Monday, February 13, 2012

The Long Lost Puente: Part 1.5

Where did we leave off? Oh, that's right. I had survived my first RyanAir flight without having to pay any "fecking fees" and was on my way to Milan, Italy...
If you're just joining the party, I recommend reading the previous entry first :)

Milano! (December 5th-7th 2012)

By the time I landed and took the bus from Bergamo (location of RyanAir's "Milan" airport) and found my slightly-more-expensive-but-DEFinitely-worth-it hostel called Ostello Bello, it was already dark, and I was late for dinner with a fellow auxiliar friend who happened to have similar puente plans (She also has an amazing blog and talks about a lot of the same places I went on my trip here).
The Duomo at my first night in Milan
Afterwards, I returned to the hostel and made a few new friends at the bar (yes, the hostel had a bar)... two guys (one from Brazil, the other from Seattle) who had met each other earlier that night and were burning the midnight oil like myself. In the midst of (quite a few) drinks-- including my first glass of grappa-- the three of us decided to spend the following day touring the city together.

The next day, however, before touring, I had to keep my 9:30am appointment with Signore da Vinci and his Last Supper. It was somewhat saddening to find out how poorly it was treated throughout history... and sometimes even intentionally... but through dirt, flooding and bombings, an echo of what da Vinci originally painted remains, and it is truly breathtaking. No pictures were allowed, but here's a better image than the one previously posted:
Note at the bottom how someone decided "Hey! Let's put a door here." :(
Regardless, it's still amazing. [source]

With that done, Seattle, Brazil and I hit the beautiful streets of Milan! 
No idea why Elvis was there, but it was an excuse for a jumping sequence, and a great way to kick off the day. :)
"The Kiss" Francesco Hayez
We went to the Science and Technology Museum, strolled through the Sforza Castle grounds, and were very pleasantly surprised by the Pinacoteca di Brera, where we discovered a temporary exhibit of Impressionist art on exchange from the Pushkin Fine Arts Museum in Moscow. We're talking works by Monet, Gaugin, Renoir', Matisse, Van Gogh. Oh my goodness. Awesome. The museum's collection was also quite impressive with several Caravaggio's and this, one of my favorites. Just like in Bilbao though, the more contemporary impressionism was like a vibrantly colorful breath of fresh air after the rooms of religious and romantic era art. 

Sitting on a train in the Sciene and Tech. Museum
This may have been against the rules... but there
was no one to stop me. Mwahahah :)
Art gushing aside, it was a wonderfully packed day with some excellent company that ended with a lovely dinner at a Mexican Cantina. I know what you're going to say: GASP! Cate! You went all the way to Milan to eat Mexican food?! But you know what? I don't feel guilty about my fajitas. They were delicious. And I don't care what you say! So there ;) 

The next morning, before catching a train to Como with Mr. Seattle to meet up with my auxiliar friend (more on this in the next part!), the three of us ran over to the Duomo again. I hadn't been inside or on top yet... and may I just say, the latter is definitely worth the extra euros you have to pay.
One remarkable difference with the Duomo compared to Spanish cathedrals I'v seen: It was SO much lighter. Beautiful.
You could also light real candles instead of the fake kind.
The way the soft light flickered was magical.
Some of the MANY spires from atop the Duomo. I also took a pretty awesome jumping picture here. Check it out here. :)
Duomo entrance.
The architecture looked especially gorgeous in the morning light.
Right next door to the Duomo is this beautiful structure: the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele
Unfortunately, I didn't have enough time to explore (had to catch a train!), but I did manage to get this shot at least.

All in all, Milano was a great introduction to Italy and left me hungry for more. Like with most good travel experiences, it was the people that made it.
Inside the Sforza Castle walls with (from the left), Daniel (Brazil), me, and Ryan (Seattle).
Thank you for an amazing time, guys!

1 comment:

  1. That first video is AWESOME. Good find. Hey, whatcha doin´for semana santa?