The last time I was in Milan, I saw signs that a new exhibit about Leonardo da Vinci was opening up at the Royal Palace. The opening day was well after I planned on leaving and I was pretty bummed. After all, Leonardo was an artist I had always admired, especially all his crazy drawings of the mechanics and inner workings of machines. I’ve always thought about getting tattoos inspired by his work. I was back near Milan again and this time I wasn’t going to miss my chance to see this exhibit.
I woke early and found a place in Milan to sleep that night. Then I looked for apps on my phone that would make it easier to navigate the trains in Europe. Finding this app has helped considerably ever since. I took a hot shower and, after enjoying a nice breakfast provided by the hotel, left for the train station. By this point, I was feeling quite confident about getting around in Italy.
I couldn’t help but notice on the train ride that morning how much this part of Italy reminded me of Kansas. As I neared Milan, rain drops appeared on the train windows. Just my luck. I arrived at the station in Milan and went down to the lower levels into the metro station to catch my ride to the hostel. The only time I was in the rain was the short walk from the metro station to the hostel. I checked in, found my room, and decided that a little rain wasn’t going to stop me from seeing the exhibit tonight.
I hopped back on the metro and headed towards the Milan Cathedral. This time the scene around the Cathedral had radically changed. Of course it was raining but besides that, a huge stage with enormous sound equipment had been set up directly in front of the cathedral. The Milan Expo would be starting soon so I could only assume it had something to do with that. The Royal Palace was on the other side of the stage and soon I found myself standing in line for the Leonardo da Vinci exhibit.
I spent hours and hours walking around looking through his artwork, so much time that my legs were hurting from standing and staring at his artwork by the time I was finished. The entire time I kept wondering ‘what was going on in your mind while you were creating this’. Needless to say the artwork was absolutely amazing. It was my first museum visit on the trip and it was worth every minute.
By the time I got out of there, it was night. Back at the hostel I asked the receptionist where she liked to eat. She told me that her and her daughter actually ate at a little kebab shop just down the street. I had seen kebab shops all over Italy everywhere I went and decided that I had better try it. I took the metro to one stop past my hostel and had no problem finding the little restaurant. This was the cheapest and one of the best meals I had during my whole time in Italy! I was so nice to have a break from all that pizza and pasta.
I went to bed excited knowing the next day I was was finally heading to a new and beautiful country, Switzerland. My buddy, Tyler, back in California had told me about a little village in the Swiss alps he said he’d love to visit some day. I decided it would be my first stop.