

28 October 2017

We set out from Wiesbaden on Saturday morning to drop Maddie off with Richard, Heidi and Sofia for her vacation and then we started our drive. We took an interesting route as the GPS continued to route us away from traffic which resulted in us entering Switzerland from a fairly rural crossing. We bought our vignette at the border and stopped in Schaffhausen for a walk around town and a bite to eat. We continued our drive through Switzerland and the Alps to Milan. Our highest elevation was 1100m but most of the mountain crossings were through tunnels. I don’t think we have ever spent so much time underground! Where it was structurally possible, though, they put in pillars at the entry of the tunnels. Once in Milan the driving became much more aggressive due to the lack of marked lane dividers and mopeds driving every which way... but we made it safely to the ME Milan Il Duca where our room was ready with a belated Birthday theme for Nimmi (Prosecco, cake and many balloons)