Our third trip from Bologna was to Milan, the business and fashion capital of Italy. And it just so happened to be Fashion Week, which made our timing excellent.
Models posing in Milan’s main square. I think I’m going to enjoy this visit.
More models. At one point, the two on the right were frolicking around taking pictures of each other. It was like death…
Here is my model. I wouldn’t want any other one.
Alright, onto the sites! This triumphal arch, located at Milan’s northwest entrance, was built to welcome Napoleon, who residents hoped would bring French Revolutionary ideals to Italy. However, when these same residents discovered Napoleon was just another despot, they protested by turning the horses atop the arch around, so that the their rear ends, not their faces, face France.
The Sforza Castle, a giant fortress/castle, is also located at Milan’s northwest entrance. Built in the 1400s, this building has been rebuilt/repaired/restored many times, including after Napoleon’s rule, after the unification of Italy, and after WWII. At one time, this was one of the largest citadels in Europe.
Here we are outside the front of Sforza Castle, the grounds of which were home to the 2015 World’s Fair. This is why these two giant white buildings are here, personally I think they look way out of place, not nearly as nice as the other World’s Fair architecture we’ve seen on this trip.
This giant building, the Milan Cathedral, is the second most famous attraction in Milan (#1 is Da Vinci’s Last Supper). Begun in 1389 and technically not completed until 1965, this building was meant to impress the French and Germanic empires, which is why it features Gothic instead of Renaissance architecture.
Outside the Milan Cathedral is Milan’s main square, where the model photographs that started this post were taken. In addition to the cathedral, Galleria Vittorio Emanuelle II (Milan’s most famous shopping area, right side of the lower photograph) and two Fascist buildings from Mussolini’s reign (upper right) overlook this square.
Inside the Milan Cathedral you really get a feel for how massive it is. Just look at how big those columns are, and there are 52 of them, one for each week of the year.
As big as this cathedral is, it isn’t only massive. It also is beautiful.
Here we are inside Galleria Vittorio Emanuelle II, the main shopping center beside Milan’s main square. This is where the third of the three model pictures that started this post was taken.
The Milan opera house is considered one of the grandest opera houses in the world. I don’t know, I’m sure it’s nice on the inside, but the outside is pretty lackluster, not nearly as impressive as the Sydney Opera House, which we would visit later on our trip.
How about some fine art? After all, Milan may not be Florence but it is still in Italy. We didn’t visit Da Vinci’s Last Supper (entrance is $45 a pop and you have to book 6+ months in advance), but we did see a statue of Da Vinci (left above), some modern paintings for sale (upper right), and a terrance with dozens of statues, none of which was of anyone I’d ever heard of.
Finally, we finished Milan with a visit to the Monumental Cemetery, one of the grandest cemeteries we’ve ever visited. If you’ve read about Inna and my honeymoon in Argentina, you know of Buenos Aires’s famous Recoleta Cemetery, and this cemetery reminded us of that one a lot .
The graves in the Monumental Cemetery were powerful, emotional works of art that would be overdramatic in any other setting, but not one where loved ones are buried.
In addition to sculptures, this cemetery also contains enormous mausoleums, rich people’s way of showing off their money, even in death.
The Monumental Cemetery is enormous. We explored the grounds for about an hour and barely covered a quarter of what it had to offer. However, despite missing a lot, we still saw some amazing sites, and so here is a collection of the pictures we took.
With that we finished our visit to Milan, a somber but powerful ending to a fun and exciting trip. Up next was our fourth and final trip from Bologna, this time to another country: Switzerland!