Monday, November 12, 2012

Milan Day 1, 2012

I am back from Milan and well-rested so I can now face the editing of the photos I took. The smartest thing I did about photography this trip was bringing my very much smaller and lighter Olympus four thirds camera, with one lens only. Another good thing I did was bring the new iPad which takes extremely sharp pictures. The iPad also came in handy when uploading videos and photos so I am definitely going to bring my iPad every where I travel from now on. The iPad was most appreciated when we arrived in Bologna on our third last day and realized with a shock that the charger for my camera was left in our luggage in Milan. I seem to create a drama over my photo equipment on every trip.

We arrived Milan on a Sunday morning, took the 45-minute train ride into the city and checked into our hotel, BB Hotels, which is only 7 minutes' walk to Domus Academy and NABA, where my daughter was to give a lecture to graduate students and conduct a workshop with second year design students respectively. We dropped our bags in our service apartment, walked out and didn't go back until 7:15 pm. When I checked my photos to see what we had for dinner, I couldn't find anything and then I remembered: we had walked from 9:30 am to 7:15 pm, after a 16-hour journey (13 hours flying; 3 stopover in Abu Dhabi), and we were so tired we dropped onto our bed, slept in whatever we wore and didn't wake up for dinner.

Abu Dhabi's airport is surprisingly unimpressive.

Yup, the computers at Abu Dhabi airport are not running on genuine software. Definite sign that we were still in Asia.

Love how all the streets are cobblestoned!

These pastries were 1 euro each.

Our breakfast, coffee and scrumptious pastries. I was pinching myself, couldn't believe I was in Italy again. Excellent 1 euro coffee and 1 eu croissant. Can we have RM1 croissant and RM1 coffee in Malaysia?


Yi and I LOVE fresh mozzarella, especially buffalo mozza, and we ate fresh mozza and at least some sort of cheese EVERY DAY we were there.

Forget about ice cream. Italian ice cream, gelato, is the only ice cream worth eating. This was semi-freddo, a light-textured ice cream made by mixing ice cream and whipped cream.

A bottle of wine can be as low as 1 euro when on offer! Makes me realize how much wine importers make!


An easy 25 minutes' stroll took us from our apartment to the city center where the Duomo di Milano, Milan Catherdral, is. Yi said this is the most beautiful church (outside) she has seen. I agree. Again, it reminds me of an elaborate Wilton wedding cake. Inside, it is purposely dark, umimpressive and undecorated so that people will focus on worshipping God instead of men.

We spent some time in a departmental store and although I dropped jaws at the Christmas decorations, it was the food floor that got me.


Fruits made of marzipan.

Shoes and handbags made entirely of chocolate! We didn't ask how much each would cost, and went for the cheaper stuff, macarons (1.60 eu each I think).

Wey requested that I bring back some truffles but other than these (above the porchini mushrooms) and those in restaurants, I didn't see truffles again.

This was one of our best meals, buffalo mozza lunch at Abika. Abika is a chain restaurant that serves fine mozzarella and salads, and that's all they serve. Prices are bit more expensive than regular trattorias, but worth every cent because the mozza were super fresh and yummy, oozing with milk, the greens younger than any you'll find and the tomatoes were the sweeter than any I ate or bought. Both Yi and I think that smoked mozza (the slight tan-colored ball on the right of the left picture) is not as good as unsmoked mozza. About 13 euros for two mozza balls (you can choose the lightest, medium or strongest flavor) with salad. A basket of bread comes with every order. 

We shopped immediately. I found Penny Black and Max & Co, both my favorite labels when shopping (on sale) in Hong Kong but now I would never shop PB and Max & Co in Hong Kong because while their dresses cost about HK$3000 each in HK, the dresses cost about 100 to 120 euros in Italy!

The sun was setting when I took this picture; look how stunning the sky and the Duomo look compared to the photo taken in the morning.


Tina said...

Beautifully taken as usual and beautiful shot of yourself and Yi!

terri@adailyobsession said...

our faces so round...i am at my heaviest in years! we r both now on a strict diet but mine's not so strict...went for oysters oh chien last night at midnight n hated myself for such weak control!

the lunch guy said...

1 word ... ENVIOUS!

Chocolate Cookies & Candies said...

Gaining weight is inevitable in Italy. Scrap that. Make that UK too. I'm craaazy about fresh buffalo mozzarella. It's not as cheap here but still way way way cheaper than NZ. Sounds like you've had a fantastic trip. I was following your photos via FB.

terri@adailyobsession said...

lunchguy: grass always greener the other side...
ccc: i think it's easier to gain weight in kk. no where to go, just eat n sleep n no walking. aiya...

Anonymous said...

Ciao Terri!!
I'm glad you enjoyed your trip to Italy! I love "mozzarella di Bufala", it's the best!! ..reading this post made me homesick!

Blur Ting said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Blur Ting said...

The Duomo is amazing. I agree it is the most impressive in Italy.

I can practically live on the mozzarella and tomato salad in Italy. Freshness is everything in the simple caprese salad!

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