Where We Be
|Milan's cathedral has more statues than any other building in the world!
|The Piazza del Duomo is the perfect place to people watch and soak up the Gothic views
Milan’s Duomo is the fourth largest cathedral in
the world. Covered from head to toe in Gothic
bling, it includes 135 spires and 3,159 statues.
The facade is a confectioner’s cake of pink
marble, with a symmetrical pyramid-shaped top
interspersed with spires. Begun in 1386, it took
six centuries to complete and can hold up to
40,000 people! That was the entire population of
Milan when it was built.
The other highlight of our three days in Milan
was seeing Da Vinci's "The Last Supper." We
had to book this way in advance at a cost of $30
each but it was worth it. First impressions: the
painting is big! It takes up the entire horizontal
space of a refectory wall and is located higher
up than we expected above the door. Colors
seem muted, and this is because the vibrant
colors Da Vinci used are only 20% there; the
rest are intentionally muted restoration colors.
|Inside, the Duomo is cavernous and rather dark
|But the stained glass windows are toweringly high and lovely
|This unusual art exhibit just outside the Duomo was still in the process of being installed
|The Galleria Vittorio Emmanuel II is located just off the Duomo's
piazza and offers a classy place to shop and get a bite to eat
|Milan's famous La Scala Opera House looks
plain on the outside but is sumptuous inside
|We got to peek inside as part of our
admission to La Scala Museum [Not my photo]
|Sforza Castle, once one of the largest citadels in
Europe, now houses several specialized museums
|Pieta Rondanini is Michaelangelo's last work (unfinished) --
and the most famous work of art at Sforza Castle
|Parco Sempione is adjacent to Sforza Castle and offers a good escape from museum overload
|At the far end of Parco Sempione
is this triumphal arch
|Da Vinci's “The Last Supper” is located in the
refectory of Milan's Chiesa di Santa Maria delle Grazie
|Just one of the 3,159 statues decorating the Duomo
|Enjoying our first full day of sightseeing in Italy
|Beautiful window at the castle
|Fountain at the entrance to Sforza Castle
|But what you'll see at the refectory is much more muted. Very little of the
original painting remains today despite numerous restoration attempts.
|Our final sight in Milan was the Quadrilatero d'Oro --
one of the world's most famous shopping districts
|The Golden Rectangle is the center of high fashion in Milan.
These shoes at Dolce & Gabbana cost a small fortune.
|A long line of Vespas -- a common sight in Milan
|Atop the Duomo's tallest spire is its most famous statue,
the Madonnina (Little Madonna) -- still almost 14 feet tall
|The multiple museums are chock-full of other amazing
artifacts like this 13th century equestrian mausoleum
|If you've seen "The Last Supper" in books or art classes
it probably looked like this -- crisp and brightly colored