Milan, Italy: A Castle, Scientific Genius, and Catching the Travel Bug
Updated: Feb 27, 2022
Summary. Milan, Italy, is the perfect launching point for a tour of Northern Italy. This center for fashion and design, is the home of the Milan Duomo, a breathtaking cathedral that took six centuries to complete. Milan's public transit is easy to navigate with both above-ground rail and a subway system. Being unable to obtain tickets to see Da Vinci's the "Last Supper," we missed out on one of Milan's top attractions. That being said, it ended up being just fine as there are plenty of other things to see in this bustling City, including some of Da Vinci's other projects at the museum dedicated to him. We visited Milan on bookends of the trip, i.e. beginning and end of the trip. At the conclusion of this first major international trip with our kids, we unanimously agreed that we were irrevocably hooked on the travel lifestyle.
Day 2 - Milan. Our second day in Milan was actually our last day in Italy. The day started out with a brief train trip from Como to Milan, where we dropped our bags at our Air BnB, briefly grocery shopped, and then headed out for a half-day in this City.
Our first stop was at Sforza Castle. Built in the 15th Century under the initial directives of Francesco Sforza, this Castle has a long history of foreign rulers, destruction, and rehabilitation. Complete restoration began in 1893. Castle admission is free; Museum entrance fees are 5 euros per person.
Just outside the Castle is Ducal Park, a lovely spot for a picnic lunch. As Italy, especially near tourist spots, can be quite expensive, we saved money by packing lunch to-go. Our typical lunches that seemed to hold up well in our day pack, consisted of sliced cheese and crackers or bread rolls, salami, apples, veggies (carrots, celery, cucumbers). We also packed snacks from home such as trail mix, protein bars, and jerky.
Next we spent the rest of the afternoon at the Leonardo da Vinci Museum. Located within walking distance of Sforza Castle, this museum is particularly great for kids, though there are plenty of exhibits for adults as well. Exhibits are largely interactive, hands-on scientific experiences, all of which are a great tribute to Mr. da Vinci himself. Admission is 12 euros/adult, 6 euros/child, with kids 6 and under free.
Going Home and Ready for More. Italy was our first significant international trip with our children. It was here that they caught the travel bug and have been hooked ever since. For this reason alone, we will always remember Italy with special fondness. From here, traveling became "our thing," so much that the boys understand and appreciate that choices we make in our everyday lives just are mad with the aim to travel even more, i.e. less gifts and objects, and instead more plane tickets and lodging. As parents, we have especially enjoyed having this common interest with our growing children, now teens.
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