Another day, another city. Better yet — another country! Upon waking up on the third day of our Mediterranean Cruise, we were already in Italy. When I started to realize that travelling was one of the best things to do in life, this country was definitely included on my bucket list. Delicious food, magnificent ruins, big churches, and not to mention the beautiful language. I wish I could speak Italian, but the next best thing is listening to it all day!
First stop on our Milan tour – the famous Milan Cathedral or the Duomo di Milano.
The Duomo is the fifth largest Christian church in the world (outdone by St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome, the Basilica of Our Lady of Aparecida in Brazil, Cathedral of St. John the Divine in New York and Seville’s Cathedral).
Aside from being one of the largest and oldest churches in the world, it is said that there are more statues on this cathedral than any other building. There are 3,400 statues, 135 gargoyles and 700 figures that decorate the Duomo.
After taking pictures at the Cathedral, we did some strolling, shopping and snacking at the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II. It was time for some gelato, coffee and tiramisu! We also found some souvenirs and pasalubong for our loved ones back home.
Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II is a magnificent shopping arcade, covered with a glass and iron roof. The interior of the impressive five story structure is decorated with patriotic mosaics and statues.
Our last stop for the day was Sforza Castle.
Sforza Castle (Castello Sforzesco) was originally a Visconti fortress. Later, this iconic red-brick castle was home to the mighty Sforza dynasty, who ruled Renaissance Milan. The castle’s defences were designed by the multitalented da Vinci; Napoleon later drained the moat and removed the drawbridges. Today, it houses seven specialised museums, which gather together intriguing fragments of Milan’s cultural and civic history, including Michelangelo’s final work, the Rondanini Pietà, now housed beautifully in the frescoed hall of the castle’s Ospedale Spagnolo (Spanish Hospital).
Oh, and I was able to steal a shot with this! Expo Milano 2015.
It was a short day in Milan but I’m glad to have seen and learned about some of its iconic structures. Milan, I’ll come back someday! (I still have to see Da Vinci’s The Last Supper)
To read other posts on our European adventures, click on the following links:
- Madrid (Day 1 & 2)
- Barcelona (Day 1, 2, 3)
- Sagrada Familia
- Marseille & Aix-en-Provence