Day 29 – Off to Milan – Italy here we come!

Lugano has been delightful, but now it’s time to move on again. We took our time getting ready and packing this morning; there’s no rush since we don’t have to checkout until 11:00 and our train doesn’t leave until 1:00 pm.

When we did leave, the hotel arranged for our ride to the train station. Our driver was a petite, bubbly woman with a shiny new Mercedes. She was very nice and got us there without the usual Indy Car near-misses along the way. Ten minutes and $20 later, we arrived at the train station.

We had a few Swiss Francs left over, so we decided to grab a beverage and a sandwich while we were waiting.  I also spotted a Laderach chocolate shop.  The sandwiches took the edge off being a little hungry and soon our train arrived.

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Yes.. We stopped at the chocolate shop. No sense wasting $ CHF.

Our train today will take a route along Lake Lugano, then cut over to the Lake Como area before heading south to Milan. The scenery was beautiful along the way, especially along the lake. At the midway point between Lake Lugano and Lake Como is the border town of Chiasso.

When our train stopped in Chiasso, border control agents boarded the train. We had our passports out and ready, but they never checked us. They seemed to have specific passengers identified and checked their passports, went through their belongings and asked a few questions, before leaving the train. Oh, and they all were wearing side arms and bullet proof vests.

The remainder of the trip was uneventful and we eventually made our way to the Milan Central station. The station was a beehive of activity, with people everywhere – some waiting to find their train platform and seemingly just as many people just hanging around. Quite a difference from the Zurich station, which was very organized and not so hectic, even though it sees many more trains and passengers on a daily basis.

We made our way out and grabbed a taxi to take us to our hotel. We’re staying at the Antica Locanda Dei Mercanti. It’s a smaller hotel located between the Castello and the Duomo on a little side street. The owners were very friendly and welcomed us heartily when we arrived.

Our room was quite large, with high ceilings, another comfy bed, a nice couch and a great shower. The windows were large and could be opened; however the day’s heat kept us using the air conditioning.

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We were both feeling lazy and didn’t want to get all cleaned up for dinner, so we went to a “fast food” pasta place called ‘Al Dente’. We had a simple, but delicious, meal of fresh pasta and homemade ravioli. Afterwards we walked back to the hotel and ordered a bottle of wine for the room and just relaxed.

We had our chocolate that we bought in Lugano and they brought us some chips to go along with the wine, so we had a hotel picnic.

We need to get up early tomorrow, so it was an early night once again. So far I think we’ve stayed up past midnight just two or three times.

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