This is part two of our travel in Milan. Please check the first part before continuing.
As we were…
On our way to the Tomba di Manzoni the rain started to really pour down so we had to find shelter and wait it out. Luckily we had full battery on our phone to write up some more blog while waiting out the rain. Just under an hour later the rain slowed down enough for us to continue on our adventure.
The entrance to the cemetery was a grand building with stairways leading up to the tomb of some important people. On top of each tomb is a unique sculpture in a specific pose. They stood facing the front gate, eerily welcoming visitors. As we're walking closer, we thought "okay, so far so good. Even after death the money gets spent".
When we got through the front building to the inside courtyard we noticed something spectacularly beautiful. At every tomb there are elegant sculptures on top of them. They depicted all sorts of things from lanterns, to flowers, to religious symbols or even a piano!
Beautiful sculptures decorating the tomb
Someone holding a lantern, a symbol for something?
A mini Duomo
This person may have been a musician!
A chance encounterInside the building we met two other tour cyclists who were hiding from the rain. They have arrived in Milan in the rain, wet and miserable. It was very unfortunate for them. Casper and Milli had been cycling from the UK around Europe for summer and were making their way back. We got talking to them a bit and discovered that Milli didn't have a place to stay that night! How tragic - no one from WarmShowers or CouchSurfing had replied to her requests. We felt bad because we had a host but couldn't offer any help. After a nice long conversation, we shared contact details so we can meet them again in the UK.
Now for something a little greenNot too far away is the new area called Isola with big tech companies like Google and Tesla. There are two apartment buildings which has become quite a symbol of hope for city green living. The double Bosco Verticale apartment buildings are not the same height, 26 and 18 floors, covered with over 20,000 trees and plants. The name in Italian means vertical forest. Anything in Italian sounds much nicer than in English, or perhaps that is our bias view being polyglots.
Autumn colours on the Vertical Forest
The buildings carbon footprint are further reduced with solar panels and waste water management system. With amazing input from horticulturalists and botanists, the plants provide much more than aesthetics: they clean the air, block street noise, increase biodiversity to attract bird and insect. All these great benefits have earned the building an award for "Best Tall Building 2015".
Grand Central Station
On the way home we stopped at the last recommended point: the Central Station. From the outside it looked like the usual grand big building, but needing a good scrub on the facade. Currently trains are operational and very popular, so the atmosphere was bustling and crowded. This is great to see because back home, we have very minimal railway service for public transport. Our big cities have rail but for anything between cities, there's only bus options available. Hopefully soon we see more investment in rail!
We got inside for a look around and the inside was beautiful. From top to bottom, every inch of walls were decorated, painted or have sculptures fixed on. I guess if you live here you'll be used to seeing this and pass through the station without a second look. For us seeing this the first time, we enjoyed the minor details, being in the moment and slowly watching as the busy society get moving.
A happy ending
We felt the impulse to help Milli's situation so we contacted our host John if there's space for an extra cyclists. We thought that was the best we could do, at least asking won't hurt. So we waited an hour and John replied very positively! We were super delighted and got in touch with Milli and Caspar immediately welcoming them to our place. Luckily she hadn't checked into a hostel and happily accepted the offer to stay with us.
The plan for dinner was pizza and everyone brought something to go on top. We offered to provide the dough and Pheng showed Milli how to make the pizza dough. Hopefully she remembers how to make it next time!