August 15, 2017
Most first time visitors to Italy Skip the metropolis of Milan, or Milano in Italiano. They prefer to visit Rome, Florence and Venice. I am guilty of the same choices and did not visit Milan until 2016.
Milan is part of the province of Lombardy in the north of Italy. The city is a place of fashion, design and Opera. It is also the unofficial financial capital of Italy. The most commonly visited tourist attractions are the Duomo with its stunning gothic architecture, the Santa Maria Della Grazie convent with The Last Supper by Leonardo Da Vinci and the Most famous opera house in all of Italy, La Scala.
When I first arrived, my main goal was to see Da Vinci’s Last Supper. Leonardo Da Vinci is my personal hero. I have studied him since secondary school. He worked for Duke Ludovico, Regent of Milan where he created tools of war such as bridges, cannons and more. He was a fine painter, scientist, sculptor and creative genius. But of all he envisioned and created, the Last Supper was his crowning glory in Milan.
If you wish to see it, you must have a reservation in advance. You visit will be limited to 15 minutes. (You may purchase tickets on line at www.tickitaly.com.)
Da Vinci took more time painting than many of his contemporaries. He could not use the traditional fresco technique of painting on the wall of the refectory as it dried too quickly. He experimented with his own technique and painted onto the plaster. He created a metaphysical, symbolistic backdrop to the moment that Jesus Christ told his followers one of them would betray him. It began to show its flaws almost immediately.
And still, with the restorations, it is a remarkable, unforgettable work of art. You must see it if you appreciate art and genius. It is spectacular.
The Duomo was packed with tourist. The exterior bas relief was exquisite.
Inside, the vaulted ceiling captivates the eye
as does the inlaid floor and stained glass windows. Every inch of the church is covered with sculpture and Christian art. Do not miss it.
Most travelers do not budget for a performance of opera at La Scala. You can join a day tour of the city and visit the opera house with its grandiose features while the opera is not in session. I was lucky enough to visit during the orchestra rehearsal. The acoustics were perfect. Next time I will splurge for a seat at the Opera.
Sculpture of Leonardo Da Vinci outside La Scala.
I cannot recall all the restaurants and bars I visited and the others I missed. There is so much to see and do in Milan that I must return soon. And I know which hotel or hotels I will use once again.
Have you heard of the hotel chain Hotel B&B? You can book directly with them at www.hotelbb.com. If you want a fun and contemporary resting place in the heart of Milan, this could be your home away from home. It is filled with young, energetic people who love comfort, convenience and location. The Hotel offered a full breakfast,
Hotel B&B lower level gathering room.
snack machines for any time you are hungry or thirsty and an outdoor area overlooking the city. I found it very comfortable.
I hope to try another Hotel B&B very soon.
If you fly into or out of Milan Malpensa Airport you may want to spend a night nearby. I chose a Rock and Roll Hotel across from Terminal Two called At the Moxy.
The first time I stayed at the Moxy I noticed a coffee table book of the life of Jimi Hendrix and I knew I was home.
The gathering area has rock or funk music playing, floor to ceiling windows, comfy and colorful couches and tables for meals. The hotel offers a hot meal with wine at dinnertime and it was very good. You can also purchase salads and breakfast food.
Even if you fly out of Terminal One as I did, you can take a free bus from Terminal Two and arrive in about 10 minutes.
There is so much more to see and experience in Milan. I only had a few days. Next time I will stay longer, visit the Castle, drink by the canals, check out the tall apartment complex with the green gardens dripping from each balcony and just walk the city to enjoy the architecture. And then there is the mall. I must spend more time there.
Would you like to join me? Let me know. I will be there again soon.
Ciao for now!
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Ciao for Now!
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