Day Two – Milano

When we boarded our plane from Atlanta to Milan, we immediately set our watches another 5 hours ahead. The problem was that we weren’t yet sleepy, and it was supposed to be like 11 pm. We did take the requisite Actifed/Benadryl meds to help us with dozing on the plane, but I don’t think I got more than 3 hours of sleep.
Milan, ItalyWe arrived in Milano (the Italian pronunciation) early in the morning and went through customs, where I received my first ever stamp in my passport. We met our guide, Mauro, and he led us to our tour bus and our driver, Francisco (pronounced Fran-chess-ko), and we headed to centro citta (center city) Milan. We toured the Duomo, and even took the elevator to the roof for fabulous views of the city, and we could even see the Alps! We had a little free time to grab some lunch (at McDonald’s, of all places)
Milan, Italy
and our first gelato,
Milan, Italy
before meeting up with our local guides to tour the inside of the Duomo, and the La Scala Opera House (which was the inspiration for the “Phantom of the Opera.”) Milan, Italy
But the best part of our Milanese tour was going to the Santa Maria delle Grazie church and seeing Leonardo Da Vinci’s fresco, “The Last Supper.” No more than 25 people can see it at a time, and for a maximum 15 minutes. Our guide was very knowledgeable about the painting. Although at first I was thinking that I wished she would be quiet so I could just look at it, I quickly appreciated her insights into the painting. I’m definitely going to have to get a book about it to learn more. One of the most interesting thoughts about the painting is that Jesus has just told the disciples that one of them would betray him, and of course, it’s Judas Iscariot, who has his hand on the bowl that Christ is also touching. But because of the placement of the painting on the wall, Da Vinci painted it as if light was coming in the windows at sunset so that the shadows are appropriately on the left side of the painting. If it weren’t for our guide, the symbolism that Jesus is in the center of the light and Judas is already leaning back into the darkness of the shadows would have been lost on me. Even though our 15 minutes was up much too fast, it was deeply moving and I am so glad I got to experience it in person.
Cesano MadernoWe left the church and headed to our hotel about 20 minutes outside of Milan in a little town called Cesano Maderno. We stayed at the Hotel Parco Borromeo, which was an old palace, and our group took up every room. We had our welcome dinner at the hotel and were eager for a full 8 hours of sleep after being up for 2 days straight. Our room was very charming, with a window seat and shutters that opened out, just like in a Disney fairy tale.
Next up: Verona and Venice

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1 Comment

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One response to “Day Two – Milano

  1. Sounds like a wonderful experience. Out of curiosity why where there only 25 people allowed to see the Last Supper at a time? The 15 minute time limit makes sense given the group size. But the group size had me curious. Is the room that small? Were you allowed to photograph it?

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