We departed Polignano at around 10 and headed to Bari airport. We topped up with fuel along the way which was much less painful than the first fueling attempt thankfully. We arrived just in time to drop the car off at Avis and walked into the airport.  
There was a massive line up for the Milan flight so we stood there and waited our turn.  We’d pre-purchased excess baggage when we checked in online so the process went smoother than last time, where I had to visit a different desk to purchase the excess baggage. After checking in we stopped at a cafe nearby to have a bite to eat and a beer/wine as there will be no more driving done by me, yay! Lunch was average but the drinks were good.

We arrived in Milano mid afternoon and our hotel transfer was there to pick us up. He had a large van so our massive bags weren’t a problem. The drive from Linate airport to our hotel is only about 30 minutes. We stayed at UNA Hotel Cusani. UNA is a chain of hotels in Italy.

Kath selected the hotel for a couple of reasons. 1. It was within walking distance to the Duomo and other key sights of interest in the town centre, and, 2. There is a metro station right near the front door on the same train line we need to get to Expo 2015.
After checking in we went for a walk to the duomo, which is a large cathedral in the centre of town. Entry to the cathedral is free however you can also access the Terrace area for a small fee of $2 if you are happy to walk up the stairs, or $13 if you want to take the lift. You can also get a $15 ticket that provides access to additional sights such as the museum.

As we were short on time we purchased the $15 ticket and took the lift to the top of the cathedral (it had nothing to down with the 8 stories of stairs). 

We did a quick walk through of the cathedral and it is an amazing structure. It’s hard to fathom how they could build something like this in the 1500’s. The pillars that hold the whole thing up are enormous. There is intricate stained glass all around and a massive pipe organ that is extremely loud.

We ventured up to the top and from here you can see not only the amazing view of the city and into the mountains, but you can also see the detailed intricate work that has gone into the construction of the many hundreds of spires the adorn the top of the structure.

We did the lap and headed back down to check out the museum. This was full of antiques from the duomo offer the many years since its construction and was well worth the visit.
We started thinking it was time for Aperitif. On the way from the airport to the hotel we were looking through some local info magazines and spotted an article about the Aperol Terrace, which is almost like the home of Aperitivo. This just happened to be next door to the duomo so in we went.
Here we had a couple of Aperol Spritz’s and the accompaniments which consisted of chips (naturally) and some other small tapas style bites. For us, who just loved aperitif last time we were in Italy, this was just perfect!
We finished up our snacks and drinks and walked through the mall area where all the expensive fashion stores are. Names like Prada and Gucci all have their flagship stores here. The other interesting thing here is at the intersection of the two malls, there are some mosaic images on the ground. One of these is of a bull and there is an indentation in the ground.
Kath was telling me how, just like people throw a coin over their shoulder into the Trevi Fountain, if you are here, you are supposed to put your heal into the hole and spin around. This sounds pretty silly but sure enough all these people were walking up, sticking their heal in the hole and spinning around. Some only once, some many times. We had a crack as well, because, well, when in Rome…

We walked back towards the hotel and passed by the Leonardo da Vinci museum, which we’d read about but wasn’t sure it would be open on a Sunday night. Sure enough it was open, most likely due to the additional tourist traffic as a result of the World Expo 2015 which is on in Mailan from May until October.

We decided to head back to the hotel, get changed and come back to the museum and then have some dinner. The museum is very interesting and full of reconstructions of some of the inventions that da Vinci came up with. There is also a lot of info about his famous paintings we spent bit of time here and while it’s all fascinating, they haven’t catered well for English speaking tourists. Oh, and no photos allowed.
We headed off to have some dinner but by this time it was getting close to 10pm. We looked at one of the restaurants suggested by the hotel staff but the meals were very expensive and we weren’t after anything too heavy so we went back to the hotel and Kath had a soup and I had a chicken salad at the bar.
Day 2 in Milano was dedicated to World Expo 2015 which has a theme of ‘Feeding the Planet’, and is supposed to focus on sustainable production of all types of produce. This extends not only to crops but to wine, cattle, fishing, you name it.
We arrived around 10:30 and throughout the course of the day visited lots of pavilions. While some did have a heavy focus on food, others where more just a large advertising display for tourism in the country. Australia didn’t have an exhibit, while a lot of other smaller nations did. Not sure what happened there, I guess the government had other things on its mind.
Obviously Italy had a large presence with a number of pavilions. One of these contained the Martini Terrace where you could go and have drinks and snacks italian style. We, of course, did this which also provided a nice view over the main intersection of the Expo. We also stopped by the Moretti bar and I had a beer.

We departed the expo at around 5 and headed back to the hotel. We hooked up some drinks and spent the arvo packing before heading out for dinner to an area that, while touristy, had a few restaurants to choose from. We made our choice and had a nice, but not all that cheap meal and a nice bottle of wine.

Tomorrow we’re off to the airport for our flight to Hong Kong and the first time we’ll be heading east in almost 8 weeks. Jet lag, here we come.

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