Milan is now at its peak, with the World Expo ending in twelve days. The streets were filled yesterday (Sunday), and the guide remarked that this is the most active the city has ever been because of all the tourists. I suspect that the authorities let it be known that pickpocketing and low-level crimes against tourists will not be tolerated during this period. Thus the walk back to the train station today should be fine, I hope. I can't believe I'm saying this, but Milan, like Barcelona in Spain, is wonderful.
Well, my seven minute walk to Milano Centrale was uneventful. I eventually boarded my train, but a conductor came rushing in asking us to confirm that you had all your luggage, for a criminal band came into some trains and just rolled away suitcases. So, I guess, the Milan train station remains a danger zone.
It takes about two and a half hours to get to Venice. I sat in front of Sonna and Fred Whiteley:
There are 400 foot bridges and 170 boat canals. Gondola's were developed in Venice a millennium ago. In the 17th and 18th centuries, there might have been 10,000. Today, only 400.
The city suffers from land subsidence, sea level rise and high tides. Called Acqua Alta, the problem begins this month. The Modulo Sperimentale Elettromecanico Project should be in place by 2016 to see if floatable gates can stem the tide.
So, anyway, I checked into the Westin, and am already unhappy, for no Club Lounge, being too expensive, and giving me a room with essentially no view. However, right outside is the Grand Canal, and just a couple of minutes into my walk, here is what I saw:
Piazza San Marco, or in English, St. Mark's Square. It is said that this is the world's most famous square. That's the Church of St. Mark.
You've seen this scene in many a movie. Below the only fine dining restaurant in the square, Caffe Quadri, with one Michelin star, where I'll have lunch tomorrow:
There is, of course music, perhaps four bands playing at the same time within the square. However, the piazza is so large that you can't hear the next one.
I also saw a lot of Murano and Venetian glassware:
My walk ended with gloves:
After a long bath, I decided to have dinner here. My view was the St. Mary of Health Catholic church located across the Grand Canal, and yes that's the quarter moon:
I only ordered a pasta fagioli (bean soup), green/red salad and a bottle of Moretti:
I thought the bill was outrageous. I'll never come back here.