a day at Castello Sforzesco in Milan

July 25th – Milan Italy We spent a beautiful sunny and hot day at the museums of Castello Sforzesco.  A 15th century castle built by Francesco Sforza the Duke of Milan.  It includes Michelangelo’s last sculpture (which as you can see was unfinished) and da Vinci painted one of the rooms ceilings.  Da Vinci’s painting was later painted over, but restorers are now working to bring da Vinci work back to life.  I found the museum furniture pieces to be spectacular.

Rappallo – Italian Rivera

July 20/24 – Rappallo, Italy

Well the longer we stay, the more we discover and actually really like this area.  We got off to a poor start, but much has changed since.  Sunday the 20th was spent exploring the immediate area as well as relaxing.  We managed to get to the car by 8am so that we could pay for day parking, (which is a real nightmare in Rappallo). After fixing the parking issue for the day, we checked out the town, before it started to rain.  Therefore we ducked into a cafe for some internet.  After some lunch which we ate at the local park near the castle (which was build at the waterfront) we discovered some old hotels which are run down and closed.  This town much have been quite the place at the turn of the century.  Now the hotels are just good for picture taking.  As it was Sunday lots of stuff was closed and since it was cloudy and raining we passed on the beach cabanas .  We came back and sat on our balcony with the amazing views and did lots of reading in the rain.  Dinner was pizza bread, cheese, salad and blueberry square.  We were able to move the car to a spot outside the apartment.  Monday we returned the car by driving all the way back to France (to save the 650E added to a one way drop fee).  Getting thru Genova was a bit conjested but we made good time after that.  The roads are pretty much all toll and you an see why.  They are constant tunnels which are well maintained.  So the 30E fee is understandable.  The Italians are much more aggressive and poorer drivers than the French.  We returned the car to Menton just over the border, a lovely little town and it was nice to be able to communicate again.  Took the train from Menton to Ventimiglia in Italy (just 13 minutes) and then checked out the local market to pick up food for lunch.  Had lunch in the park before boarding the very slow train back to Rapallo.  The train ride was quite a slog and I had certainly had a better time than the poor woman in the seats across from us.  Her husband was very drunk and kept drinking from his “clinking” backpack.  She seemed a very respectable lady and was visibly embarrassed at his behaviour.  He ended up so drunk that he went and peed between the cars, returned to his seat with his pants don and the conductor had to ask both of them to leave the train at the next stop.  We were also entertained by a young guy (reminded me of Pat) who got on in Genova and spent the whole ride practising his rubrick cube (4 column one).  He was constantly timing his 3 column one which took him on average 8 seconds to solve.  Very impressive.  He seems to be oblivious to the two lovely young girls across from him.