Milan is an alpha global city known for its art, design, fashion, entertainment and finance and is the second most populous city in Italy after Rome.
Recognized as one of the fashion capitals of the world, it hosts several fashion events and is home to innumerable fashion boutiques.
Its museums are a store house of art and house the world’s most celebrated art works including that of Leonardo da Vinci.
A. C. Milan and Inter Milan , the famous football teams have Milan as their home .
Milan is thus an important destination for tourists, art enthusiasts, sports enthusiasts and fashion designers.
This cathedral church of Milan, has become the symbol of Milan and is the largest church in Italy and third largest cathedral in the world. Like in other cities, the Cathedral is located at the central Square and streets radiate from the central square. Dedicated to Nativity of St Mary, it took six centuries to build , starting in 1386 and ending in 1965.
It was finished under Napoleon Bonaparte and he wanted to be crowned the King of Italy here.
The exterior is beautiful , made of carved white marble and has 2000 statues and 136 arrows. The interior has 52 columns representing the weeks of the year. Tombs of several archbishops and a crucifix made by Leonardo da Vinci can be seen here.
A visit to the terrace of the Cathedral is possible for a fee and offers great views of the city.
The Milan Cathedral
The interior of the Cathedral
The ornate doors
The gold Madonna at the top
One of the several marble statues
Victor Emmanuel Gallery
This gallery is another attraction in the Central Square close to the Cathedral. With its magnificent arcades and glass dome, it looks very attractive. It is Italy’s first shopping gallery named after the first king of Italy and built in the later part of the 19th century. It is considered as the first step in the evolution of shopping malls.
The central octagonal space is covered with a glass dome. The floor has beautiful mosaic designs. Inside you will find some of the most famous fashion designer stores and high end restaurants.
Victor Emmanuel Gallery
The beautifully designed entrance
The octagonal centre of the gallery
One of the main lanes in the gallery
The glass dome and ceiling
The mosaic designs on the floor
And the high end shops
La Scala ( Milan Opera House)
One of Italy’s most celebrated Opera Houses, La Scala has hosted some of the most famous singers from around the world, operas , ballets and other performances.
La Scala the celebrated Opera house
We find statues and sculptures by Leonardo da Vinci everywhere in Italy ; but a statue of the master himself adorns the square outside La Scala….
Statue of Leonardo da Vinci near La Scala
A medieval fortification built in the 15th century, the Sforza Castle is in the centre of Milan. Quadrangular in shape and with watch towers, it was built to protect the city from invaders. It has undergone several modifications and changes and houses some museums today.
The Sforza Castle
The fortified walls
One of the towers
After a visit to the main attractions at Milan, we had some free time to explore the streets around. Here are some pictures ….
A typical street scene in Milan…note the Indian Tricolour
A rather unexpected sight…..monks displaying the art of levitation…
After the quick walk around we headed to the bus to be driven back to the hotel. This marked the end of our Europe trip.
One thing that impressed me most….
We did the entire Europe tour in the same bus with the same driver. Starting from London, crossing over to France and the drive up to Italy.
No compromise on safety at any point of time. There were days when we would be in the bus the whole day….but the driver stuck to his mandatory break periods. In fact he said he has to swipe his card on the bus when he starts driving and he is allowed to drive only for a particular period of time( don’t recollect the actual figures). After that, he will not be able to swipe it on that day. So he kept requesting us to stick to the schedule everywhere.
I wish we could get such a system here in India, to avoid driver fatigue and the ensuing complications. I have a picture of the bus that took us around….let me end my Europe sojourn with that picture.
(Unfortunately I do not have the picture of the driver or the guide)
A small thought for the bus and driver who took us through this trip
See you next week at another destination. Till then, do comment, give your feedback and subscribe!