How could one leave Swiss soil without indulging in Swiss chocolate? A chocolate factory tour, and a lot of chocolate shopping marked our last day at the mesmerizing place of cows and grasslands.
Traveling within Schengen countries is tantamount to traveling within a country. You just cross the border and then you’re in another country. I wish, someday in future, may be in far future, we would be able to travel within Asia or at least South Asia like this.
Italy – the hub of Roman Empire, Italian shoes, pasta, pizza, land of gondolas, city of canals, fashion capital of Italy, Versace, Prada, Armani, Dolce & Gabbana, and many more. Our first destination was Milan.
Fashion capital of Italy-Milan
After reaching Milan, we had a tour of Duomo, The Galleria Vittorio Emanuele ll and the shopping areas in the vicinity.
How could ladies resist shopping? The Galleria Vittorio Emanuele ll is an oldest shopping mall with famous brands. It’s an awesome architecture, especially a glass dome. The tourists were literally lying on the floor to take perfect shots of the rooftop and surroundings.
On the floor, there was a mosaic portraying the Coats of arms of the House of Savoy.
A flock of pigeons perching on the lion statue on the pedestal of the monument to King Victor Emanuele ll at Piazza del Duomo was, indeed, a spectacular sight. Most of the people were sitting on Piazza del Duomo for a classic photo with the pigeons.
We had a dinner at the Italian restaurant. They served a four-course scrumptious meal with really mouthwatering appetizers and pies.
Finding a Wristlet Wallet in Milan
The day ended with an ironic anecdote of “Finding a Wristlet Wallet” in Milan.
When I opened my purse to contribute my share for the tip to bus driver, the wallet was missing. I ransacked my purse but unfortunately found nothing. Tears almost came to my eyes because my cash was gone. After reaching my hotel’s room, our family friends came to offer sympathy and during discussion how it all happened, we realized that someone has stolen wallet from my bag as it’s not uncommon in Italy. Pickpockets open your purse with such finesse that you never know when they open and close the zip of your purse. We were assured that someone has taken it in the Milan market near duomo.
I made peace with myself that what’s gone is gone. However, as I went past the table to clear the mess, I caught a glimpse of black handle under the table and let out a muffled shriek and then shouted. Oh, it was there, sitting under the table for the whole time we strolled the market and bought things because I didn’t have to pay for anything.
I drained my husband’s pocket. Just joking.
I took a sigh of relief and it was the second incident of “lost and found” game during our Europe trip. The first being when my husband forgot our camera in the plane while we landed in Barcelona. Luckily, we found that too. After an agonizing episode of the day, I just fell into bed and slept.
Our second day at Italy was spent sailing in the Adriatic Sea and exploring Venice by gondola.
The Mythical City-Venice
The Merchant of Venice is embedded in my mind since childhood. We normally visualize places we have not actually seen. We envision its landscape, infrastructure and people and often our imagination turns out to be different than reality.
We reached Venice from Milan by bus. The driver left us at Tronchetto Parking area. Both sides of the passage toward the vaporetto (water bus) stop was adorned with cheap souvenir shops. If you’re in hurry to catch a water bus, just go forward to enjoy the beautiful city of Venice and check these stalls later on.
The City of Canals and Land of Gondolas
Our amiable guide gave us exhaustive information about Venice. We had an amazing glass factory tour. Such was the finesse and perfection with which an artisan molded glass into a prancing horse. The showroom was adorned with loads of eye-catching stuff.
He stopped near the Bridge of sighs (where convicts had a last view of Venice before imprisonment) and its adjoining prisons.
Oh, cameras started clicking.
He took us towards Saint Mark’s square, Doge’s palace, Sansovino lib and the bell tower.
I was really moved by the story of a couple sculpted on the column beneath Doge’s Palace. The story was recounted from meeting (courting) to the death of their child.
Sparkling waters of blue Adriatic Sea transported me into another world. Absence of cars and transportation through boats made this an amazing experience.
Gondola ride through the streets of Venice and listening to the melodious voice of gondoliers at the beautiful score of Toto Cutugno l`italiano (1983) made this a memorable experience.
Artists have beautifully portrayed this mythical city on canvas. A good bargain is needed but a must buy piece as a memory to take back home.
This absorbing and captivating experience further solidified my stance of patience and endurance. It will take you a long way in life so try to stop complaining about trivial inconveniences, learn to face them.
The next destination on our list was Pisa.