One the of the perks of traveling through Italy is the great train system! From Cinque Terre we were able to catch a train to Milan and then an overnight train to Paris. Milan was not originally on our itinerary, but with a six-hour layover and a place to check our bags in the train station we decided to seize the moment.
We grabbed a map and set off to find Teatro alla Scala! La Scala, a world-renowned opera house, was inaugurated in 1778. The music major in me came out big time as I tried to sneak a peek at this historic performance venue.
After geeking out at La Scala and combing through the stacks of old performance posters at the gift shop, we wandered through the Galleria. No silly, not the Houston Galleria! This historic open-air mall is lined with designer stores and fine dining establishments. It is also home to a comical tourist attraction… a ceramic coat of arms with a giant bull in the center.
You may notice that there is a hole on the bull’s genitals. Well, a tradition says that if you put your right heel on this hole and turn yourself three times, this will bring you good luck. Thousands of tourists spin around on the bull’s genitals everyday, so the mosaic needs a lot of maintenance!
Here is my attempt at spinning on the bull. Note that I did not have proper shoes on and was not able to actually spin. I suppose I’ll get a third of the luck!
Overall it was a great half day trip! There is a lot of breathtaking historical architecture, and I fully understand why Milan is a fashion and cultural capital in Italy.