Tears of joy and sorrow in Milan: All in a day’s trip

This post won the Indiblogger Cleartrip “My Purpose” Contest. :-)

It is 5.20 am on a rainy May morning in 2009 and I am at Geneva Railway Station. My train to Milan is due in 10 minutes, and with me is Karim, a friend and my travel companion for the trip. I am so full of anticipation and barely suppressed excitement that I pace the platform and check the station clock every 15 seconds or so. As the clock strikes 5.30, our train rumbles into the station with legendary Swiss precision. We get into our compartment, find our pre-booked seats, settle down with wide grins at each other, and then we’re off.

At the Milan Centrale Stazione

This is to be a day trip to Milan, with both of us returning to Geneva that evening itself. Considering that we have only a few hours in Milan, my focus and purpose for the trip is to see the Milan Cathedral, and to view da Vinci’s “The Last Supper” in its original form. Anything else that we see would be a bonus.

The train ride from Geneva to Milan is very picturesque on both the Italian and Swiss sides, and we pass through some of the most beautiful and colourful towns and cities that I have seen. It is raining throughout our journey, but our enthusiasm at the prospect of a day in Milan is unaffected by such mundane things. ;-)

It is 9.30 am when we get off the train at the Milano Centrale Stazione. We quickly orient ourselves with a map and decide to head to the Piazza del Duomo, where the Milan Cathedral is located. All major sights are within walking distance from the Piazza, including that of  “The Last Supper”. After a 15-minute metro rail ride from Centrale Stazione,  we are at the Piazza del Duomo.

It is 10 am when we get off the metro. As I climb the stairs to exit the station and enter the Piazza, the Cathedral comes into view little by little. With each step that I climb, a little more of the Cathedral is revealed. This unveiling of the Duomo di Milano or the Milan Cathedral is something that will stay with me for ever.

The front façade of the Milan Cathedral as viewed from the subway exit

Continue reading