While in Milan last weekend, I found my thought constantly returning to the historically fractious nature of Italy; there is little doubt that these thoughts were influenced by Barbara W. Tuchman’s A Distant Mirror, but I suspect even without having recently finished said book, I would have been thinking of the differing interests of the dukes of Milan as they plotted against those of Florence, and the disconnected interests of the Papal States and the Venetian Republic. Milan looks different (though this is undoubtedly due to the widespread destruction wrought by the bombing campaigns of the second world war) and feels different than the other Italian cities to which we’ve been, and prompted me to wonder how much of the distinctness of each place we’ve been is due to the fact that Italy as we think of it really did not exist until the latter part of the 19th century.
Alternately, this could have been misplaced irritation at my continuing inability to find a suitably Florentine cornetto.
It’s Milan. Slide show is over.
Milan’s imposing duomo.
Interesting twist to this particular cathedral; one has the ability to walk around its roof.
…all the way up.
She’s apparently very patriotic.
This duomo falls into the “cavernous” category.
Yes, that is his skin that is being worn as a drape.
The Purrito liked these figures from the duomo museum.
This season, towers are in.
Somebody scared the pigeons.
Amazingly, we escaped being shat on.
Outside of the old city.
The Engineer’s Guide to Art, Appendix IX, The Last Supper: even if the argument is that John is traditionally portrayed as being more effeminate, he’s not in this painting because that is a woman.
The fresco on the opposite wall is actually pretty neat, too.
The Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, home to some very expensive shops, and a surprisingly reasonable coffee shop/pastry bar. (It was so close to being a good cornetto)
Il duomo as the sun sets.
The Italian stock exchange.
The Purrito: “Are you taking a picture of that plane or the stock exchange?” Me: “The stock exchange.”
Fascist art is weird.
It’s Sforza castle.
An unfinished pietà by Michelangelo.
While their museums were oddly lackluster, this courtyard was quite nice.
A very nice taxi stand.