I had the best intentions to be more consistent with my blogging in 2020 but then life just kept happening. Adjusting to the ‘new normal’ has become somewhat of an extreme sports. We really are living in unprecedent times.
I must say, I do miss being inside a plane and travelling to a destination unknown. Travelling afforded us the opportunity to explore, experience and create memories in different parts of the world. As they say “Memories are timeless treasure of the heart”
While we still navigating the 2nd wave of the pandemic, I will be using the blog to re-live some of my travel memories. I had started what was meant to be a Trilogy from our trips to Italy, so it only makes sense for me to continue where I left off.
Part 1 was a trip to Venice. Part 2 we explore Milano – Italy’s fashion and design capital of the world, home to the second largest catholic cathedral in the world and the fourth largest in the world.
What we got up to?
I travelled to Milan with one of my Bestie. Milan had been on our bucket list for years now. So when we eventually made it happen it exceeded our expectations. With 5 days to spare in Milan, my bestie and I wanted to strike a balance between exploring the rich artistic cultural heritage, indulging in a bit of shopping and “lunching”
With rain forecast for the entire day, our hotel concierge recommended we start at the Grand Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, Italy’s oldest shopping mall, a landmark for Milan and named after the Victor Emanuel II, the first king of the Kingdom of Italy. The galleria houses some of the most luxurious boutiques and numerous restaurants.
The Grand Galleria is nicknamed “il salotto di Milano” (Milan’s drawing room) and connects two of Milan’s other most famous landmarks – The Duomo and the Teatro Alla Scala.
Duomo Di Milano (The Cathedral)
Known as the heart of the city, the Duomo is an architectural masterpiece, the largest Cathedral in Italy and the second largest Catholic Cathedral in the world. Construction to this place took five centuries to complete.
The Duomo is a striking blend of Gothic and neo-Gothic styles. With its beautiful marble façade, with the statues standing guard over the city and the famous Madonnina, the gold-colored statue of Mary that stands on the cathedral’s highest spire.
Inside you find many more statues, marble columns, paintings scattered throughout, the stunning floor, with its design in black, pink, and white marble and stained glass windows.
The Duomo is at the centre of Milan in Piazza del Duomo, and at walking distance from many of the town’s other tourist attractions. Great place to navigate the city.
Santa Maria delle Grazie and “The Last Supper” by Leonardo da Vinci
Santa Maria delle Grazie is a church and a convent in Milan, world-known for housing The Last Supper painting by Leonardo da Vinci.
The painting can be found on north wall of the refectory of the convent which forms an integral part of the architectural complex. Painted between 1495 and 1497, this is undoubtedly one of the most important works of art of all times. “A timeless and unique artistic achievement of outstanding universal value.”
During World War II, this Dominican monastery was almost completely destroyed by bombing. Three walls of the refectory that houses “Il Cenacolo” or “The Last Supper” were miraculously spared. Over time, in a desperate effort to save it, the painting was repeatedly restored, consequently altered and completed in 1999.
Besides Leonardo’s painting, the complex also accommodates other artworks, including a remarkable Crucifixion by Donato Montorfano (1495), and various 16th-century fresco paintings by Gaudenzio Ferrari.
Castello Sforzesco (Sforza Castle)
Built as a fortress in the 14th century, currently it houses one of the best museums in the city. The castle is an iconic landmark in Milan, an oasis of history, architecture and art.
I’m not a big shopper but I was travelling with the shopping queen who can spot a bargain a mile away. She also somehow manages to find classic pieces that the rest of us somehow miss.
We decided to spend time at Serravalle Designer Outlet (McArthurGlen Designer Outlet). This designer outlet offers an array of shopping options from designer brands such a Gucci, Moncler, Celine, to well know street wear shops like Diesel, Desigual and sporting brands like Nike, Adidas.
Weekend in Como
We spent the weekend in Como to wrap up our stay in Milan. The city of Como sits at the edge of the famous Lake Como (Lago di Como) – the most beautiful lake in the world.
Como has an array of historical buildings, fine restaurants, important museums and its relatively easy to navigate. We spent Friday roaming the streets and indulging in food. There was a vibe in the town as they were hosting the 38th ACI Como Rally Trophy.
On Saturday we took a boat trip and explored the majestic Lake Como. We had so many surreal moments, words simply cannot describe the sheer beauty of the lake and the breath-taking views studded with studded with charming towns, enchanting villas and unspoilt nature.
We stopped at the Pearl of Lake Como – the Bellagio. We strolled the streets, lunched, visited the famous Villa Melzi and explored its majestic gardens. A true dream destination worthy of lots more visits.
Sadly the adventure for my bestie ended on Sunday due to work commitments but for me the adventure continued.
Next stop was Florence with a layover in Portofino. This will be Part 2 – The Extended Journey. Being in Portofino was breath-taking, the town deserves a mention.
Till the next post, Stay Splendid!