Milan, Milano da bere
Milan, one of Europe’s busiest cities with business and prospect booming each passing year. Milan hosted the 2015 World Expo and this was the very reason we our trip materialized. Truthfully, I believe Milan is a city for all, no matter the age or race. The city has an elegant vibe and hidden corners with every corner providing a new experience. I remember our meaningless strolling across the bustling streets and its busy inhabitants. Small yet charming, and small yet dynamic. Milan is trendy, it’s innovative, it’s cosmopolitan.
Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II
Forming one side of Piazza del Duomo and opening on the other side to Piazza della Scala, the grand Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II was designed by Giuseppe Mengoni and built between 1865 and 1877. It was then the largest shopping arcade in Europe, with a dome soaring 48 meters above its mosaic floor.
Marking the beginning of modern architecture in Italy, today it stands as a splendid example of 19th-century industrial iron and glass construction. And it’s still a beautiful, vibrant place where locals meet for lunch or coffee in its elegant cafés and browse in its luxury shops. It is so much a part of local life that the inhabitants of Milan refer to it as “il salotto” (the salon).
Should you ever find yourself in Milan, this is a go to area to shopping or to just experience the nightlife of Milan as this place bustles with people nonstop.
“a beautiful, vibrant place where locals meet for lunch or coffee in its elegant cafés and browse in its luxury shops…”
The massive Cathedral of Santa Maria Nascente, which the Milanese call just “Il Duomo” is among the world’s largest (it holds up to 40,000 people) and most magnificent churches, the ultimate example of the Flamboyant Gothic style. It was begun in the 14th century, but its façade was not completed until the early 1800s, under Napoleon.
The roof is topped by 135 delicately carved stone pinnacles and the exterior is decorated with 2,245 marble statues. The dim interior, in striking contrast to the brilliant and richly patterned exterior, makes a powerful impression with its 52 gigantic pillars. The stained-glass windows in the nave (mostly 15th-16th centuries) are the largest in the world; the earliest of them are in the south aisle.
“– the wonderful mystical world which revealed itself here – yes, it was a church of God!” – Hans Christian Anderson
Leonardo da Vinci’s Last Supper
The Gothic brick church of Santa Maria delle Grazie, in the Corso Magenta, was begun about 1465, and its massive six-sided dome in the finest Early Renaissance style was designed by Bramante, one of Italy’s most influential Renaissance architects.
The church – and adjoining refectory, which holds Leonardo da Vinci’s Last Supper – were badly damaged in World War II, and during the repair work, old sgraffito paintings in the dome were brought to light. At the end of the north aisle is the Baroque chapel of the Madonna delle Grazie, with an altarpiece of the Madonna.
But the reason most tourists visit Santa Maria delle Grazie is to see da Vinci’s most famous work, painted on the refectory wall of the former Dominican monastery. The Cenacolo Vinciano, as it is called here, was painted on the wall in tempera between 1495 and 1497.
The Last Supper painting by Leonardo Da Vinci
Milan is filled with treasures that allow a colorful mix of the old and artistic with the modern and sleek Italy. While Milan (Milano) may not be the first city a tourist thinks of when planning a trip to Italy, even us, our plan was to visit the World Exposition that took place there, Milan offers its share of attractions, not to mention history. Its economic prosperity achieved Milan’s reputation as the money and business center of Italy. A city with an influential past and a rich cultural heritage, be sure not to miss this special city when you’re in Italy.