We started off early that morning by dropping the kids off and rushing to the Sacile Train Station to catch the 9:00 train. Everything went perfect as we caught our connecting train in Mestre, and ultimately got to Milan by 1:00. After a short walk in some pretty intense heat, we were at the Hotel Windsor, where we would stay overnight.
After a quick freshen up, it was off we went to conquer Milan's metro system. It was very easy, and before you know it, we were walking out of the metro looking at the world-famous Duomo (cathedral). Our research told us the Duomo was the 4th largest cathedral in Europe behind Rome's Vatican, London's St. Paul's and Seville's Cathedral in Spain.
The cathedral of Milano is often described as one of the greatest churches in the world. The ground plan is of a nave with 5 aisles, crossed by a transept and then followed by choir
and apsis. The height of the nave is about 45 meters, the highest Gothic vaults of a complete church (less than the 48 meters of Beauvais Cathedral that was never completed).
The roof is open to tourists (for a fee), which allows many a close-up view of some spectacular sculpture that would otherwise be unappreciated. The roof of the cathedral is renowned for the forest of openwork pinnacles and spires, sitting upon delicate flying buttresses.
After Duomo, we headed across the Piazza Duomo, where Mussolini was actually hung by Italian loyalists, to the Galleria. The Galleria was a sight to see and arguably has some of the most expensive shops in the world, to include a Gucci Cafe that made their own Gucci beans for coffee.
The next morning we woke up to a great breakfast at the hotel and then we were off to the Castle Sforzeco. The Castello Sforzesco was transformed into a ducal residence in 1450 by Francesco Sforza, son of one of Milan's dynastic families. The castle's origins date back to the 2nd half of the 14th century during the time of Galeazzo II Visconti. Sforza's goal was to rebuild the castle and not only to restore it as a bulwark of defense but also make it a symbol of power and beauty in Milan. Sforza was considered one of the greatest, most honest and organized "condottieri" of Italy's great Remaissance soldier-heroes. After the unification of Italy, restoration was again conducted in 1833 and again after it was seriously damaged in 1943 during World War II.
Today the Castello houses municipal museums containing art, antiquities, musical instruments and the highlighted "Salle delle Asse", a frescoed room some attribute to Leonardo da Vinci.
After the castle, we quickly headed to Montenapoleane, which is also known as the Gucci street where some of the most famous (and rich) people often shop when visiting Milan. By then, it was lunchtime and Michelle and I had a hankering for Sushi so we found an awesome Sushi Place and ate before heading back to the train station.
Back at the train station we caught the bullet train back to Sacile and relaxed in an air conditioned cabin watching movies, and drinking wine all the way home. All in all, it was an amazing time with Michelle and one I won't soon forget.