Marriage alla milanese

No, not mine!

Phil and I have enjoyed a lovely long weekend celebrating Jess and Mike’s wedding in Monza and Milan.

We took the relaxing and green route as far as getting there and back was concerned, travelling by train with the excellent assistance of for itinerary information and RailEurope for booking tickets.

Our journey out on Thursday comprised:
London Waterloo – Paris Gare du Nord (Eurostar, and by far the most expensive leg of the journey)
Paris Gare du Nord – Paris Gare de Lyon (RER)
Paris Gare de Lyon – Milano Centrale (TGV)

Very easily done in a day, with a leisurely sun worshipping lunch in Paris in between trains and minimal border/security controls. We were at our hotel in Milan – Hotel Sanpi, 10 minutes walk from the station, recommended but bring your own iron – by 9.30pm, and eating pizza 20 minutes after that.

On Friday we walked through the Giardini Pubblici into the centre of Milan, passing by La Scala and the Duomo, window shopping in Galeria Vittorio Emmanule II and mooching along the pedestrianised zone down towards San Bablia. After an al fresco late lunch on car free Via Dante we wandered up to Castello Sforzesco and spent the rest of the afternoon snoozing and reading in the gardens.

That evening, Mike hosted a dinner at L’Infinito, an excellent idea which allowed the wedding guests a chance to meet and get to know one another before the Big Day. A lovely evening, with superb food and wine and in great company.

Saturday brought more blue skies and the day of the wedding. As instructed, we assembled at 11.15 by the suitably wedding cake-esque fountains in front of the Castello from whence coaches took us to Monza, and Villa Mirabello in the Parco di Monza. After a simple civil ceremony, with the Mayor of Monza, resplendent in tricolore sash, presiding over the vows and paperwork we adjourned to the courtyard for champagne and canapes.

Back in Milan the celebrations continued in the Palazzo Visconti, just across the road from San Bablia, where we enjoyed more drinks and canapes before sitting down to an amazing meal in splendid surroundings. After non-traditional (for Italy) speeches, and the cutting of the gigantic wedding cake, guests chatted and mingled as Mike took up the clarinet and joined the three piece band for some early 20th century jazz (?) classics.

A lovely, lovely day.

Sunday saw our return to London by train – the exact reverse of our outbound route, and just as easy. Leaving the hotel at 8.30am, we were back in our flat for 8.30pm.

I reckon we’ll be taking the train for long weekends in Europe again.