It was early alarms this morning, up and at ’em, no rest for the wicked. Eloise made quick work of her chocolate croissant with a side of chocolate for breakfast. We know, not the best, but you have got to pick your fights when travelling with a toddler and a baby. We headed back to the train station. It was “new home day”. Eloise’s favourite part about holidays is riding the suitcase, she gets a real thrill from it.
The advantage of the early train was that it was fairly empty. We managed to score two table bays, even Foxie got her own seat. Lachlan managed to get a couple of hours sleep before we pulled into Milan. Our fourth Italian city.
We made our way through a confusing underground system to drop our bags off at our “new home”. Lachlan did not seem to question the process, he just rolls with it, literally. It was mid-morning and we had plenty of the day to check out Milan. We made our way through Giardini Pubblici Indro Montanelli and found a well-overdue playground for the kids. We thought we would never get Lachlan off the bug.
We then strutted our stuff through the fashion capital of the world. The four of us international fashion icons were looking damn fine in our Asics trainers and the least pasta-covered clothing we had left. The streets of Milan were sophisticated, we loved the old trams. We made our way through the Golden Triangle, “Milan’s famous shopping streets” to Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, a luxury shopping arcade. It was even more excessive than we had anticipated.
We left the crowded and extravagant shopping district without any financial damage and found Milan Cathedral, an impressive building.
Milan Cathedral is the cathedral church of Milan, Lombardy, Italy. Dedicated to the Nativity of St Mary, it is the seat of the Archbishop of Milan, currently Archbishop Mario Delpini. The cathedral took nearly six centuries to complete: construction began in 1386, and the final details were completed in 1965. It is the largest church in the Italian Republic—the larger St. Peter’s Basilica is in the State of Vatican City, a sovereign state—and possibly the second largest in Europe and the third largest in the world.
By this stage, Lachlan had started tooting and doing his sideways pram shuffle. This is a daily occurrence around midday which signals he is running low on spaghetti. We found a restaurant but they had no high chair which made it a bit tricky. Dad’s clean top was well within the Lachnado tomato sauce splash zone.
Ever since we visited the Pope at the Vatican City, Eloise has been on the lookout for buttons to press. Anything will do: phones, TVs, elevators. We had promised we would take her somewhere with lots of buttons for her to play with. We arrived at Museo Nazionale Scienza e Tecnologia Leonardo da Vinci in Milan. A museum “dedicated to painter and scientist Leonardo da Vinci, [which] is the largest science and technology museum in Italy”. We started to make our way through the exhibitions. There were plenty of interesting mechanical systems on display throughout history. At this stage, we were concerned by a lack of buttons as we had built up Eloise’s expectations for days.
Leonardo di ser Piero da Vinci (15 April 1452 – 2 May 1519) was an Italian polymath of the High Renaissance who was active as a painter, draughtsman, engineer, scientist, theorist, sculptor, and architect. While his fame initially rested on his achievements as a painter, he also became known for his notebooks, in which he made drawings and notes on a variety of subjects, including anatomy, astronomy, botany, cartography, painting, and paleontology. Leonardo is widely regarded to have been a genius who epitomized the Renaissance humanist ideal, and his collective works compose a contribution to later generations of artists matched only by that of his younger contemporary, Michelangelo.
There were interesting models and information about the Milan Cathedral we had just walked past and the Pantheon, which blew our minds last week.
Eloise’s interest in mechanical engineering is still maturing so we moved on to the Space section. Surely there would be buttons there. Unsurprisingly Lachlan, the boy who always looks up in the air, loved the space section. He was giggling and cackling as Super Mum moved him under the various flying machines.
There was an exhibition on how satellites help humanity, which included a satellite image of Adelaide, represent.
We made our way to the Radio sections and breathed a sigh of relief, there were plenty of buttons. It was like watching Eloise come down on Christmas Day, she was dashing about at top speed in button heaven. After learning all a toddler needs to know about radio frequency voltage standing wave ratio, we moved on to admire the big-ticket items.
The National Museum of Science and Technology “Leonardo da Vinci” is based in Milan; opened in 1953, with its total 50,000m² it is the largest technical – scientific museum in Italy and one of the largest in Europe. It has the largest collection in the world of machine models made from drawings by Leonardo da Vinci. It is visited by over 500,000 people a year. The collections count 16,000 historical assets and include representative evidence of the history of Italian science, technology and industry from the 19th century to the present day. In its 14 interactive workshops activities are carried out that follow the educational method based on informal education. The museum collaborates with the main European and world science museums and since 2003 is a member of ECSITE (European Collaborative for Science, Industry and Technology Exhibitions).
We went outside and passed through the large train shed. Lachlan looked like he was getting tired like the two of us. However, the UK’s #1 public transport enthusiast had put on the afterburners.
There were not just trains. There was also an impressive collection of aircrafts, racing sailboat, large ship, rocket and submarine. Eloise was desperate to go into the submarine. We might need your help with that one Max.
There were strong Vasa vibes from Stockholm.
We thought the Luna Rossa was pretty neat.
Luna Rossa is the name of a series of specific sailing boats for competitions, lined up by the Italian union Luna Rossa Challenge (formerly Prada Challenge ) created and chaired by the entrepreneur Patrizio Bertelli. The first Luna Rossa was launched in 1999; Since then other boats with the same name have been built, conforming to different sailing classes, the most important of which have participated in editions of the Louis Vuitton Cup / Prada Cup (two editions won) and the America’s Cup.
Luckily there were plenty of aircraft. What a day this was turning into, fun for the whole family.
Vega is an expendable launch system in use by Arianespace jointly developed by the Italian Space Agency (ASI) and the European Space Agency (ESA). Development began in 1998 and the first launch took place from the Centre Spatial Guyanais on 13 February 2012. It is designed to launch small payloads – 300 to 2500 kg satellites for scientific and Earth observation missions to polar and low Earth orbits. The reference Vega mission is a polar orbit bringing a spacecraft of 1500 kg to an altitude of 700 km. The rocket, named after Vega, the brightest star in the constellation Lyra, is a single-body launcher (no strap-on boosters) with three solid rocket stages… Italy is the leading contributor to the Vega program (65%)
Italian submarine Enrico Toti (S 506) was the first of a new class of Italian submarine (Toti-class), with the S 506 Enrico Toti being laid down in 1965, launched in 1967, decommissioned in 1992 and preserved as a museum ship in Museo della Scienza e della Tecnologia “Leonardo da Vinci”, in Milan. The ship, and class, are named after the Italian Enrico Toti.
Eloise quickly crashed after her public transport energy boost. Super Mum did not hold back putting Lachlan to sleep. Next stop the Church of Santa Maria delle Grazie.
Inside Church of Santa Maria delle Grazie is Leonardo da Vinci’s famous work, The Last Supper. Sadly we did not have time, to be honest, we did not even know it was in there. We were a bit Leonardo da Vincied out by this stage.
On this holiday the sun has been relentless. It was another extremely hot day and on day ten of our Italy adventures, we were starting to feel it. With the bambinos asleep, Super Mum enjoyed her first ice cream by herself for two years.
After cooling down we were back out to fight the heat and passed through the inner walls of Castello Sforzesco.
The Castello Sforzesco is a medieval fortification located in Milan, northern Italy. It was built in the 15th century by Francesco Sforza, Duke of Milan, on the remnants of a 14th-century fortification. Later renovated and enlarged, in the 16th and 17th centuries it was one of the largest citadels in Europe. Extensively rebuilt by Luca Beltrami in 1891–1905, it now houses several of the city’s museums and art collections.
As we made our way back through the Golden Triangle it was packed with people. It was the final day of the Brera Design Week and us four international fashionistas had been specially trained in for the grande fashion finale. After cutting through the large crowds following Liam’s bucket hat. We made it to our hotel, where we could finally check in.
This hotel room was Lachnado’s favourite. It was like it had been designed specifically for him. As soon as we entered, exhausted. Lachnado came alive and was darting about exploring the Lachnado-sized wall compartments. Although it became a bit of a chicken and egg scenario because as he tried to leave, his Big Sister, who always means well, thought he may have left by mistake and would drag him back into his wall compartment. “There you go Lachlan, Mum look, Mum look, Mum, MUM! Look, me put Lachlan back in wall, there you go Lachlan”.
After we had all recovered from heat stroke it was dinner time. Staying in the city we were spoilt for choice. We ended up at our first Italian restaurant where they did not speak any English. Luckily our English with an Italian accent was still working. It can be tricky at times to make sure that Lachlan’s food does not have latte in it. Most restaurants provide you with a selection of bread which makes Lachlan upset as they generally include latte. However, on this occasion, it was latte free. Eloise enthusiastically made sure Lachlan tried it all.