Wednesday, February 02, 2005


Well here I am, returned from a weekend in Milan! Here it goes...

So I woke up at 6:30am on Friday and got ready- we left the house at 7:55 and were ontime for our 8:28 train. The train ride was about three and a half hours so we all slept and did homework on the way. Oh, I’m sorry! I forgot to introduce you! The ‘we’ in this story are: me (Claire), Staci, Andrea, Stephanie, Alexis, and Sabrina! Now that you’ve all met, let us continue! We arrived in Milan around noon, hopped on the subway to the Loreto stop, and then walked about ten blocks to our humble little Hotel La Pace (Hotel of Peace) where we were to stay for the next two nights. Though sketchy on the outside, we were please with the interior- you can see pictures of this stale wonder on my photo album!
After settling in a bit we headed down to the centro of town. On the way we stopped at a place called Spizzico which, as have figured is the Milanese version of fast food (think combo meals with a 1/4 of a pizza, a coke, and either fries, potato cakes, salad, arancinos (little potatoey meaty cakey things), or a fruit tart). We forged on to the center of town (which was at least a half hour’s walk from our hostel- but hey, can’t beat the prices, I suppose!) and were happy to meet several H&M’s on the way. We approached the Gothic Duomo of the city and were absolutely in awe of it’s beauty. I have never seen anything like it- it was amazing- and this too you can glimpse on my pa! :)
We walked all around in the Piazza del Duomo, went in the duomo, walked over and saw La Scala (famous opera house), and then went to Santa Maria delle Grazie church were Leonardo Da Vinci’s Ultima Cena (Last Supper) is located. The security at this place was pretty high in that the group of people who were to be admitted to the inside of the church where the fresco is have to have the doors shut behind them and be confined in a small room before the doors into the church will open. Once inside it is clear that the main attraction is the fresco- it is at the end of a rectangular room with spotlights- absolutely amazing to be standing there looking at it. At the other end of the room there is a crucifixion fresco by Donato but this clearly is less than second to the Last Supper. The time inside the room is limited to 15 minutes- so we paid 8 euro to look at this fresco for 15 minutes, and then it was gone. As I was walking away I felt the need to keep looking at it as long as I could- who knows if I’ll ever be back to see it again!
After L’Ultima Cena we walked back, ducking in to churches along the way, and then headed back to Piazza del Duomo for some Milanese shopping. After we had our fill of the crowds (everyone seems to shop at night in Milan...) we headed over to the ice-skating rink that was set up in front of the Duomo on the Piazza- a fund raiser for handicap kids, and some good clean fun too! The skating lasted for about a half hour, but because the skates were most likely made from iron and barbed-wire we were unable to enjoy the entire hour our six euros bought us. We then did what all Americans want to do in Italy- eat! We found a little place with a grumpy old man of a waiter and enjoyed a really nice meal.
Our second day in Milan was filled with shopping, of course, and seeing the sights! We went in to the Castello Sforzesco which houses several amazing museums, not least of all is the Civiche Raccolte d’Arte Antica where Michelangelo’s Rondanini Pieta. Seeing this piece (a work that was never finished- Michelangelo began it, then changed his mind about the concept, and so was still working on it when he died) was so exciting- the first of Michelangelo’s works that I have seen in Italy (which is ironic since I am literally around the corner from the David). After the Castello we moved on the some afternoon tea and then headed to La Teatro Alla Scala- the world famous opera house. This place was truly riveting- I WISH there had been something playing there to see! Seeing that amazing theatre made me want to be on stage again SO bad! I’ve got that itch to perform- help! But really- the house was truly beautiful and the museum was lovely.
Next was St. Ambrosia’s church where there was a wedding about to begin- consequently we felt as if we just might be intruding if we stayed much longer- but there are a few pictures of the church courtyard etc. on the photo ablum. It was neato, but I have to say after seeing the Duomo everything else seemed to pale in comparison. If I had to suggest one thing to do in Milan I’d say see that Duomo baby- and if you get around to it check out La Scala, L’Ultima Cena, the Castello, and I guess some shopping if you’re that kind! Hooray for Milano!

PS> Sorry that this one was sort of boring- I’m going to try and put some more personal thought type stuff in to the next one! And I’ll try to update more often too!