Thursday, April 21, 2011


From Zürich, I just kept heading south. This is partly because I felt the need to escape from the German language for a short time, but mostly because both Milan and Zürich have copious collections of Triassic marine fossils from quarries along the Italian-Swiss border (now a UNESCO world heritage site: I had never been to Italy before, so I had no intention of spending all my time hanging out in the museum basement.

Milan is an enormous city. Unlike Zürich, it is also extremely flat, which makes walking easy, but like Zürich it isn't a budget-friendly destination. Best known for fashion and design, the shopping is amazingly abundant, everything from modern designers to flea markets.
Old and new
 There is also a cathedral, which has a fairly stunning interior (a white and blood-red marble inlaid floor really sets it apart from the grey-on-grey German churches). I'm not an art historian, otherwise I might have more interesting things to say.

The Duomo (cathedral) in the centre of the city
There is also an enormous castle (Sforza), former home of the Duke of Milan but it looks a lot more like a maximum security prison. It has a garden supplied with many cats, which puzzled me until I noticed the many rats. I left quickly after that.
Sforza castle's good side

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