We had a long weekend in Milan recently. Transport was easy, at least in theory; a TGV from Le Mans with a change in Paris takes you directly to Milan Central Station. In practice, there was a bus for the last hour or so on the way out, but we arrived only about 15 minutes late.
Here is a tip if you are on a TGV and need to cross Paris by the Metro: don't buy your metro tickets on the TGV. It sounds like a good idea for saving time, but the tickets cost more and don't work. So when you get to the metro, instead of buying your tickets quickly at a machine, you have to queue up to talk to a real person, who tells you not to buy your tickets on the TGV because they cost more and don't work.
If you visit Milan, you must see the cathedral. Some pics of this in a later post, but first, the shopping centre Galleria Vittorio Emanuela II that backs onto the cathedral square. I liked its collection of classic brand name shops and comfortable atmosphere. It has a fine DVD and CD shop; I browsed for ages. The arcade is laid out in a cross, and the central junction features four fine brands:
I can indulge in a wry smile at the juxtaposition of the Golden Arches alongside prestige brands, but there is something to be said for Macdonald's. On the Saturday morning, being left to my own devices, I indulged in an English Language newspaper and read it in a café on the cathedral square. At lunchtime I was too lazy to walk the 100 yards to the Macdonald's and settled for the burgers and chips as offered by the café. They would have shamed a down-market greasy spoon. I wouldn't say I'm a fan of Macdonald's, but I do think they deserve some respect.