Sunday, February 05, 2006

2° Giorno a Milano

Had really nice lie in this morning and thought I have caught up with all the sleep I lost in the previous night! Breakfast at the hotel was nice and simple.

Decided to not use metro despite having a 2-day ticket cos I felt like walking and making the most of the sun. My first stop was Santa Maria alla Grazie church - the museum next to it has the main attraction in Milan - the painting of the Last Supper. My planned visit is not because I'm christian (which I'm not) - its because of the book I read the year before. Yep, you guessed it - The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown! :) I turned up at the entrance only to be turned away - they were sold out for the day. I knew one had to phone in advance to book a ticket but I was hoping they would have some cancellations - ah well. They're closed tomorrow so little point in asking for reservation for tomorrow...

Onwards I went and wandered through the streets of Milan towards Piazza del Duomo. Found a little church dedicated to St Maurice (a saint I've never heard of) and thought I have a peek inside - it was stunning - very small and the frankincense was smoking in the air - very striking experience. Feels very orthodox-y but the sign assured me that it is catholic :) The people were queuing up at the altar which was only about 10 metres away from me (I was standing by the entrance - yes that's how tiny the church was!). These people were queuing to receive some sort of sweet/pastry and they kissed the small icon which was in the hand of an 'acolyte'. I assume the icon is the picture of St Maurice. It was rather interesting to watch all these and see how people take part in a ritual.

Anyway I got to the Piazza del Duomo - it was full of people feeding the pigeons - reminded me immediately of Trafagalar Sq :) Visit the Duomo - very stunning and grand. Found myself in the middle of midday mass so had to creep out discreetly as possible without receiving any frowns from the Duomo regulars!

My next stop was Teatro alla Scala - the infamous Opera house in Milan. Its museum was closed so I walked further to another museum called Poldi Pezzoli. It was ok but I got to see a couple of Botticelli's work (I'm a Botticelli fan!) - and particularly liked Madonna del Libro - rather appealing. One could sort of recognise the hand used on her hair with the infamous painting of Botticelli - La Nascita di Venere which I got to see few years back in Florence. At least I get to practise my Italian by reading the titles of the items displayed in this museum which was rather fun - a bit sad I know!

After late lunch I wandered around the shops (including the likes of Armani, Gucci, Prada and Vuitton) I found myself in several more of librerie! Yes, bought more italian books!! I think I have enough books to take home and have vowed to not buy any more from now!

After having a quick nap at the hotel I thought I try the 'Deaf Club' in Milan - ENS Milano. Found it but only to be met by a Deaf cleaner telling me not to cross the floor that has just been mopped. From a short distance we conversed in International Sign and that he was sorry to inform me that they were closed at 7pm (it was after 8pm). He wasn't very talkative so I let myself out - ah well at least I know where it is and I can try again next time I come to Milan :) Found a nice pizzeria near the Central station. Before I went back to the hotel - visit to the very same gelateria I went last night at Piazza del Duomo - yes bought myself another tub of gelati! Like last night, I sat down in the square eating gelati and admiring the illuminated steeples of the Duomo against the cold black sky.... :)

No comments: