Wednesday, May 24, 2006

First day in Milan

After an 8-hour plane trip in coach that began at 5:50 p.m. Saturday evening, we were not only tired when we arrived at the hotel (at about 9:00 a.m. Milan time on Sunday), we were crippled in a way only a coach-class airline seat could do. We took the bus from the airport to the Stazione Centrale and walked across the street to the hotel, luggage in tow. Hurting and exhausted, we trudged in (we stayed at the 4-star Starhotels Anderson - I would highly recommend it) and were fully prepared to merely drop off our luggage at the desk and go over to the Duomo to kill some time before the room was ready.

To our great surprise (and relief), our rooms were ready! Now that is four-star service! We went up and dropped our luggage, and decided that we'd take a two-hour nap to ease the jet-lag because we would have to stay up the remainder of the day to get onto Milan time, and we hadn't slept much on the plane.

Three-and-a-half hours later, I sprang from bed realizing that we had far overslept our time. This was really going to f*ck up my sleep later.

At any rate, we got up and took the subway to the Duomo.

Milan was interesting. Lots of open piazzas where people congregated, at all hours of the day, all days of the week. Of course, it was Sunday, so it made sense that people were out and congregating, but when we saw the trend continuing on Monday and Tuesday, we began to wonder if the Italians in Milan worked, or if there was a national holiday or something.

When we arrived at the Duomo, the front was covered in scaffolding - sh!t. Don't they know we flew for hours to see this thing? Apparently, scaffolding is the norm for the Duomo, which took more than 600 years to build and was just finished about 50 years ago. Still, I was able to get a few good shots in, even though you won't see any of the front.

This is a small portion of the side of the Duomo. I tried to give a feel for its massiveness, though it is quite impossible to do.

Every Italian town has its own duomo, or cathedral. So there are many duomos throughout Italy. This just happens to be the duomo that defines duomos. The Duomo.

The Duomo is covered in statuary - up and down every side, on every corner and steeple - marble carvings that make you understand why it took so long to finish. Biblical characters, saints, church figures, all adorn the massive gothic monster.

This was shot from the walk that runs the perimeter of the roof, so you can look down to the actual rooftop, where there are, of course, statues. This one was particularly cool.

Detail of the many colors of marble used in the construction. Italian marble, of course, and very pretty.

I was taking a picture of my mom on the roof of the Duomo, and some rascal snuck into the picture. :)

The inside of the Duomo was massive, and you can see detail at Jess' blog. My little camera couldn't do what he could with his, nor could I capture the images like he did inside. I leave that to the professional.

After the Duomo visit, we had a very nice dinner at a restaurant in the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele, Galleria, and the food was wonderful, as was the service. We walked around the back to see the piazza behind the Galleria and get a glimpse of the Teatro alla Scala (La Scala Theatre) where legends of Italian opera have performed for centuries. After that, it was back to the room and to bed for some much-needed sleep. But sleep was not to be for me...


At 10:20 AM, June 25, 2006, Blogger Knottyboy said...

Italy...god I can only imagine to get there one day. To stand in the center of those buildings that withstood centuries of empires, political wranglings and the lives of millions of people would be humbling.


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