‘Duomo’ just means ‘cathedral’, but the duomo in Milan is just something else. The first time we travelled in Europe, we started with Milan. That made it exciting in itself. We drank from water fountains. We ate real pizza and real pasta. We tried talking to real Italian people with real Italian accents, sometimes talking real Italian which was a bit hard.
And we saw the beautiful duomo.
The second time we went to Milan, we did not have any intentions of staying there. We thought we would take the first train out of Milan and go to Ancona or Bari to get our ferry to Greece. That was the plan. So we stood in the long queue at the enquiry counter of the railway station, talking excitedly about all our plans for Greece, everything we wanted to see, everything we had read, mythology…
We are always sceptical of people at railway booths. They’re usually grumpy. We were more than a little happy to find a nice gentil person. Gentil was a relatively new French word I had learnt, encompassing all the ideas of nice, kind, sweet, polite…
He told us exactly what we needed – which train we should take, what time it was and where it would come. We were happy and moved towards the station.
“We’re in Milan,” my sister began, the excitement making her voice thick. I clutched her hand. “We’re in Milan,” she repeated.
“How can we leave Milan without seeing our beloved duomo?”
We grinned at each other. Both of us knew what we wanted to do.
We stood in line again and went to the same gentil man again. He was surprised and amused, but ever so happy to know that we wanted to change our plans entirely just to see the duomo again. He told us how to go there, which metro line to take and where to get off.
And he told us what time the last train out of Milan was, so that we could still go to Ancona and then to Greece.
And so, we saw the beautiful duomo again.