Wednesday, September 26, 2012


Second stop, Rome.

If you're wondering, yes, this is an escalator.
The colosseum

The Roman Forum & Palatine Hills

View of town area over Palatine Hill
The Vatican

Top view of front area of Vatican
Backyard of Vatican, restricted area 
Stairway of the Vatican Museum
The Last Judgement
The Trevi Fountain
Amazing bakery that sells really good pastries

Why a photo of an escalator?
Not that I want to complain, but the metro stations of Italy is not what I would call friendly for the disabled, elderly and people with heavy luggages, like me. That long flight of steps you see is the only exit of the metro, and it wasn't working the day I arrived there!! What a stroke of bad luck! There was no lift around, as with most of the metro stations, but at least the others only had a short flight of stairs. Thank goodness halfway through the climb, some kind fellow helped me! There is some good in this world after all!

The colosseum, vatican, sistine chapel, famous tourist spots of Rome, and definitely tourist infested! It's not obvious in my photos as I try to avoid capturing human heads as much as I can, but there was a sea of people in every spot! And one thing which I don't understand why it always happens to me, almost all the sites that I visit are under renovation at certain parts. So every time I take a photograph, I have to avoid the ugly parts with all the scaffoldings. It happened when I was in Vienna last year too!

Pastries and baked goods in Italy is really good!
How I wished I had the stomach to try everything in the shop.
Though it's not exactly cheap, but I'd gladly pay the price for such quality.
I'm already missing the fabulous choux creams I had there!


My first stop in Italy, Milan. 

Milan Cathedral
Duomo di Milano
Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II

Unsuspecting building tucked in a corner of the plaza... which was hidden a 7-storey shopping place.
Random structure
Wild berries & cacao gelato

There wasn't much sightseeing to be done in Milan. The most famous one is the Duomo, located right next to the Galleria. These two places were done in under an hour. And I was left dangling, didn't know where to go next as I didn't expect it would be so quick. So, decided to visit a shopping place that was newly opened and featured in a magazine I picked up.

And I immediately regretted that decision. 

There were barely any street signs around and I don't understand why the Italians are so secretive in labeling the street and building names. You won't know the name of a particular building until you are right in front of the entrance. This really doesn't help when I'm trying to find my way around the place. In the end, I spent over half an hour searching in the area, only to find out that the place is located about 200m from the Galleria, right under my nose!

La Rinascente. 
The exterior of the building suggests nothing of a shopping place, and the signage is totally inconspicuous!
Anyways, the shopping place held all the high end brands such as LV, Dior, blah blah. So you can imagine how unexciting it was for me. The only thing I enjoyed here was lunch, and it was the best I had throughout the whole trip. An order of angus beef fillet with grilled vegetables and sautéed potatoes. Yum!

That pretty much wraps up Milan. I would say it didn't leave me a good impression. In fact, I got cheated on the very first day! In the central station, there were these bunch of people who targeted unwary tourists that just arrived. And in the main tourist spots, there were also dozens who either gives you feed for the pigeons or push some kind of trinket onto you and ask for coins. They can get really pushy at times. I'm just glad I didn't get pick-pocketed.