Ok, where was I... Ahh yes, Milan. We arrived in Milan by train from the airport where we dropped the rental car off and promptly caught a cab to our Hotel. I strode confidently up to the hotel desk and began to check in and was then told that I did not have a reservation! After they tried to look me up in their computer a few times, I asked if I could print off my confirmation that was on my email account. When I brought up the confirmation, the lady pointed out what she had feared. I was confirmed at another unrelated Hotel De La Ville somewhere in Monza!!!!! I had booked the hotel on Travelocity based on a link from a travel Web site. I remember reading the description of the hotel in Milan and booking it right away. I retraced my booking steps to confirm that I indeed had tried to book the hotel in Milan. I also remember checking the confirmation email when it arrived. Of course I missed the exact address on this email and simply looked at the name of the hotel and the small map (which looked like the layout of milan to me at the time). Anyway, I managed to cancel my reservation in Monza and book a room at the real Hotel De La Ville. Phew! At one point in this process, the desk person said that this happens a lot between the two hotels. I am just suprised that nobody has decided to fix it yet. Anyhoo... We managed to get settled in our nicely appointed room and then set out to see the sights. We took a brief tour of the amazing Duomo and the equally amazing Duomo Museum. Lunch was at a small shop close to the duomo that sold great little Calzone-like things. They are very popular and I am sure one of you guys remembers the name. We did a little shopping and general browsing around the duomo area before we went back to the hotel to relax before dinner. Dinner was at Boccodivino! We had the Concierge page a taxi, which took 30 min to arrive and made us late for dinner. All was made better though as soon as we arrived at Boccodivino. Let me first say that Craig Camp does a much better job of describing Boccodivino. He knows the wines and the names of the various salumis and cheeses. I dont. I just know that they were all the best I had the entire trip. If you are in Milan or even nearby, just go. We were instantly seated by the lovely staff and the head waiter/sommilier came with some welcoming Prosecco, which was a great way to set the mood for the evening. First came the amazing "boquet" of vegetables as well as a beautiful white that I unfourtanetly did not get a picture of. As we munched on the veggies, they brought out some cheese balls from heaven and a top-notch chicken liver crostini that arrived with more butter to accompany the already rich bite. The wine was fantastic with these courses. It cut right through all the richness, yet paired well with the raw veggies. <veggies and katie> <tasty bits> The delightful Sommelier arrived with yet another great wine. I don't recall the details, but the label in the picture said 'Marna'. <Marna> As if the wine were not enough, we were bestowed with the gift of pork to accompany it. The first round of salumi contained 7-8 samples of Italy's finest. <meat ahoy!> We started with the absoutely amazing lardo and could have left right then and gotten our money's worth. Katie especially was amazed. She has always been more of a fan of the less fatty pieces, but is now a changed woman. In fact, I took a picture of her reaction to eating the lardo. <damn, that is good!> We were brought another wine that I especially liked and was intrigued with. It was a german red that they paired with the next round of smoked salumi. <tasty german red> <smoked meats> <katie in the pork fat zone> <This is what I look like when I am in a state of bliss> <surprise!> I kept watching the cheese cart roll by to other tables and was insanely jealous each time I saw it. I was consoled, however, with the final meat dish of hand carved proscuitto. The waiter was really great and took a picture of Katie and I with the leg. <Smile and say PIG!> Katie was stuffed beyond belief at this point and I would be lying if I said I wasn't feeling it, but I marched on like a champ through the rest of the amazing meal. Another wine arrived to my delight, it was called Kleos and yet again I was stunned by the quality of the wine and its pairing with the food. These guys truly know their stuff. <Kleos> The next course was risotto milanese and a pasta dish with an herby/cheesy sauce. Both were very good.. <yum> The next time the cheese cart rolled by, it took a sharp left and stopped at our table! Joy! This was the fresh cheese cart, and boy was I excited. It had fresh mozzerella, ricotta, and a third soft cheese that I would marry if I had never met Katie. <soft cheese> <more soft cheese about to be devoured> Just as I had reached a new plane of heaven, the sommelier arrived with a Barbaresco to pair with our final cheese course. Again, a perfect match. This was my first taste of Barbaresco and my socks were knocked off. <Do do do do do do do Barbaresco Time!> All I can say about the aged cheese cart is that it is simply staggering. <Homie's got Cheese for days yo!> <My selection> An entire pot full of fresh biscotti arrived after a short break. They went very very well with our next beverage; a smooth Maderia. <biscotti> <maderia> The final dessert course was a peach sorbet and it was served with a homemade granita-like citrus and grappa concoction that was subtly powerful. <sorbet> <mamma said knock you out> <drunk katie!> After we basked in the glow of our evening, the check arrived and I was pleasantly suprised with the cost, I almost felt like I robbed them. We had such an amazing time here and I can't wait to find myself in Milan again. I left full of great food and drunk on fantastic wine... all was right with the world. Ben Milan Day 2 next!