06 March 2009

Ciao Milano

As the title of the post suggests, I'm currently in Milan.  The past few days have offered a quick dip into Italian lifestyle and culture.

I arrived in the city on Monday afternoon.  Valeria, the friend who I met during my first semester in Eichstaett, was waiting for me at the train station.  That night we walked a little around the city and for dinner took advantage of the Italian aperitivo.  The concept is simple; order one drink and have your fill on several foods set out on the bar.  Spring fashion week also ended earlier this week, and a few events seemed to still be going on through the night.

On Tuesday we went to Milan's confectionary cathedral and took steps to the roof in order to walk among the dozens of spires and marble statues overlooking the city center.  Afterwards we walked down the city's glitzy shopping streets, where most people would only be able to afford views into the store windows.  We also passed the Armani building, which, in additon to offices, also contains restuarants, bars, and other non-clothing retail all under the Armani brand.

Yesterday I spent most of the rainy day inside museums around Milan.  Undoubtedly, though, the high point was viewing De Vinci's "The Last Supper" painting.  The artwork is under such protection that one needs a reservation simply for the visit to the church where it is found.  While I had been warned that finally seeing the painting in real life could be disappointing, it was not so for me.  I could appreciate this Renaissance masterpiece far better in real life than ever before from a text book or television view.

I traveled to the nearby city of Turin for today.  Having hosted the Winter Olympics only three years ago, this beautiful Baroque city sparkled with renovated palaces and courts, and relatively new improvements to its public infrastructure.  The main reason for my visit was to the learn more about the Shroud of Turin, the cloth which many believe to have been used as the burial wrappings for Jesus Christ and miraculously bears his image.  The actual Shroud is only revealed to the public for rare speical occasions, with the next presentation due next year.  However, the museum for the Shroud offers detailed information about it and accurate copies.  In Turin's cathedral one can see the room and container in which the Shroud is kept.

Tomorrow I will leave Milan for the Cinque Terre.  With hopes of better weather, I will take in a slower paced example of Italian life.


Anonymous said...

Just wanted to let you know I have really enjoyed reading your blog.I work with your dad. I actually met you when you came for a visit. I told him I love to read and you really draw me in. I can't wait to see the pictures when you post them. Have a wonderful and safe trip.
Karen Willey

Nick O. said...

Karen: Thank you for the compliments and the comment. I always appreciate hearing from a reader.