Italics, or my summer travelogue – part 1 of 3

All good things come to an end & that’s how things naturally flow. If summer holidays could last all year round there would be nothing special about them anymore. All of the preparations and counting down the days until departure would simply lose their charm. I guess it’s fine the way things are right now. That said – last Sunday I came back from Italy, where I had an amazing time over the course of 12 days. I enjoyed every bit of it and I could tick all the boxes of things and places I wanted to see.

I’ve been visiting Milan every spring for the last couple of years to join Esxence but because of the show I never really had time for proper sightseeing, that’s why I decided to start my summer holiday here. I started by going to Arco della Pace (Arch of Peace). Right next to it is Parco Sempione, a lovely park through which I took a stroll hoping to get on top of Torre Branca. Turned out it’s only open in the afternoon, so I decided to come back there later. I continued walking through the park until I reached the old walls of Castello Sforzesco (Sforza Castle) which was built in the middle of XV century. Nowadays it houses several museums. You can take some lovely photos in front of it – there is a square and a big fountain in front of the castle.

Next in agenda was Duomo, at the end of Via Dante. On the way there you’ll pass Palazzo dei Giureconsulti on your left. Just few more steps ahead and you’ll be at Piazza del Duomo and you’ll easily see Duomo itself. During my visits in Milan for Esxence I saw this cathedral from the outside but never from the inside. This was about to change. After getting a special pass that lets you visit a couple of venues associated with Duomo I was all set. I started from seeing the interior.

It’s huge and beautiful. Every window is decorated with stained glass telling different religious stories, there’s also a whole lot of sculptures, reliefs, frescos and paintings. There’s also a huge musical organ inside. There’s also an excavation area below the floor surface. After going down it was time to go up – literally, as Duomo pass allows you to climb on top and walk on the rooftop. So I climbed lots of steps to see all of the roof decor, slim towers topped with silhouettes of different saints. It was unique chance to see Gothic architecture from so close. Upon returning to the ground you can also access the Duomo museum, it features lots of arts and sculpture from the cathedral.

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On the side of Piazza del Duomo there’s Galleria Vittorio Emmanuele II. This gallery features a ceiling made of glass and steel as well as a huge dome in its central part. It’s also a home to essential Italian fashion labels like Versace, Gucci and Prada. I found courage to enter a Prada boutique to smell new Infusion de Rose as well as black line of Prada Olfactories. All were to my liking, sadly there were no samples available for further tests. When you pass through the gallery, you’ll land on a small square with Teatro della Scala. A famous place for all opera fans. You can have a guided tour inside, unfortunately I arrived there too late.

Afterwards I came all the way back to Parco Sempione, to get on top of Torre Branca which was now open. I’m glad I did that because on a sunny day it was really giving you a 360° view around the city. It was so nice to spot all the places I visited earlier, but from the height of 100 meters above the ground. That way I basically returned to my starting point from the morning and I called it a day.

On Friday I had time until 1 PM to do something more, as the train to the next destination of my trip was scheduled for departure at 2:20 PM. On my way back to the hotel the evening before I passed next to Museo Civico di Storia Naturale (Museum of Natural History) and decided this will be the spot to visit. The exhibition area was big enough to spend there almost 3 hours. It might start a bit boring with insects but as you move to the next rooms the objects were getting bigger and more interesting. After finishing the tour I had enough time to collect my luggage from the hotel and head to Milano Centrale train station. My next destination was Lake Como, where I planned to relax.

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12 thoughts on “Italics, or my summer travelogue – part 1 of 3

  1. jilliecat says:

    Oooh – that sculpture would give me the creeps too!! But the stained glass windows, how beautiful they are. I’ve never been to Italy and your “virtual” tour is almost as good as being there in person!

    You are so right about anticipation being as exciting as the event itself and it is in fact part of its joy, and that when it’s over that is the natural progression of life and you have lovely memories to look back on.

    Looking forward to more descriptions and photos of your Italian adventure.

    • lucasai says:

      I don’t know what this sculpute exactly was but it could be titled “hunger” or even “death”

      Glad you liked part 1 of my trip. Second part coming this weekend

  2. shelly says:

    You must take great notes to have so many details at hand when you write about your trip. It sounds envy worthy!

  3. hajusuuri says:

    Nice tour, Lucas. You are way more ambitious than me when traveling. I have never been to Milan and your account of it makes me want to go there! I especially love your picture of the Duomo and yes, that statue is creepy, like a paunchy marathoner with 1% body fat except for the belly.

  4. Sylvia says:

    Welcome home. Your perfumed vacation sounds spectacular and the pictures are lovely. I never knew about this event until your article about it. What a fascinating opportunity!

  5. Jiji says:

    Ooh sounds like you had a great time! Looking forward to part 2.
    Those pics are very nice by the way 🙂

  6. Undina says:

    So, you’re saying that you hate vacations, right? 😉 OK, just kidding. I’m sorry you had to come back. But I enjoy your reports and your pictures. I haven’t been to Milan yet but I hope to visit it one day.

    It’s interesting: in the caption to Teatro della Scala you wrote “from the outside you’d never tell there’s opera inside” – it reminds me a lot of the Opera & Ballet Theater from my childhood. They’ve built a new huge modern building since then and moved the theater to there, but when I was little, that was the theater, which we all knew.

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