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Milan - Elegant Centre of Fashion..

Castello Sforzesco - Milan

Castello Sforzesco - Milan

Milan.

In recent years we have got into the habit of spending Christmas by booking an Emirates flight from Hong Kong to Dubai, spend a few days there, ­ then travel on to Europe. So far we have done this to Madrid, Lisbon and Rome. This year was the turn of Milan. When I started researching Milan at first, I thought it sounded very interesting. Later I started to have doubts. Would it be too cold in December/ January? Was it going to be too modern for my taste? We arrived on a grey, gloomy day with rain pelting down from the heavens. After collecting our soaking wet luggage from the baggage belt, we made our way to our warm, cosy hotel room and did not want to come back out. Had we made a mistake?

In the morning everything looked brighter. We spent one day exploring the sights of Milan: ­the famous cathedral, Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, the La Scala Opera House, Castello Sforzesco and its park, Santa Maria delle Grazie, Sant'Ambrogio Church and the Cemetery Monumental. We had intended to explore Navigli and the fashion district, but didn't. For the other days we used Milan as a base from which to explore Lombardy and beyond by doing day ­trips to Bergamo, Pavia, Como and Genoa.

Milan Cathedral.

Milan's cathedral (The Duomo) is one of the world's largest churches. It is located in Cathedral Square. Milan Cathedral is positioned in the center of Milan. Construction of the cathedral began in 1386, and continued for hundreds of years until 1813; several finishing touches were not completed until 1965. The facade of the cathedral is very beautiful and is covered with wonderful statues and carvings. The cathedral has several beautifully carved doors. Inside the cathedral is spacious, but a bit gloomy. Access to the roof of the cathedral is from the rear of the building. It costs 12 Euro 50 to go up there. I intended to go, but long queues persuaded me otherwise.

Milan Cathedral. - Milan

Milan Cathedral. - Milan

Milan Cathedral. - Milan

Milan Cathedral. - Milan

Milan Cathedral. - Milan

Milan Cathedral. - Milan

Milan Cathedral. - Milan

Milan Cathedral. - Milan

Milan Cathedral. - Milan

Milan Cathedral. - Milan

Detail from the front of the cathedral. - Milan

Detail from the front of the cathedral. - Milan

We visited Milan again on New Year's Day 2015. It was just a flying visit on the way to the airport. I had intended to go to the Navagili district but in the end we decided to revisit the cathedral and its surroundings. We walked right round the cathedral. It was almost surrounded by Christmas markets. Once again we were greatly impressed by the carvings on the cathedral.

Milan Cathedral Revisited - Milan

Milan Cathedral Revisited - Milan

Milan Cathedral Revisited - Milan

Milan Cathedral Revisited - Milan

Milan Cathedral Revisited - Milan

Milan Cathedral Revisited - Milan

Milan Cathedral Revisited - Milan

Milan Cathedral Revisited - Milan

Milan Cathedral Revisited - Milan

Milan Cathedral Revisited - Milan

Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II.

This arcade links Duomo Square with the La Scala Opera House. It was designed by architect Giuseppe Mengoni, and named after King Victor Emmanuel II. The Galleria was inaugurated on September 15, 1867, but work continued on it for another ten years. The day before its completion in December 1877, the architect Mengoni suffered a fatal fall from the top of the building's triumphal archway. The Galleria was built during the traumatic period of Italian unification and was seen as symbolizing Italian unity, therefore it is adorned with plenty of patriotic symbols. Mosaics on the floor below the dome depict the coat of arms of Savoy. Italian cities are also depicted: a wolf represents Rome, a lily stands for Florence, a bull symbolizes Turin and a white flag with red cross means Milan. Stepping on the genitals of the bull is supposed to bring good luck. I was not all that impressed with the building to be honest and there were too many people walking through it for the mosaics to be visible. Address: Piazza Duomo­Piazza della Scala. Directions: Metro 1 & 3 ­ Duomo.

Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II - Milan

Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II - Milan

Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II - Milan

Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II - Milan

Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II. - Milan

Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II. - Milan

Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II. - Milan

Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II. - Milan

La Scala Opera House.

This building is set on a beautiful square, but is possibly the least attractive building on the square. The square also houses a museum and has a statue of Leonardo Da Vinci. The La Scala was built at the end of the eighteenth century. Many operas by composers such as Verdi and Bellini premiered in this building. In 1776 Milan's opera house was burnt down and Empress Maria Theresa, the Duchess of Milan, ordered a new opera house to be built on the site of the fifteenth century church of Santa Maria della Scala. The new opera house was designed by architect, Giuseppe Piermarini. Building work only took two years and the new opera house was inaugurated on 3rd August 1778. The opera house was destroyed during the bombings of the second world war in 1943. It was rebuilt and reopened on 11th May 1946.

La Scala Opera House Square. - Milan

La Scala Opera House Square. - Milan

La Scala Opera House Square. - Milan

La Scala Opera House Square. - Milan

La Scala Opera House. - Milan

La Scala Opera House. - Milan

The Sforzesco Castle - Castello Sforzesco.

I liked Milan Cathedral, but when I abandoned my attempt to go on the roof due to the queue, I re­-entered the Duomo Square still holding the money for going on the roof, not very visibly, in my hand. The not very visibly did not deter someone from unsuccessfully trying to snatch it from my hand. This in turn caused me to want to get the hell out of there. The next two sights: Galleria Vittorio Emanuele and the La Scala Opera House did nothing for me and I was beginning to wonder if I would like anything at all in Milan when we arrived at The Sforzesco Castle. Suddenly life was good again. It's a beautiful ruin set in a wonderful park. I loved it. Outside the front of the castle there was a large fountain. Inside there were courtyards, museums, statues. We did not visit the museum. We just wandered around the courtyards. Then we explored the park, which I also loved with its statues, ornate bridges, aquarium, library and triumphal archway. In 1358 the first Duke of Milan built a fortress. In 1447, during military upheaval, the Milanese people destroyed it. Then military leader Francesco Sforza declared himself Duke of Milan and hurriedly rebuilt the castle. Later the castle was neglected and turned into a barracks. In 1861 the castle was in a sorry state and in danger of being demolished, but architect Luca Beltrami saved it by suggesting it was used as a public building. Address: Piazza Castello Directions: Cairoli Metro Exit.

The Sforzesco Castle - Milan

The Sforzesco Castle - Milan

The Sforzesco Castle - Milan

The Sforzesco Castle - Milan

The Sforzesco Castle - Milan

The Sforzesco Castle - Milan

The Sforzesco Castle - Milan

The Sforzesco Castle - Milan

The Sforzesco Castle - Milan

The Sforzesco Castle - Milan

Near The Sforzesco Castle - Milan

Near The Sforzesco Castle - Milan

Near The Sforzesco Castle - Milan

Near The Sforzesco Castle - Milan

Near The Sforzesco Castle - Milan

Near The Sforzesco Castle - Milan

Santa Maria Delle Grazie - Chiesa Santa Maria Delle Grazie ­ Church.

Santa Maria delle Grazie is mainly famous for Leonardo da Vinci's 'Last Supper' which is housed in the adjoining refectory. The Dominican Order commissioned Guiniforte Solari to build this church for their monastery. The church was finally completed in 1490. In 1943 allied bombings damaged the church, but it was restored in 1947. To see the Last Supper you must book in advance. We did not. We just admired the beautiful church from outside. There is a lovely view from the rear courtyard. Address: Corso Magenta Directions: Metro 1 ­ Conciliation.

Santa Maria Delle Grazie - Milan

Santa Maria Delle Grazie - Milan

Santa Maria Delle Grazie - Milan

Santa Maria Delle Grazie - Milan

Santa Maria Delle Grazie - Milan

Santa Maria Delle Grazie - Milan

Santa Maria Delle Grazie - Milan

Santa Maria Delle Grazie - Milan

Sant' Ambrogio Church - Basilica Sant Ambrogio.

The Basilica of Sant'Ambrogio is one of Milan's oldest churches. It is named after the city's patron saint, Saint Ambrosius or Ambrose. The church was consecrated in 386 AD when Ambrose was bishop of Milan. The interior of the church and its courtyard were interesting. The remains of Saint Ambrose can be found inside.

Sant' Ambrogio Church. - Milan

Sant' Ambrogio Church. - Milan

Sant' Ambrogio Church - Milan

Sant' Ambrogio Church - Milan

Sant' Ambrogio Church. - Milan

Sant' Ambrogio Church. - Milan

The Monumental Cemetery.

The Cimitero Monumentale is within 10 minutes walk of Garibaldi Station. It contains many large and impressive tombs of wealthy Milanese citizens. The tombs try to outdo each other with large ornate statues. The Cimitero Monumentale was laid out by Carlo Maciachini between 1863 and 1866.Two small areas to the left and right of the cemetery are reserved for noncatholics and jews. A bit on the over the top side, but impressive nonetheless. Please note this cemetery is closed on Mondays.

The Monumental Cemetery - Milan

The Monumental Cemetery - Milan

The Monumental Cemetery - Milan

The Monumental Cemetery - Milan

The Monumental Cemetery - Milan

The Monumental Cemetery - Milan

The Monumental Cemetery - Milan

The Monumental Cemetery - Milan

The Monumental Cemetery. - Milan

The Monumental Cemetery. - Milan

Airport Angel.

When you walk from Milan Malpensa Airport to the train station you pass this work of art. I do not know who it is by, but I found it rather striking so decided to photo it. Worth a look if you are in the area.

Airport Angel

Airport Angel

Airport Angel

Airport Angel

Milan Fashion District.

Milan is famous for fashion. We really only had time to do the edges of the shopping district before heading to the airport this trip. The Fashion District includes Via Montenapoleone, Via Della Spiga and Via Manzoni.

Milan Fashion. - Milan

Milan Fashion. - Milan

Milan Fashion. - Milan

Milan Fashion. - Milan

Milan Fashion. - Milan

Milan Fashion. - Milan

Milan Fashion. - Milan

Milan Fashion. - Milan

Markets.

All round the cathedral; next to Milan Central Station and doubtless at many other places in Milan there are lots of open air market stalls selling food, drink and craft items. I love the breads, cheeses and olives sections most personally.

Christmas market. - Milan

Christmas market. - Milan

Posted by irenevt 04:07 Archived in Italy

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