Day 11: Milan 

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Duomo di Milano

By this point we’d become pretty efficient at re-packing suitcases and clearing out of apartments.  Richard had gone out and brought back pastries for breakfast, and then we were out the door. We took the water bus back to the car park, and then loaded up our car and began the drive to Milan.  The drive itself was pretty uneventful, there wasn’t anything too remarkable about the Italian countryside that we covered, except that it was so Italian; vineyards and stucco homes with tile roofs.  

We hit the outskirts of Milan around lunchtime so we just went to IKEA for lunch again.  Then we made our way to our hotel so we could check-in and leave the car behind.  The hotel in Milan was really nice.  It was air-conditioned and newly remodeled and had a nice lay-out.  We wished we were staying there longer, and I think every single one of us considered skipping out on Milan and spending the day in the apartment…  

But we took a bus into the city centre anyway, without any kind of a plan, and just walked and explored.  (If you can’t tell, we were getting pretty burned out by this point.)  

The first thing we saw when we came up from metro was the Duomo Cathedral.  It was amazing.  The most amazing cathedral I’ve seen (from the exterior) so far.  The sun was shining on it, but behind the cathedral were dark storm clouds, it made it seem like it was glowing. 

We sat in the market square for a bit, just taking it in, and then we went into the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II.  

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Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II

The Galleria is one of the oldest shopping centers in the world, and to me it represented the epitome of Italian fashion and clothing.  Every major Italian brand I could think of had a presence in the massive, elaborate structure, and we gawked at the price tags of hand bags and watches.  Louis Vuitton, Armani, Gucci, Borsalino, Prada and Versace.  It felt like a museum more than a shopping mall.  
When we were sufficiently stunned by wealth beyond our comprehension, and the expensive tastes of the Italians, we took the metro to Sforza Castle.  
The castle was built originally in the 14th century, and then over the next hundreds of years it was remodeled, destroyed and re-built, expanded, and now it houses most of Milan’s museums.  

I never get tired of hearing the histories of old castles.  There is always drama, intrigue, tragedy and victory.  

We walked through a few of the museums, but it was getting close to closing time, and so lastly we went to a special exhibit to see an unfinished sculpture of Michelangelo.  

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Rondanini Pieta – Michelangelo

I’m really not an art connoisseur or critic or even the least bit educated on renaissance art, or any art for that matter. I only know that art is good when I am told that it is good.  But I did nonetheless really feel something when I sat and observed this sculpture.   

​This marble sculpture was begun by Michelangelo in his final years, and was left incomplete when he died in 1564.  It is of the Virgin Mary, mourning over the body of the dead Christ.  It was really beautiful, even in it’s unfinished state.  It made me really want to go to Florence to see more remarkable art. 

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Simon, running some wiggles out.

We walked around the castle grounds for a bit, but it started to rain a little so we decided to walk up the Via Dante to find a place to eat dinner.  Soon enough we were in an all-out downpour so we quickly lowered our standards and found a fast-food type pizza restaurant.  Morning sickness rarely hits me in the morning, it usually hits me in the evening, and it hit hard for the first time on this day.  I couldn’t even look at the kids pizza without feeling nauseated.  So I drank a Coke while everyone else ate, and then we took the metro and a bus back to our apartment, where I went immediately to bed.  
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A lovely sample of Milanese architecture on the Via Dante.

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