The long-waiting post is finally in. It took me so long to write about our end-of-summer trip to Europe.
The purpose of the trip: attending a conference in Geneva.
To make the best of the trip, we decided to visit other cities close to Geneva.
After much debate and searching, we visited:
– Milano, Italy,
– Bellagio, Italy,
– Lausanne, Switzerland,
– Annecy, France.

Our first stop was Milano, Italy.
Milano Sky line

To enjoy the trip even more, we rented a car and headed down to Italy from Geneva.
Breathtaking is how I shall describe the scenery along the route!

The route passes through the Alps and up to the Mount Blanc, where we took the Mont Blanc tunnel to Italy.

From the Italian end of the tunnel to Milano, the route is stretched by villages and small towns on the hills of the Alps. Each village shows off to passerby with an iconic and magnificent castle standing on the highest point of the village. Vineries on steep hills draw attention.

We arrived to Milano after ~4 hours driving and as every new city we visit, we had got a lot of walking to do!
Milano is ancient and Beautiful! Strolling in Milano’s streets is as Walking on foot prints of history!
Galleria Vittorio Emanuele, Milano

Our to-explore list was long, but the first and foremost item on the list is Gelato!
First gelato stop: Bianco Latte.

Loved the pistachio flavor. The fig gelato was superb!

Toldo was one of many other gelato places we tried:

Toldo had the best pistachio gelato among those we tried in Milano …

Second in our list for Milano comes Coffee, we were eager to try macchiato and cappuccino in their birth place, Italy.

Espresso drinking has its custom in Italy. Locals stop by a cafe, order their espresso shots, drink it at the counter and leave! Fun to watch 😀 This picture is from Toldo

and this was in panini durini

I also learned from an Italian friend, whom I met in the conference, that Italians are very patriotic and serious about their cuisine and espresso drinks; Cappuccino is the morning drink and that’s why it has a lot of milk! he said “if you go to a cafe in Italy not in the morning and order Cappuccino, the barista will know 100% that you are not Italian!” he went on and said “you actually insult the barista” with your not-in-the-morning-Cappucinno-order! 😀

Our first morning in Milano, we stopped by Pave cafe and bakery. On our table: two cappuccinos and a croissant:

Corso Giribaldi is a street full of shops/cafes and restaurants. We stopped by Botega cafe in corso Giribaldi and had our afternoon macchiatos …

One of the joys of visiting a new city is, of course, people watching. For Milano, you will right away notice how trendy and stylish Milanese are.
It is known as the Fashion Capital of Italy and has a Fashion district, home to designers shops. For us, this means a lot of window shopping : D

I particularly could relate to the driving attitude in Italy, very middle eastern!
That means you should be alert all the time, which on the positive side, makes the driving much more fun and interesting!

The plentiful of Plantanus trees (Persian: چنار‎) and their distinctive smell all reminded me of streets of Tehran.

One of the famous sites in Milano, if not the most famous one, is the Duomo Milano, the magnificent and unique cathedral of Milano:

A long queue in front of what seemed to be a small restaurant was enough for us to join the queue. The queue was moving fast and our eyes were moving faster trying to find out what people are ordering. We ordered what seemed to be their signature, cheese Panzerottis and hands down was the best Italian savory we had in our trip. Later we found out that the place is famous for its Panzerottis and has been in business since 1888!
Luini is located in a side street by the Duomo …

The piazza in front of San Lorenzo Maggiore church on Corso di Porta Ticinese became our favorite spot to sit and watch locals. The piazza was always packed with youngsters and seemed a popular hang-out place.

In Milano, urban art is completed with random graffiti here and there …

We truly enjoyed our stay in Milano and the city managed to charm us with all it offers from culture, architecture, people, food, gelato, and weather…!