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Milano

Milan Travel Blog

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Our trip to Milan was very, very quick. We were only there for one day. Most of the day it was kind of chilly and overcast (as you can see from my pictures). We had a full day planned. We had to see the Duomo, Galleria, La Scala and of course The Last Supper. It felt like we were running around all day trying to see everything. Somehow we fit it all in.

We started at the Galleria where we each took a turn spinning our heel three times on the testicles of the bull in the mosaic tiled floor. This is part of the local custom. Milan's rival is the city of Turin and the bull is the symbol of Turin, so locals and tourists perform this act to disgrace Turin.

Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II
Plus it's tradition, and who am I to buck tradition?

We quickly saw Teatro alla Scala, the world's most famous opera house. I would have loved to see inside, but we weren't able to. How amazing would it be to see an opera there?!

From La Scala we set off in search for lunch. We found a little tabacchi that had cheap sandwiches and walked around while we munched on panini. We then took a street trolley to Santa Maria della Grazie which houses The Last Supper by Leonardo da Vinci. I cannot explain to you how excited I was to see this fresco. I've studied it in school, I've studied the conspiracies associated with Leonardo and of course I've read The Da Vinci Code.

So before you actually go into the temperature/humidity controlled room that has the fresco, you have to wait in this hallway that has all of these posters and images explaining the fresco and the scene of Jesus and his 12 disciples.

La Scala Opera House
I was a little bothered by how much emphasis was placed on Dan Brown and the conspiracy surrounding the fresco, because the image is still a Christian subject matter. I felt that the text and pictures should have been explaining the importance of this last supper, the last time Jesus met with his disciples before he was arrested and eventually crucified. I felt that the emphasis wasn't in the proper place.

Anyway, so we eventually made it into the room and it was the most amazing experience. You enter this cool, dark room and to your right is this gently lit fresco covering most of the wall. It was a lot bigger than I expected. Everyone was so quiet and reverent; I was grateful. Of course you couldn't take pictures, so I just stood there for the 15 minutes we were allotted and just stared and stared and stared, trying to take it all in.

Santa Maria delle Grazie (home of the Last Supper)
I didn't even write any notes in my sketchbook because I didn't want to waste the precious time I had to see this fresco with my own eyes. Sadly, the fresco is deteriorating. They are doing their best to repair it, but it still makes me sad because the fresco I'm seeing now is different from the one Leonardo intended for viewers to see. It is fragile, like so many great pieces of art.

After seeing The Last Supper we went back to the Piazza del Duomo so we could climb to the top of the Duomo. Well, I was up for climbing, but we ended up taking the elevator. You simply must get the the top of the Duomo somehow. The view is amazing. On a clear day you can see the Swiss Alps to the north. The roof is like a big playground too. There were people walking all over it. After another quick ride down the elevator we finally made it inside.

inside the Duomo. amazing!
I was particularly excited because this was my first gothic cathedral. Gothic cathedrals are all about the emphasis of light and height. Most people think gothic is dark and scary, when it's really the opposite. The high ceilings are meant to raise your eyes to heaven and all of the windows allow light to stream down from above, another parallel to God. All in all, it was a great first gothic cathedral.

We had time for a quick bite of gelato before we got back on the metro and eventually headed back to Florence. The last 15 minutes before we left, the sun finally came out. It was a nice ending to a busy day. Hopefully next time I'll have more time in Milan. Don't forget that it's also the fashion capital of Italy. All of those shops! One day was not enough..

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Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II
Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II
La Scala Opera House
La Scala Opera House
Santa Maria delle Grazie (home of …
Santa Maria delle Grazie (home of…
inside the Duomo. amazing!
inside the Duomo. amazing!
the Duomo. my first gothic cathedr…
the Duomo. my first gothic cathed…
prayer candles.
prayer candles.
intricate floor pattern.
intricate floor pattern.
stained glass: a gothic staple.
stained glass: a gothic staple.
waiting for the street trolley.
waiting for the street trolley.
on top of the Duomo.
on top of the Duomo.
Piazza del Duomo
Piazza del Duomo
on top of the Duomo.
on top of the Duomo.
me and a gothic window.
me and a gothic window.
another gothic staple: flying butt…
another gothic staple: flying but…
the sun finally came out!
the sun finally came out!
ciao Milano!
ciao Milano!
Milan
photo by: williamsworld