"Good Luck Africa!" is Italy's version of "Welcome Cairo!": it is what the street vendors use as their opening remark. This was how the conversation went when we first encountered one of them while we were trying to take pictures at the fountain:
Man: "Good luck Africa! Gift to you from Africa." as he approaches and attempts to forcibly tie a rainbow dyed string around my wrist.
Me: "No thank you, no grazie, non merci, hakuna" Lion King proves its worth yet again (the previous time being when I removed one of my rivals by way of a wildebeest stampede).
Man: "Is free gift from Africa to you, for good luck" as he succeeds in tying a string on Abby's wrist, and clipping off the loose ends with nail clippers
Abby: "Thank you" as she tries to get on with taking pictures
Man: "Make a donation for Africa." as he turns back to me
Me: "No, it is free gift, we did not ask for it"
Man: "Just two euro, for coffee" (does Africa really need coffee?)
Me: I give him one euro, which seems way more than fair for an unwanted bit of string.
Man: "Come on man, one more euro"
...and so on, until he spots more tourists to harass.
In Athens most of the street vendors looked Pakistani or Indian, but here they almost all looked African. Street vendors were probably the worst parts of our vacations so far, and at some points we were reduced to simply yelling at them to leave us alone, and we definitely weren't the only ones doing this.
Once we got past the African gauntlet we started to visit Castle Sforzesco. This was a beautiful brick covered fortress, which now houses several museums. We bought one ticket that got us into all the museums. We went to the museums of porcelain, ancient art, ancient Egypt, furniture, and musical instruments. We also visited a special exhibit all about Michaelangelo, including his art and architecture. The museum of musical instruments was our definite favorite, they had a whole bunch or really unique instruments. Tune in later in the week for more pictures from these museums! There are just too many to share in one post.
All of the bricks had worn down, but the mortar was still holding up a lot better than the bricks.
Inner courtyard of the castle. There was a couple here doing wedding photos while we were here. It was a great choice of background!
Enjoying a delicious mozz and tomato sandwich in the park behind the castle.
The castle grounds were free to the public, and you were allowed to come and go from the museums all day. This was a great idea as it allowed us to leave, get lunch, and then go back to the museums.
This gate is all that is left of an older wall that used to surround the castle.
Kitties were all around outside the castle. This one was just crawling out of this hole in the moat wall.
More kitties lounging in the castle moat.
View from inside the main wall.
Lounging on the grass and soaking up some sunshine. My favorite part of Italy was my afternoon nap in the sun. I napped on so many different green spaces it was awesome!
Tune in to find out more about day 3!
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