We had a nice trip to Milan. The second evening we went to a Milanese restaurant. I had risotto alla milanese (saffron risotto). We all shared battered, ricotta-stuffed zuchini blossoms. Other items on the table included battered fried anchovies, chickpea soup, mussels and spaghetti.
The next day we traveled to nearby Bergamo. It was a pleasant medieval city about 30 minutes by train from Milan. In the evening we ordered sushi and celebrated our friend’s birthday. The next morning we packed up and headed back to the train station.
On the whole I enjoyed Milan. It didn’t strike me as a place you need to spend a great deal of time as a tourist (this may be in part because we stayed with friends and so things felt more ordinary). But it does seem like it is a vibrant and interesting place in which to live and work. The high levels of industrial deveopment in Northern Italy suprised me. The large scale of things and the large number of people is strikingly different from the quaint and quiet that, in my limited experience, characterizes life on the other side of the Alps.
It was about 5 hours to Zurich. The train ride through the Alps, like the one we took from Basel earlier, was magical. Razor sharp mountains, lakes, farms and towns in between. Wes at with an older couple from Milan. They spoke to us in Italian. We replied in some combination of Spanish/French and English. The conversation came off with hardly a hitch.