Tuesday, July 25, 2017

279. Farewell to Milano ...

My two week stay in Milan has come and gone in a flash and now it is time to pack up and move onto my next adventure ... 

The weather during my stay here has been rather warm, with most days up in the mid-30s - too hot in fact for this tourist to do his usual wandering about the city ... !!! ... so my time has been wisely spent with visiting just a handful of sites on my wish-list ... me thinks I'll have to return to Milan when the weather is cooler to get a better view of the city and finish visiting so of the 70-odd galleries dotted throughout the town ...

In the centre of Milan is the spectacular Duomo di Milano - second in size to Saint Peters in Rome and the third largest cathedral in Europe ... and the biggest tourism draw-card in Milan with an entry queue at the side door of hungry tourists waiting in the hot sun for a chance to get inside ... and after buying my ticket for the rather exorbitant sum of A$25 ( which I might say, included a lift ride to the roof ... ) I too joined the line ...
 

Construction of the Gothic cathedral began in 1386 and took nearly 6 centuries to complete ... with on-going maintenance and restoration it is a constant work in progress - so I guess the high entry fee pays the wages of the teams of stone masons on the job ... The construction is of brick faced with marble slabs quarried locally in the Provence.

... I can never understand why people like having 
their photos taken with pidgeons ...!!! ...
The Cathedral dominates the popular Piazza del Duomo
looked over by a statue of Vittorio Emanuelle II
the first king of United Italy ( late 1800s )


Once inside, whilst the architecture is massive, very vast in area and very grand architectually, the decor, however is a bit of a let-down - especially after the over-the-top stuff that amused me in the Sicilian churches ... !!! ... 
 
 

 


The only marble inside of any note is that of the Saint Bartholomew Flayed (1562), by Marco d'Agrate - the saint shows his flayed skin thrown over his shoulders like a stole … !!! … enough to scare any young alter boy into doing what he is told ...



The massive stained glass windows tower over us mortals ...



After a walk around the inside, it's into a lift to "nearly" the roof, then a walk up a few dozen well-worn steps to the apex of the building ...










... such a good balancing act ...

... and here we are ...




... no place here for the vertically-challenged ...




Then it's back down to terra-firma and a walk around  the exterior of the building
to admire the extraordinary marble and stone works
that kept hundreds of artisans and stone masons 
employed over those 600 years ...










... and in the glow of a warm summer's night ...

Then across the Piazza is the Galleria Vittorio Emanuelle II
a huge beautiful shopping and restaurant "arcade" ...



 
... with all the high-brand clothing stores ...






... monument to Leonard da Vinci
who lived and worked in Milan from 1482 until 1499 ...


The famous La Scala Opera house ...
it's "off season" so didn't get to see inside ...





... definitely a bicycle and Lambretta city ...




The 15th Century Sforzesco Castle
housing nine museums - none of which I got to see ... 
 



 



Arch of Peace was built In 1807, during Napoleon’s rule.
This city gate marked the place where the Strada del Sempione 
connecting Milan to Paris enters Milan.



The inscription above the gate reads -
 " To the hopes of the Italian Kingdom under the patronage of Napoleon 1 ... etc "





... so it's one last tram ride
to the monstrous Central Railway Station 


... and it's " all aboard " the red jet and onto who knows where ...


stay tuned ...