Thursday, July 21, 2011

After a long flight from California to New York to Milan, Italy we took a shuttle into the city. While waiting for our luggage, I hit up the ATM machines so that I'd have some cash to pay for any transportation needs. Keep an eye out for all the shuttles available or public transportation that the city has to offer. As fate was on our side, the Lithuansa shuttle had a buy 2 get the 3rd ticket for free deal. Perfect for our party of 3.
The traffic from the airport into the city is actually pretty bad. It took a good hour or two before we finally reached the Milano train station. We trekked the local streets to find our hotel. After a few seconds of rest, we started to make our way into the city. I chose to strut down the busy and popular street of Courso Buenos Aires. At that time I didn't know that I made the wrong choice to walk all the way to the Duomo.
All the buildings had this nostalgic European vibe with their colorful shade. On Courso Buenos Aires you feel like you are walking down any normal busy shopping street. They had many American brand name stores mixed in with local European brands. It wasn't too hot that day, but I would always recommend starting your walk on the side of the street that is shaded and walk back on the other side when it gets darker and cools down.
There is a public park on the way to the Duomo. I decided to cut through and come out of the park on the other side. It was a bright sunny day and many people were enjoying the fresh air in the park.
The paths are full of sand and there were benches to be found every little while. There were small ponds surrounded by calming and serene patches of greenery. Everything was picturesque. By this time we were a bit starving as the flight doesn't really feed you.
At the center of the park is a rest stand that serves food. It's more like a small market that serves the essential. Tons of people were taking a break there with the family. We decided to continue our walk towards our destination.
The bonus we get from walking is we get to see every part of the city. There was one pizza restaurant that I wanted to try near the park, but of course they were not open the day I arrived. Little did we know it would be hard to find a good place to eat along the way.
Having companions that don't have an adventurous palette can be difficult so be sure to choose your companions wisely. There were not that many restaurants to choose from on the main streets. You would have to walk to the side streets to find the sit down restaurants. Most places found on the main street were either quick bites or didn't look very appealing.
We probably should have chosen a place to dine while on Courso Buenos Aires and not after we left the park. Eventually the long walk had gotten to them, so what do you do in this kind of situation? Try to give the "children" some candy. Caffé dell' Opera hand some tantalizing gelato displayed and it was beckoning us on a hot day.
On the side of the street, you can walk up to the counter and order some for on the go. To be on the safe side, I always get Mango gelato and decided to try their Strawberry gelato as well. Some places charge more if you want it in a cone and some don't. I personally would want it on a cone either way.
Since we chose the fruitier flavors, they definitely aren't as smooth and creamy as the other gelatos. The flavor was not bad but I think the strawberry had a better flavor than the mango, which is rare. That could also be that they didn't do a great job on making the mango flavor. Caffé dell' Opera was really just a convenient place on the road and definitely nothing special that I'd recommend. It really just does the trick on a street that is filled with stores rather than food. The prices for their gelato and food seemed reasonable for being on the way to the Duomo in Milan.
Caffé dell' Opera
Via Manzoni 12, Milan, Italy

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