Thursday, February 16, 2012

Italy, Day 4: Milan, Part 1 of 2

From Roma Termini, I took a Trenitalia train north to Milan for a day. The train ride started at 11pm and arrived the next day in Milan at 7am. I bought a map at the Milan train station and planned what sights I wanted to see from there. 

This was the first time I saw "Milano" in text while in Milan:

From Stazione Centrale I visited Grattacielo Pirelli. Or, rather, I looked at it from a distance and shrugged my shoulders. The guidebook made it sound very impressive: built in 1955, 427 meters, was the tallest skyscraper in reinforced concrete until the 1960s. 

Grattacielo Pirelli
Once was the tallest reinforced concrete skyscraper. Now, very boring. 

I found a couple very cute side streets that just are Milan: 

Next stop was Palazzo e Pinacoteca di Brera, the home of the Jesuit order and built by Francesco M. Richini. In 1773, after the suppression of the Jesuit order, Empress Maria Teresa made the building a cultural center. It was on of the most important art galleries in Italy and was severely damaged by bombing during World War II. 

Side entrance to the Brera Art Gallery 

This is a sculpture of Napoleon done by Canova in 1809. 

by Canova, 1809
Brera Art Gallery

Teatro Alla Scala was built in 1778 and designed by Giuseppe Piermarini. It was damaged in 1943 during the war and was rebuilt and inaugurated in 1948. It can host up to 2,800 spectators. 

La Scala. Opera theater. 
Sorry about the quality; I wasn't allowed to take any pictures of this room and one of the workers noticed I was alone, so I had to be all sneaky with him standing behind me. 

That's me! In the mirror, next to the really bad glare from the flash. 

Smaller room in La Scala. 

Il Duomo was the most beautiful church from the outside that I have seen. It is the second largest church in Italy (after St. Peter's). It was begun in 1386 and mostly finished in 1948 and 1965. 

Il Duomo
On the highest spire (108.5 meters) is the "Madonnina" (a statue of the Blessed Virgin), in gilded copper. It is 4.16 meters high and is the work of G. Perego (1774). 

Inside was incredible, as well:

Next door to Duomo:

Palazzo Reale to the left (south) of Duomo. 

Palazzo Reale

There were some people handing out seeds that would make the pigeons flock to you and land on your arm if you held it out. They definitely weren't the most trustworthy individuals. I got two bracelets from two different men and a marriage proposal from one. Quite entertaining!

There is much more to come, but I have sorted through 500 photos to bring them down to 300 and I need some time before I cover the next batch!

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