Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Travels in Italy or Milan, Part 2

I started my travelogue of my trip to Italy with this post. I promised that I would blog again about that amazing trip and so now I have Part 2 of my time in Milan.

One important piece of information that we learned about Italy before we left was the dress code in regard to entering churches. The Italians are formal and require that shoulders and knees be covered.

I went shopping prior to this trip to make sure that I had quick drying shorts that were long enough in the leg to cover my knees and likewise a nice travel friendly top that covered my shoulders. I was planning on visiting St. Peter's Basilica during my time in Rome and did not want to be turned away due to "immodest" dress.

We arrived in Milan after a long flight from Boston and were feeling a bit exhausted/excited. After checking into our hotel, we took showers to help us feel refreshed and changed our clothes from the ones we had worn on the airplane. I expected that we might visit the Duomo that afternoon, so I wore my appropriate long shorts and capped sleeve shirt. My husband's shorts were almost knee length, but we shared the opinion that middle-aged men's knees were not seen as being scandalous as much as women's knees.

Once we finished our lunch, toured the Teatro Alla Scala, and walked through the Gallerie Vittorio Emanuele II we were ready to visit the Duomo.


Here is a picture of that amazing cathedral.




A golden statue of Saint Mary adorns the top of the Duomo.



My husband had a brand new camera and was busily snapping various pictures. I assumed that he would have taken all the same ones I would have. Wrong. He only took one photo of the Duomo to get a sense of its grandeur.

It is a shame that he did not take any photos of the piazza in front which was a major gathering spot of hundreds if not thousands of people. There was a vibrancy being among people who were there enjoying the sunshine and each others' company.

He took pictures when I asked him to and here are some horse statues nearby the Duomo and have a strange modern art sensibility to them.


I thought it looked like a pile of salt that the black horses were struggling to emerge from or risk drowning. And then well, there is one horse that seems to be having difficulty of a different nature.

I have a new editing tool and discovered how I can add captions. This opens up new vistas of blogging for me. Who knows what mischief I will wreak?

Scott took several photos of the carvings on the front of the Duomo. This one reminds me of Sonoma County in harvest time, however we don't have grape clusters anywhere near this size.


Here are a few others with Medievalist aspects to them such as a priest riding with a contingent of armed foot soldiers.



And here a king is being thrown to the ground as his horse is wounded.

Could one of my Medievalist friends who reads Latin interpret the wording surrounding this panel. I see the word "sex" near the king's elbow and would like to know what it means in context and translation.


We did not have difficulty getting into the cathedral, but we did have our bags searched before we were allowed inside. I believe we might have been denied entrance had my knees and shoulders not been covered.

Here you can get an idea of how large the cathedral really is. I have seen conflicting reports as to the ranking of the Duomo di Milano in relation to other cathedrals, so I will just say that it is quite large and impressive both inside and out.



Next comes a statue of Saint Bartholomew who according to one legend was flayed alive.

Yikes.

His statue is shown with defined musculature and draped with his own skin.


I will leave you with an image of an eagle in the stained glass. Eagles are the symbol for my hero Ruggiero, so I have gotten into the habit of snapping pictures of eagles whenever I see them. (Or asking my husband to be sure to take one for me.)



The Duomo also allows for tours of its rooftop so that people can get a view of additional spires and statues that adorn the top of the cathedral as well as an incredible bird's eye view of the city. Alas, we ran out of time and never had the chance to take that tour. Tickets are sold at a building a block away from the cathedral.

After all of that, we headed back to our hotel and went to bed early hoping that we would be able to sleep off our jet lag and be adjusted to Italian time.






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