Wandering Milano With Caterina

This was my third trip to Milan.  I wanted to see and do some different things.  Airbnb experiences helped me make the most of my time for a very reasonable price.  I had arrived in Milan only 5 hours ago, found my Airbnb and was headed over to where our small group would meet to see some of the unique sights that are not always on a guided tour. As I was walking around, I got a text saying they were ready to start and where was I. Seems I did not read the start time but the end time ……MENO MALE. I was just a block away so I got there on time.  It was a small group with only 4 people and Caterina, the guide.  Two were from Belgium and one from Great Britain. Once again the only American.Caterina

Caterina, our guide.

We  met near the public gardens (Indro Montanelli) for what would be a 2 1/2 hour walk. We would go from the old to the new. And some of the most ultra modern architecture with prices that would make Manhattan look like a bargin.

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One of the classic residences.

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Amazing art decorates the outside of these residences.

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Our vintage tram a great way to see any city at a slower pace.

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Some of the modern building with high price tags.

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A Tesla showroom.  No price tags.

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Piazza XXV Aprile – Porta Garibaldi

 

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I have visited Eataly in Rome and New York City. No I had a chance to roam the one in Milano.

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If only my local Publix in Florida would have some of these delicacies. Ho fame. 

 

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Search out Catalonia’s walking photo tour of Milano on Airbnb Experiences. Here is part of her description “The Neoclassic and Art nouveau district of Porta Venezia. A residential area that represents the true everyday life of the Milanese. The brand new, sparkling and luxurious GARIBALDI’s area which is our ending point where you can easily take subway, tram, train or taxi. CUSTOM EXPERIENCE: If you would like to participate in the experience but on a different time or day, write to me and if I can I will try to organize one with your availability.”  

Here is a link 

https://www.airbnb.com/experiences/263117?euid=0af081a7-e582-7ee2-6cf1-0c7842fdc298

 

I Love Pasta And It Is Easy To Make

I was raised to love pasta. All kinds. I have never lost my taste and when I found a email from Airbnb about a pasta making class in Milano, I jumped on it. It was a 3 hour exploration of Italian cooking and a chance to make fresh pasta. Gianfranco holds the class in his apartment and it was a very relaxing setting. This was the second of my Airbnb activities that I have engaged in and it will not be my last. Gianfrano is a “personal chef from Palermo, Sicily, and the traditional Italian and Sicilian food is my speciality. I like making genuine homemade food, pasta, street food and dessert”.  He did not disappoint. Gianfranco served asiago   and parmesan cheese with olives and some Italian bread while we drank some delicious white wine by Corvo. He went over the process of make the pasta and discussed the two types of meals we would eat with it. 

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This is an easy relaxed time with everyone taking part in the pasta making.  Golden rule is 100 grams of flour and 1 egg.  You want a dry dough, not sticky.  When the dough is throughly mixed, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1/2 hour. 

Roll it a bit to make a flat sheet and divide it into 4 pieces, Then roll it out to fit the pasta maker. Insert at the widest opening and gradually decrease the thickness till you achieve the desired thickness of your pasta. After that we hang it to dry slightly. 

 

Here is a link to the video of my experience.    

 

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Gianfranco our host and chef. 

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Pasta making machine. ( available on Amzaon $26 to $200 plus)

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Gianfranco with Maria and Maria who were also in the class.

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Eggplant for the pasta alla Norma.

 

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The basic pomidoro sauce for pasta alla norma. IMG 1432

Pasta drying before cooking. 

Buon appetito 

Look for Milan activities and search for “The Secret of Italian Cuisine” under cooking classes. 

Il Viaggio – The Trip

I just returned from an 12 day trip to Italy. I visited Milan, Trento, Bolzano, Padova, Vincenza, Venice, Lake Garda and several small villages which our bike our took us through. It was an amazing trip, but I learned a lesson. DON’T BOOK YOURSELF SOLID.  I had set up so many things withs dates and times that I forgot to live the Italian lifestyle and not rush.  None the less, it was an amazing trip. But I will remember for the next visit. IMG 1186

Pasta with ragu in a small ristorante in Milano. Off the beaten path, not crowded and a great meal. 

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The The Osteria The Full Moon

This was my first dinner in Milano, and you might like to visit this quiet southern Italian ristorante if you have time. Here is the address.  Via Lazzaro Palazzi 9, 20124 Milan, Italy.  If you have not guessed, I am a big fan of Southern Italian cooking and Sicilian Cooking. IMG 1190IMG 1292

 

Bikes are a way of life in Milano and most of italy.  The bike share cycles area all over. It is not uncommon to see some in a dress and high heels, or a business suit riding down the street. In Desenzano del Garda a young man was riding in the rain with an umbrella held high above his head… Sujch is the life of those who commute on a bicci!

The next post will include the Cenaclo and the Canal District.

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Know Your Air Passenger Rights When Coming or Going to EU Countries

CIMG0438Even if your rights in the USA do not do much for delays, if you are traveling to or from an EU country you have definite benefits.    US and EU carriers must abide by the rules and you may be able to get some serious compensation.  Several years ago, I got a complete refund on one of our trips which cut our airfare in half.   The following web site has the complete details of your rights. 

https://europa.eu/youreurope/citizens/travel/passenger-rights/air/index_en.htm

 

 

 

From the web site here is some helpful information:

Go directly to the site above for active links to all areas.     I 

 

FAQs – Air passenger rights
A European airline recently lost my baggage. I complained to the airline, but am not fully satisfied with their reaction. Can I complain to someone else?
YES – For a cross-border flight, you can contact your country’s European Consumer Centre. For a domestic flight, contact a national consumer centre in your country.
When booking a flight recently, I was shocked, when it came to pay, to see the final cost once taxes and charges had been added.  Surely, airlines are supposed to make the total price of the ticket, including taxes and charges, visible from the start?
YES – and the cost of each item (the fare, taxes, charges, surcharges and fees) must be clearly displayed.
If I am travelling from outside the EU, e.g. from the USA to Paris, do I have any rights if my flight is cancelled?
YES – provided your air carrier is licensed in a European country.
I booked a flight to Barcelona from Rome.  Due to heavy traffic, I arrived at the airport late but just before the gates closed for the flight.  I was not allowed to board the flight.  Do I have any rights?
NO – as you did not comply with the requirement to present yourself for check-in within the time stipulated.
Is there a time limit within which I can bring legal action for compensation for a cancelled flight?
This depends on national law in each European country and will therefore vary throughout the EU. Check with the National Enforcement body in the country concerned or a national consumer centre for more information.
Do I have any rights if I am not allowed to board my connecting flight because I arrived late at the gates due to a delay with the first flight?
YES – if the flights are part of a single reservation, the carrier has to offer you the option between the reimbursement of your ticket and a return flight to the airport of departure at the earliest opportunity or re-routing to your final destination at the earliest opportunity or re-routing at a later date at your convenience under comparable transport conditions, subject to the availability of seats. In case you are re-routed and you reach your final destination with a delay of 3 hours or more you are entitled to compensation.
My flight is due to depart from Berlin this morning but I have just received a text from the airline advising that the flight has been cancelled.  Do I have any rights?
YES – you have rights under EU rules.  You are entitled to reimbursement of the full cost of your ticket for the part of your journey not made or re-routing at the earliest opportunity.  If you are already at the airport and you opt for re-routing, you are also entitled to meals and refreshments in proportion to your waiting time, and two telephone calls, texts or emails.  You are also entitled to overnight accommodation if you are to be re-routed the day after your planned flight and, depending on the circumstances, to monetary compensation.
If the aircraft has a technical defect, can it be considered as “extraordinary circumstances”?
NO – a technical problem which comes to light during normal aircraft maintenance or is caused by the failure to correctly maintain an aircraft cannot be regarded as “extraordinary circumstances”.

YES – if the technical defect was related to an incident which was not caused by the normal activity of air carriers and falls outside their control due its nature or origin. For example a hidden manufacturing defect uncovered by the aircraft manufacturer or by a competent authority, or damage to the aircraft caused by acts of sabotage or terrorism would qualify as extraordinary circumstances.
My flight has been delayed for four hours. Am I entitled to monetary compensation?
Once your flight has been delayed for more than three hours, you may be entitled to monetary compensation if the airline cannot prove that the delay was caused by extraordinary circumstances which could not have been avoided even if all reasonable measures had been taken.
 
When I arrived at the check-in, I was informed that my Brussels-Warsaw flight had been cancelled.  I opted not to travel and was told that the cost of my ticket would be refunded and that I would receive financial compensation.  Weeks later I still have received nothing.  Is there a time limit for payment of refunds and compensation?
YES – you should have received the refund of the cost of your ticket within seven days of the cancellation. Payment of compensation depends on the reason for the cancelled flight but the EU rules do not provide for a deadline for payment of compensation.
Am I entitled to compensation only for flights that were cancelled or can I also get compensation for delayed flights?
Both. With cancelled/delayed flights, you won’t receive compensation if the cancellation/delay was due to extraordinary circumstances for example due to bad weather. Where the cancellation/delay was due to extraordinary circumstances, you may not have the right to compensation, but the carrier must still offer you assistance (reimbursement or re-routing) and care (meals and/or accommodation) while you are waiting for alternative transport.
See main information on this topic
Air passenger rights
EU legislation
EU Regulation on air passenger rights
European Commission Interpretative Guidelines on air passenger rights
EU Regulation on common rules for the operation of air services
EU Regulation on air carrier liability in respect of the carriage of passengers and their baggage

 

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Lago di Garda

Italy Photo Post

  Have been occupied with my coming trip to northern Italy this week. I will  be on  a bike tour from Bolzano down to Lake Garda and continuing to Verona, Padova, and Venice.  I hope to post with my iPad while on the trip. 

 

 

I was looking at several of my favorite photos, and here they are.

 

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Another Amalfi photo from before the Euro.

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Amalfi, view of the Luna Convento Hotel in the background. 

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Vernazza

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Small village above Vernazza

 

 

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Firenze

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Tuscany

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 Civita di Bagnoregio

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Desenzano del Garda, Lake Garda

 

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St Peters, Rome

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Montepulciano, the road behind our Airbnb

Milano

Milan is about many things. It is a modern city with historical routes and contemporary styles.  Saldi, sales are key to visiting Milan. There are designer outlets, and seasonal sales.   I am going back to Milan in 3 weeks and will do a complete update on he city, the museums, and shopping districts.  These photos are from a 2008 vist to the city.

 

ON SALE IN MILAN

 

Window in Milan center.

 

 

Milan La Galleria

The bull in La Galleria Vittorio Emanuel II, Milano

 

Legend has it that if you put your heel on the testicles of the bull and turn around three times, it will bring good luck.  Did not do much for the bull. It is also said that if a woman touches the genitals it will bring fertility.

 

 

DUOMO MILANO

 

The duomo is one of the biggest tourist attractions in Milan. 

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It is worth taking the elevators to the top to get a view of the city and admire the construction of the Duomo.

 Milano Tram

 

I enjoyed taking the tram in Milano. It is a slower and more enjoyable way to see this city. Of course avoid morning and afternoon rush hours. 

 

Here is a link to a youtube video of the street cars of Milano

 

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We are not in Venice. These are the Canals of Milano. Photo from Walks of Italy. The Navigli. 

 

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The canals were built to transport goods to the city from nearby lakes. It is no longer used for transport, but is a tourist destination.  This has ushered in an arts district with restaurants and bars and is worth the visit.

Here is a link to Walks of Italy for tour information. https://www.walksofitaly.com/blog/milan/canal-in-milan

 

I am returning to Milano in September for three days. Will be going to the Navigli district ( canal district) the Duomo, and possibly return to view the last supper again. Here is a link to the web site to purchase tickets to visit the Last Upper. It is advisable to book as early as possible. If you can not get through this site, check Viator, Walks of Italy or other resellers.   I advise three months in advance. Link below to official site. 

https://cenacolovinciano.vivaticket.it/?qubsq=716f61bb-85f0-4c5f-8a0b-fe0054980b10&qubsp=42a99ae9-969c-4fd0-894f-0b918799a95b&qubsts=1535228478&qubsc=bestunion&qubse=vivaticketserver&qubsrt=Safetynet&qubsh=fd2fc046714c5951348e9fb15cde1595

 

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Some photos of the area near La Scala Opera HouseCIMG4754

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Amalfi A Gem On The Seacoast

Amalfi is a beautiful and busy town. On the coast is has a history of being a maritime power, and paper making. It is a town with many festivals.  You will enjoy your stay. DSC 4018

Today it still has a very busy harbor.

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We happened upon the Festival of San Andreas by accident.  This was one of the highlights of our trip. Each year on the 27th of June, “This date is remembered for a miracle of Sant’ Andrea that occurred in 1544, when the people of Amalfi prayed to their saint to protect them from an attack of the feared Barbarossa pirates. When the town was saved from the attack by a sudden and terrible sea storm, the Amalfitans celebrated it as a miracle of Sant’ Andrea.” (From Charming Italy, bu Laura Thayer. http://www.charmngitaly.com

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Little did we know hen we sat down that we would be in the middle of the festa.  In Italy it is normal for one of have the table for as long as you want it.  Our views were amazing. 

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Soon it became quite crowded and as the sun began to set, the procession began,CIMG1357

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The parade went through most all of the town.

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Below you see people heading out on to the pier to watch the fireworks as darkness came.

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A fisherman brings in his catch below.

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A tall ship came in for the celebration.

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The duomo the next morning.

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The paper museum makes a nice stop on the way to the hill trails that take you to Ravello and other towns.

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Sample of the paper available at the museum. 

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And do not forget lemons, limone è importate !! Limoncello right? 

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Walking up the hills in Amalfi. 

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A great site for more info on Amalfi is.  http://www.ciaoamalfi.com.   Laura Thayer writes a blog on the town and surrounding  area.  Well worth checking it out. 

HOT TO SURVIVE THE HEAT IN ITALY THIS SUMMER

I found this article in Italy Magazine.  It is a free magazine you can subscribe to which I find very helpful. With the high heat in Europe this summer this article may be of interest to you. Some great ideas of how to beat the heat, and where to visit. 

 

http://www.italymagazine.com/featured-story/how-survive-heat-wave-while-traveling-italy?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+ItalyMagazine+%28Italy+Magazine%29

 

Last summer we arrived in Sicily in mid August. It was hot but the beaches were cooling. So were some of the high altitude areas as well as Lake Garda.

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