Sunday, June 28, 2015

Milan's Duomo


[It's hard to see but this building had little flags in the windows for every country that participated in the EXPO.]

[I really liked these advertisements for amaretto, which placed the bottle in various old world's fair settings. I'm easily amused.]

Our second day in Milan started with a visit to the Duomo. Because it was Sunday, visiting the inside of the church was free.  However we still had to wait in the ticket line to visit the roof. After standing in the sunny, unmoving line for about 10 minutes, I noticed a second window labeled "group tickets." Well there were only a few people in this second line and none of them appeared to be with a group. So I decided if they were important enough to be in that short line so was I. When I got closer to the window I noticed a sign that said it was the priority line for seniors, pregnant ladies, and the disabled. Well lucky for us there was an older American couple standing behind John in the normal line, so I waved them all over. Viola! We were in a group with seniors and our line time was cut in half! [The guy said he used to live in St. Louis back in the day, so that made it more fun.]

There were employees for the line telling people if they were dressed too revealingly to enter the house of prudishness. Unsurprisingly there were hustlers nearby selling scarves that you could buy to cover up.

[This seemed to me to be a tax on people who have trouble walking.]

We started with a quick stroll through the church. Its massive columns were pretty impressive.

[The building was so large that I thought I could see the other end sort of shaded by all the air between it and me.]

[Lydia thought this newish looking statue might be Pope John Paul II. I couldn't really tell.]

[I was surprised to see this giant screen playing ads on the side of the church.]

The best part of the Duomo is definitely the top. After climbing quite a few flights of stairs we emerged on the roof. From here we had a great view of the church's many pillars and statues.

[Security was performed by these awesome soldiers with Robin Hood hats, complete with feathers.]

After we left the Duomo we went for a quick stroll through Milan's Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II. We watched as people spun on the tiles in the floor. [Wikipedia: "Tradition says that if a person spins around three times with a heel on the testicles of the bull from Turin Coat of Arms this will bring good luck. This practice causes damage to the mosaic: a hole developed on the place of the bull's genitals."]

We also spotted a sign for a free art exhibit related to the expo, and we thought to ourselves, Why not? There was a guard blocking the door, and when we asked to see the art, he seemed surprised. He led us through an empty building to an elevator and hit the button for the second floor. To our surprise we arrived at a bar. When we explained to the hostess that we were there for the art exhibit and not drinks, she pointed us down a hall.The art exhibit was lining the halls of an apartment building. An artist had created an abstract painting to represent each country at the expo. The art was cool, but the venue was pretty weird, so we left quickly.

Next up was lunch. We hit all the Italian food groups with pizza, pasta, and gelato.

After lunch we wandered around a bit more. We stopped by the Opera Museum, but unfortunately there was something wrong with the lights, so we didn't get to see the inside. Womp womp!

We also happened upon Milan's Sforza Castle. In front of the castle was a big fountain. Someone had dropped their pennies in the fountain, so I picked them up!

[This was sort of how it went.]

At this point it was time to check into our new hotel. We switched to a different Hilton that was closer to the airport. It was quite the haul on public transportation. We did get to ride a little trolley thing which was fun.

For dinner we had more pizza. This was super authentic pizza from a neighborhood pizza delivery place. It was good, but unfortunately I got peppers instead of the pepperoni I ordered.

[I got tired of deciphering the menu so I just order a "Sicilian" because it sounded safe enough. It came with whole black olives, anchovies, and capers. I ate it anyway but Lydia wouldn't touch it with a stick.]

[Our new neighborhood was a little rough around the edges.]

A good last day in Europe!

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