Kylie in Monza
The sun has finally started shining, thank the lord. It's been a long, long wait - we're into May now, and half the Milanese population are still sporting coats and boots! I was beginning to think the climate of Milan was rivaling London on the 'most consistently horrible' scale, (and that's not something to be proud of). But just when I'd lost all hope in there ever being a summer, I have been proven wrong.
Last Sunday, the sun-god made an appearance. And a welcoming sign it was. My friend Sarah and I decided we'd better make hay while the sun shone (not literally, just metaphorically obviously), and boarded a train for Monza. I'd heard great things about the medieval town, and made the assumption it'd be a nice escape from the polluted air of the city.
And we hit jackpot. The train trip was so super fast, I hadn't even finished page 1 of my guide book when it was time to get off. And the sun was still shining, so I knew the trip must have been a quick one. From the train station we headed towards the town center, more by 'feel' than true knowledge as there was a distinct lack of signposts. If only I'd read past page 1 of the guide book I'm sure we would have been better off.
The town center was cute - all pedestrianized, cobbled alleys, filled with people taking a stroll and enjoying the intermittent sun. Unfortunately being Sunday, the 'hard-working' Italians hadn't bothered opening their shops, so we were resorted to peeking through windows.
Finally we made our way to Parco di Monza. Apparently it's one of the largest in Europe, and everyone had raved about it so much it would have been criminal to bypass it.
One end of the park is home to Villa Reale, built 1771-80, and the rest of the park lends itself to cyclists, walkers, and rollerbladers. It is truly enormous, requiring a map for navigation if you really care to know where exactly you are (which we didn't - we were aimlessly wondering about and as long as we were in direct line from the bronzing sun, we were happy).
But aside from the sparse grasslands and well-kept cycle tracks, Parco di Monza is also well-known as the place for Formula 1. The autodromo is situated in one area of the park, and rumour has it activities held there can draw quite a crowd. But it seemed to far to trek on Sunday, so we opted for a cool Corona on the grass instead, and passed the afternoon doing absolutely nothing. Utter bliss.
I've attached a couple of photos of our day in lovely Monza. The girl sunning herself in the park is Sarah, not me, and her phone number is...no, just kidding.
But we did have a lovely day, and my prayers this week will be firmly directed towards the yearning for more sunshine. Here's hoping!