Sunday, July 10, 2011


Best Blogger Tips
Tine and I reached Milan on the morning of July 3rd. The streets were awfully peaceful and quiet.  The ride from Malpensa Airport to our hotel took about 45 minutes.  From the entire drive I counted the number of people roaming around the streets, it was sixteen.  I had this crazy thought that we were about to enter ghost town.  Milan is one of the oldest cities in the world so everywhere you look, you'll be able to observe the preserved architectural masterpieces as epitomized by houses, buildings, shopping malls and cathedrals.  So you can imagine how creepy it somehow felt entering a city glorified by old structures with no noticeable movement on the streets.  

Shuttle from the plane to the terminal
Tine = electrified
 A hot brunette and a guy we call Bono fetched us from the airport
 Peugeot taxi
 This is it!
 Let the good times roll =D

We stayed at the Hotel Pierre Milano, situated in a location very conducive for those who want to explore the best places in the city.  The Duomo is about a 15 minute walk from the hotel and we're a few steps from the Sant'Ambrogio Metro Station. Excellent metro and tram links equate to easy transit from one place to another.  

Hotel Pierre Milano
We're here, finally. 

Study area
 Spacious wardrobe
Our bed
 View from the window
 View from the window
 Checking out places to explore
 A much needed nap

Free breakfast was not suppose to come about until the next day, but because we had a new found friend Kuya Nick, we were cordially invited to feast on the buffet that morning (hahaha!).  Kuya Nick is a Filipino from Batangas who has been working in Italy for about 25 years.  He told us stories about Filipinos working in there and believe me they are considered the richest of all expat Pinoys (talk about hectares of land in the Philippines).  He also was surprised to know that we work in Dubai and we're travelling on our own which I completely understand because we look like teenagers (chos! bawal kumontra).  After chika time over sumptuous brunch, we're ready to explore the city.  

I love bread!
 Madame Klaudia alive and kicking!
 These croissants are the best!
 I wasn't able to taste this cake
 More bread.
 Cold cuts
 Egg, sausage and bacon
 Yummy brunch!

Our itinerary for Day 1 is solely dedicated to tour the fashion capital of the world, Milan.  Kuya Nick was kind enough to give us directions to the Piazza del Duomo, the main city square of Milan.  I don't know what got over us but we traversed the opposite direction.  But it was a good thing, we were able to see other places and the experience totally blazed our navigation skills.  The walk got me fixated on a particular element, the graffiti on the walls.  There's just something about it that got me captivated. It must be the "beauty of decay" vibes attached to it.  Maybe because I found the city ultimately impeccable and flaws like those wall vandalism made Milan perfectly imperfect to me.   

 A cathedral we passed by, we forgot the name though.
 News stand
 Caught staring at the mini =D
  Walk the talk
 BikeMi - means of transportation, bikes for rent 
 Hello, telephone.
More walking
  Libreria - almost all books are in Italian
 Vespa is LOVE!
 Their version of Pasig River =D
 I love this street.
 First attempt to try the Metro  = Epic failure
 If this shop happened to be open, 2 ladies are definitely going under the needle!
I love this! =)
 More writings
I love the smell of old books.

Fashion (shopping) is one of the reasons why most people visit Milan.  Designer clothes and furnishings attract fashion conscious tourists.  When finally after about and hour or more of walking, we reached Piazza del Duomo.  When I set foot on the square, I was dazzled.  The Gothic designed structure is such an amazing sight. We took a moment to sit by the stairs of the cathedral to just enjoy the view, Tine and I were speechless.  In that plaza you will also find the world's oldest shopping mall, the Galleria Vittorio Emanuel.  Frankly, Milan is a good place to shop, you'll find a variety of great brands.  But from where we reside (Dubai), you'll find the same shops with no remarkable difference in the price so shopping was not really on top of out list of "to do's".  We were far more interested to examine the sights.  By the way, one thing I'm not really comfortable with is the gazillion dogs trotting the streets.  I think the Milanese peeps have this serious love for dogs thing and they almost do everything with them - walk, shop, eat, drink, have coffee, get lazy, travel, etc.  Milan is dog friendly land, and that's a good thing right? But I am extremely afraid of dogs so walking the streets without a companion would kill me.

Duomo Cathedral
 Piazza Duomo
 Street food!
 The tourists
 The oldest mall
 She's so happy!
 Hinde ko alm kung anong pose ang gsto ko ma-achieve dito! Hahaha.
 Cathedral door
 One of our few pictures together
 Exploring the mall
 Massimo Dutti
 The devil wears this
 Prada Milano
 2nd floor, Gucci
 Souvenir shopping

After hopping around the Duomo plaza, we got monster hungry.  We need decide to have late lunch in a place near the piazza so we can still enjoy the view while eating. Brushcetta is a favorite appetizer of mine that I actually attempted to make one about two years ago. It originated from Italy and obviously I wouldn't miss this chance to savor the authentic flavor.  I picked the Brushcetta Mare - Salmon, basil and butter. It was heavenly.  Tine ordered Tomato Rissotto.   I have living a "riceless" life for almost three years now and when I got a taste of this rissotto I almost went back to eating rice.  The tomato flavor was simply delectable.  When we finished eating, we went back to exploring stores and and souvenir shops.  

 Ahahaha, can't manage to force a smile, I'm super hungry!
 Rissotto and Brushcetta Mare
 Ferrari Store
Drive your dream car booth
 Are you up for it Tine?
 It's super expensive to drive this red hottie around
 Tine is in love with this mouse
 Tired but happy feet. Please don't go sight seeing with jelly slippers on
 Smart act!
 Just like a print ad
 Tine and the doves
 Tired? hahaha!
 I needed to sit down.

We got so tired and weary after half a day of sightseeing.  We discovered this gelato place called Cioccolati Italiani on our way back to the hotel.  It was just across the street from where we're staying.  We ordered dark chocolate and hazelnut, and my goodness it was divine.  The gelato was the best reward we gave ourselves after a tiring day.  We decided to freshen up and take a short nap before having late dinner.  We found this pizzeria about 10 minutes walking distance from the hotel.  Woodstock 3 pizzeria has normal pizza slices that's bigger than our faces and the taste was so delightful.  The cheese was so thick and tasty.  Thinking about it makes me so hungry but let me tell you this, Italy is Pizza Heaven.  

 Cioccolati Italiani
It comes with a suprised liquid chocolate inside the cone
In a few minutes, the chocolate is up our chins
 Woodstock 3
 Impatiently waiting
 Smile =)
 Tried the draft beer
 Pizza is bigger than my face..
 ..and hers too. 
 Can't finish it
 Having a hard time breathing, so full.
We forgot our pizza, good thing Mr. Pizza called our attention
 Instant peers, strangers posing with Tine =D
 Bus stop
 Pizza delivery
 Empty streets at 12 midnight
 Graffiti again
 Almost home
We're here!
 Thank God for Wifi!
Getting ourselves updated with the outside world

Milan is truly a haven of gorgeous people.  It's a place where one can be wild and laid back at the same time.  Lovers, dogs, stylish tourists and locals congest the streets of this city.  Tine and I were bewitched by its beauty.  

Check out this video clip of our Milan tour.

We wouldn't dare leave Italy without visiting Rome and Venice. I will post a blog soon about those lovely places.  Thank you Motorola Middle East for this opportunity.  Thank you also for patiently working with us on the last minute rescheduling.  The trip was all worth it.  Thank you to our family, friends and even strangers who took time to vote for us and made all these possible.  We shall be forever be grateful.

"I dislike feeling at home when I am abroad." - George Bernard Shaw
All photos and videos were taken by me and Tine. 


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