Italy day 3 – Milan

Milan has dozens of tantalizing museums—nearly all are closed on Monday. Instead, we returned to the Duomo. As impressive as the cathedral is from a distance, the exterior is even more remarkable close-up. The walls are embellished with an endless number of magnificent marble sculptures.

Passing through the gigantic bronze entrance doors, the size of the cathedral is the first striking feature. But that is soon surpassed by the artistry of the décor. The floor is marble in a dazzling pattern. The many stained-glass windows are intricate and as we walked around clearly designed by different artists. Sculpture is strategically placed to be eye-catching. Apart from the columns, every bit of the interior is adorned.

But the interior paled in comparison to the views from the cathedral roof. It is possible to walk or take an elevator to the roof—we opted for “fast-track” elevator—no line and up to the top in minutes. Stepping onto the roof elicited the biggest WOW yet. Up close and personal, seeing the spires and adornment with a background of sweeping views of Milan, was magical.

There was some repair work and cleaning taking place on the roof.  We were later told that this is an on-going project. The cathedral is so enormous that as soon as the repair crews work their way around the cathedral they must start again.

After a quick lunch, we walked to La Scala. Because a rehearsal (of Fedora by Giordano) was taking place, we only had limited views of the theatre. But it was enough to get a sense of the glamour and grandeur and to hear some glorious voices. Unfortunately, the season starts after we are back in the states. La Scala’s Museum was open, so we spent time looking at artifacts and explanations.

It was then nap time. No matter that we both have a lot of stamina, taking in so much is just exhausting.

We had arranged through “Eat with Locals” to have dinner in a Milanese home. BTW I highly recommend trying this, I’ve done it several times in different cities and always had a wonderful time. Our host was Francesca, along with her boyfriend and dog. She prepared a superb meal of gnocchi, scallopine and tiramisu, accompanied by a bottle of tempranillo – delicious red wine.  As good as the meal was, seeing her home, sitting, and talking was even better.