Stage 2 - Italia!

September 7th 2009
Published: September 14th 2009
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Rondanini PietaRondanini PietaRondanini Pieta

Michelangelo's last and unfinished work.
First stop in Italy was Milano. A city of sexy cars and fashionable clothing. It's also a city that's incredibly easy to get lost in (even with a map). I stayed for one day and one night and that was more than enough. As someone not so into the shopping there wasn't a great deal to DO in Milan after the first day.

One key thing to see is Castello Sforzosco which is a castle 7 centuries old in the middle of the city. It's been broken into a number of different museums. The best part was the Museum of Ancient Art which not only housed some stunning sculptures but also has Michelangelo's last unfinished scultpure of a dead Jesus being held by Mary. It's called Rondanini Pieta. It was facinating to see the process of development. The legs were polished but the rest was rough and there was an extra arm Michelangelo was going to remove because he changed the position of Jesus.

Tip: If you want to see The Last Supper you need to book. I arrived at the start of September and was told they were booked out until November!!

Next stop was Duomo (which
Madama ButterflyMadama ButterflyMadama Butterfly

They were going to have a performance of Madam Butterfly so they had this temporary (and giant) statue in the courtyard at the Castle.
I think just means Cathedral because I've seen the name used in other towns since). The inside reminded me very much of the Notre Dam in Paris but the outside was even more beautiful (if you like Baroke architecture which apparently I do). They recently finished the 5 year job of cleaning all the marble outside so it's very white and fresh looking. Right next door is a fabulous arcade of posh shops which puts The Royal Arcade in melbourne to shame.

Later I explored the gardens but to be honest wasn't all that impressed. I also spent hours wandering the city. It has it's beautiful parts but over all I didn't think much of it. Next stop: the home of Romeo and Juliet = Verona!

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One of the most stunning buildings I've ever seen.

14th September 2009

Churches galore
You'll see a lot more of those old churches and cathedrals as you continue around Europe. They are amazing and they each have something that is different to others, although as you said, we found they all kind of blend into each other in your mind after a while. Still wonderful to see, nonetheless. Jesus looks very strange with his extra arm in the Pieta. I've always wondered what a sculpture does when he makes a mistake - you can't just paint over it. Love the arcade - definitely bigger than our Royal Arcade. Don't you love the floors in those places?

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