We dealt with the 12-1/2 hour red-eye flight from Singapore to Milan in the usual fashion with movies and cat naps. The hourlong train from the airport to Milano Centrale Stazione was simple to figure out and to take into town. The 12€ ride at the morning rush hour was easy but got very crowded for about half the journey. I’m not sure why I paid for the tickets though since you don’t seem to need one to get on or off the train or in or out of the station. There were no conductors on board either. I guess my parents looking over my shoulder are keeping me honest.
After arriving in the city of Milan, we walked to a nearby hotel where we have reservations for the day before we fly back to Singapore. This is not only a tradition for us but it is more for practical purposes. We left a PVC tube with them that we use as luggage for our walking sticks, pen knives and some liquids.
Back in the train station we bought our tickets to Vercelli (7.55€) but we had two hours to kill before the next direct train. We sat in a cafe at the station and had some light breakfast and last minute internet searches on their wi-fi. We are too connected.
The 50 minute train to Vercelli was not as crowded but also not as nice a train. It wasn’t bad either, just not as nice as the airport train. As I didn’t need to give up my seat to anyone, sitting caused its own problems. We both fell asleep and nearly missed our stop.
Vercelli is a beautiful town but someone should be keeping an eye out for pilgrims (and / or thieves) in the basilica. We walked all through the place trying to get a stamp for our Credencials but we could find a soul. We managed to get some cool gold cups from a side altar though… just kidding.
We made the mistake of booking Vercelli’s best hotel listed on Booking.com so we could get a good night’s sleep after the long flight. It was a mistake because it was on the far side of town and also the the opposite side of where we start our walk in the morning. Oh well, what’s a few more kilometres?
The rest of the day and night passed without fanfare. We had a decent meal at a nearby trattoria and got to bed early. We’re off in the morning and nervous as all heck.