I was floating around on Groupon looking at holidays and saw a mystery getaway pop up. At a bargain price you say three dates and three airports and this determines where you are going on holiday. I wasn’t sure about taking the risk with my children too but as it was our fifteenth wedding anniversary my husband said to book it for just the two of us. I had no idea how long it would take to find out when and where we were going but I got the call pretty much straight away to say we were going to Milan. The only problem was that they wouldn’t let me have my dates (weekend) without adding an extra day (at extra cost) and plus there was no transfers and city tax to add on. Of course we also had airport parking and insurance costs too.
The boys went over to stay with the in-laws on the Friday so that we could just think about getting to the airport on the Saturday. We had parked with Ryanair and it was quite difficult to find an empty space (but possible). We then had a lovely breakfast in the airport before flying into Bergamo. The transfer (again booked through Ryanair) took us to Milan – and from there we decided to walk to the hotel. First impressions of the area weren’t that great – in that it was just another city. We went out for dinner somewhere my husband had found was rated excellent on Google and it wasn’t all that great. We quickly learned that they spoke little English and we were translating the menu using Google (opting for a set meal).
A Trip into Milan
The next day was a Sunday and we were unsure what would and wouldn’t be open in Italy. After having a nice long lie in we decided to head into Milan. Of course there was gelato and naked statues of men, lots of fashion shops (including me shoe shopping as mine were just killing!). Again we tried eating out (for lunch) but this time the menu was in both Italian and English and the food was much nicer. Then there was more art, history and interesting buildings. Then we bought a metro card which lasted for 48 hours, meaning that we could use it until we went home. Dinner we decided to stick with what we know (and save some money) by going to McDonalds. We then bought train tickets for Venice the next day. Again our lack of Italian didn’t help as they were quite instant that we could go through Verona (and even stay a few minutes) but not stay and look around and go to Venice as well in the same day.
Daytrip to Venice
We got up early to get the fast train to Venice and then we got there we bought a water bus ticket to last the day. We had nowhere in particular we wanted to go, or things to see – we just wanted to be in Venice. We headed that for the Bridge of Sighs and other than that we just went around on the water bus. We did go to the Lido where there a beach and eventually decided to have a gondola ride. We had actually run out of money and had to get money out of the hole in the wall but that going to Venice and not going on a gondola would be something I would regret. I am sure we were meant to be on there half an hour but I think in reality it was 5 minutes. Best few minutes of our life anyway, with people cheering and clapping as we kissed under the bridge.
Isola Street Art Milan
It was our last morning in Italy and my husband had found that an area had lots of street art (which he knows I love). It was to do with an area had been redeveloped and some of the art was commissioned. I found a walking street map which showed us where they were located – with a good many of them being the underground tunnel which connects Isola with Garibaldi station.
Our mystery getaway was great and it made a nice change to have somewhere random selected for us. I am not so sure that it ended up cheaper that way however and even after transfers the hotel was quite a way away (which was fine for just the two of us who were capable of walking) and so not something I personally would want to risk with the children. The flights (Ryanair) and hotel were perfectly adequate for our needs however and there were no complaints. We had a great long weekend away to celebrate our 15th wedding anniversary (the first time the kids have had both of us not there for longer than one night) and it was like a honeymoon. Super duper grateful to the in-laws for taking care of the boys (who had a great couple of days out).