Image of Milan 1

A few years back, myself and God went on holiday to Italy this time deciding to base ourselves in Milan being a central hub in Northern Italy from which to journey in different directions each day.  We didn’t want to limit ourselves to one city, but likewise didn’t want to be hauling ourselves from hotel to hotel, so it seemed a good idea to have a base in the mid-point from which to plan some day trips with reasonable journey times.  So Milan it was.

Milan is quite a small city.

Very business like in many aspects – pretty modern



It is sooooo full of luvvies

and dahlings

and those overtly camp guys with tight jeans and swinging wiggles.

All the women are like size 6,

small, tiny, and all perfectly groomed.

A lot of them walk little doggies the size of your hand on leads

which is kind of hilarious.

woman with dog

It was late April  when we travelled, Easter actually, and the weather was lovely – Italy is so much warmer than Ireland at that time of year.  So let me take you through Milan a la Derval.

Day one,  kick off.

It’s bright and sunny so, Derval, who had brought her Khaki Gap shorts with her decided oh yeah, sun on legs, good plan! Hah, yeah, mistake.

Walks out with hair in ponytail, no make up, white tee shirt and afore-mentioned shorts – not your hot pant type, you know, the to-the knee types a la “It Aint Half Hot Mum”.

Milky legs,

milky everything!

I thought nothing of it until a group of lads walking past us started laughing and pointing to the shorts….I was like oh dear,

but I got over it.

The Italians ARE really rude!

They keep staring and pointing – they have no manners whatsoever.

It got worse though….

We were walking along the next day and I was in jeans and tee, with my hair loose down my back, and they were pointing again

I was getting really freaked out coz this continued all morning.

We went shopping in the pm and it still continued.

I got really upset.

When we got back to the hotel, God had a word with the concierge and asked what the blazes did he think was going on?

The concierge said it was my HAIR!  (HUH??)

Girl with Curly Red hair

It was auburn,

with copper highlights,


The Italians straighten their hair – they don’t do curly,

AND none of them have RED hair.  So I was like a bloody space oddity walking around.



Next day we went to beautiful Bergamo, which is situated 40km n/east of Milan at the foot of the Alps! Pretty special. 

Off we went,

On the train.

The concierge had organised everything.  Happy out.

It was a lovely place – a city on two levels – really, really nice.  We had a super day, did the Capello, Piazza Vecchia, & co. Really nice lunch al fresco, just plain simple Italian fare, (with Polenta cakes, natch) followed by a relaxed mosey around doing more of the tourist thing.


it was boiling hot, we just wanted to kick back with a chilled bottled of wine,

but we had a dinner reservation for 7pm (really?),

so we had to leave at 4pm to get back etc.

We got on the train and after 15mins it just stopped


and didn’t move

no Guard

no announcement (not that we could understand but we would have asked).


for an hour.

The doors were shut

wouldn’t open

and no windows that opened.

Roast Derval.

So I phoned the hotel

and got them to phone the train people.

There was a power cut and they were working on the line…..

There was no announcement nothing until the train started moving again

after 2 HOURS.

We had to get the hotel to phone the restaurant to move the dinner reservation.

By the time we got to the hotel there was a row over the shower – I won!


off we went to dinner …

nom nom.

All was well

until I ordered pasta for my main.

The waiter looked at me like I was medusa.

Shaking his he head he went off, tut tutting in Italian #tutti tuttatti & co.

Seems in Italy pasta is not the main course

it’s like somewhere between the starter and the main


I asked for spaghetti with tomato sauce

and out comes this plate with a very watery sauce (sauce = exaggeration)

It wasn’t anything like I was used to but it was probably the proper real deal.  It was okay, I was tired, I was hungry, it was edible.

Anyway, we got langered on the wine and all was well until we asked for the bill (Queue dramatic music).

They didn’t take visa,

they didn’t take debit card.

We didn’t have enough cash between us!

So God said he’d go the ATM  ……… dum de dum de dum, smoke smoke ( Probably the one advantage of smoking )

He came back after 10 mins,

All the ATMS were down, so,

no bloody cash,

He had to go back to the hotel

Ask them for money

And come back and pay the bill,

whilst I was held hostage, albeit in a very polite way.  Humpf!  Anyhoo, we got sorted.  Exhausted, we walked back to the hotel for a sound night’s sleep.


the next day

we slept it out (probably due to trauma caused by the previous night’s hostage situation).


we had booked a taxi for 9am,

and the bloody bell hop came charging into the room screaming at us to get up as the taxi was outside,

{and this was a 5 star hotel}

I had the phone off the hook by accident (you think?) so they hadn’t been able to get through from reception.

I is in my best pink gingham jamas,

sexy or what.

We ran around trippin over each other to get out the door.  We were getting a train and the tickets had been booked.

By the time we go to the taxi the bill was already Euro 30!

He had put the bloody meter on when he left the rank (seemingly standard #fare, every pun intended).

Euro 55 it cost us to go to train station,

but, we got the train,

only to find it was full, and we had to stand,

despite the fact that we had tickets!!

Cos when we queried people sitting in our so called seats, they all pretended they couldn’t speak English, grrrr.

So there we were – in this big tin train,

like sardines,

all the way to Venice.

3 freakin hours (artistic licence).  We were meant to be on the express, yeah right.  By the time we go there we were like cripples.

So anyway, we went to the very lovely Cipriani for lunch – see George Clooney for reference


It was fab,

spoilt rotten,

and me in my lovely posh white linen trousers,

accordianised with a 1000 wrinkles,

from being on the tin train,

make up around my ankles,

but hey ho,

I survived (amazing what wonders a glass of champagne can perform!).

Lunch was sublime and was followed by a laze around the terrace until the hotel speed boat was ready to take us back to “dry land”!

ST Marks Square

So off we went in this super speed boat a la 50s movie stars, all glam and sophisticated cool, over to St. Mark’s Square,

where a pigeon shat on my head! SPLAT.

God said that was for good luck, whilst trying not to laugh. HUH. Folds arms.

Venice, elegance personified.  Me, with crap on head.

And God says to me … “Pigeon!!”  (yeh, hahaha, you’re so funny!)

Then he asked, would I go in the gondola by myself?  He’s not really up for it, he said.  Very Madonna Derv, just #likeavirgin? Yeah, more like just one cornetto.

Madonna in gondola

So off I go to Mr Gondola – innocent abroad – “How much?” says I, “Euro 100″ says he.

So I ask the next chap and he says the same.

So gobshite here thinks oh well they must all be that cost then,

And paid up like a fool.

Off we went,

like in the cornetto ad, ‘cept without the cornetto,

Cornetto ad

me and Romeo the gondolier.

Half way around the route, I notice people are back laughing at me again,

but I ignore.  “It’s the hair” I tell myself. “Forget it”

But then this very loud crowd of Americans are going by and I hear one girly shouting,

oh that’s so sad, look at her, on her own, in the gondola …” … wow, how embarrassing for her, I thought.


It was only then that it dawned on me, that everyone was laughing at me cos I was alone in a gondola!

So Romeo, feeling for me, started singing to me,

which made things worse (a hell of a lot worse),

I was trying to hide under my armpit,

didn’t work.

Anyway we got back and says God to me

“how did you get on?”

says I to him “not speaking to you, you bastard”.

We found out later on that the gondola should only have been 50 euro !!  The git had double charged the so called #saddospinster! DOUBLE SULK

Anyway, I said “Right, we are going up this spire thingy so we can get the view of the city from the top”,


cept I didn’t see the sign that says you have to wait for the guide to take you up,

one way traffic only,

at a time.

So I was half way up this little winding turret thing

Turret Stairs

when we met the crowd coming down,

and had to do a 180 and descend all the way back down,

and wait,

and God says to me ,

cough, quote:

“You can feck off if you think I’m going back up there again” .. pregnant pause.

(I liked the way he used the word Feck, seeing as he’s Welsh!)

So went to the Cathedral instead,



Reminds me of that song,  … whole lotta sulkin’ goin’ on .. (sic)

When we’d calmed the mood a bit, we went for a drink, people watched, chillaxed,

and then,

we got on that tin can again,

to go home,

and it took 4 and a half hours.

And the loo was broken.

And we had to share a seat.

When we got back to the hotel,

the restaurant was closed,

so we went into the bar,

and got pissed,

and started a sing song,

except I can’t sing,

but I do,

when I’m pissed,

anything by Roger Miller and I’m off.

So I did “Ever gentle on my mind”

and got a standing ovation (whoops).

I think they felt sorry for me,

cos I was filthy,


wrinkled and,

still had shit in my hair, which had now taken a bit of a “There’s something about Mary” turn at the front.

Anyway, God says I do all the gestures spot on,

like twirling the invisible lasso!

I was probably just trying to balance myself by waving my arms 🙂 



Tune in for more madness, mayhem and merriment later in the week when I publish Part 2.




2 thoughts on “Milanese Madness, Mayhem and Merriment, Part I

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