Sunday, June 18, 2017

Milano - days 29-30

This was one of the stays that was booked by our travel agent before we left the states. We wanted to know where we were staying when we flew into Florence and the beginning, and when we flew out of Milan at the end. Then, everything in between was open. I call that freedom within structure - the perfect combination.

Milano (Milan) is a big city. It is the financial center of Italy - kind of like New York City. When we got off the train and made our way thru the station, we felt like country bumpkins come to the big city. I sure am glad our Google Maps worked over there or we would have needed a lot more time to find our way around.

The train station in Milan was as impressive, or more so, as Grand Central in New York City. 
One of the reasons we chose to fly out of Milan was because I have a contact there. His name is Paolo and he is a "Top Contributor" on the Google Photos forum. I am also a top contributor and I consider one of the major perks to be the fact that I have contacts all over the world because there are a few dozen of us helping each other as we help the users who have questions on the forum for Google Photos. All of us participate in a private online chat area and actually get to know each other that way. Paolo lives in Milan and works at the Planetarium there - he is a space geek! So, our first stop was the planetarium. We walked.

I found Paolo! One of my co-workers on the Google Photos help forum.
We then went to our hotel and got checked in just in time to make it to our reserved tour of Leonardo's Last Supper. A very famous painting, they have to control visitors. Only about a dozen are let in to view it at a time and there are air-lock doors to keep down any dust or other debris. Your group walks thru one set of doors and stay in a room between the doors for just a minute, then you are ushered into the room where the painting is. After 15 minutes, you are ushered out. The painting is on a wall and it has been painted over, and then restored several times it appears. It's still pretty moving to be in the presence of Leonardo's work.

The Last Supper by Leonardo da Vinci
Since the signature part of the tour only lasts 15 minutes, the guide takes us around to some other famous sights in Milan.
Milan Cathedral
Although the Cathedral was beautiful, I was most taken by the Galleria. I think because it was just as splendid as any of the cathedrals we'd seen, yet it wasn't a church. It was built from the beginning as a shopping mall.
Definitely my favorite statue ... Leonardo
When the tour was finished, we made it back to our room and crashed. We had arranged to meet Paolo for lunch the next day. Then he showed us around his city, including a wonderful park and a tower where you ride up in an elevator and get a view of the entire city.

Meetup with Paolo for lunch
Tower to the view of the city

This was our third 7-miles-walking day in a row! Come dinner time, we picked the restaurant directly next door to the hotel. It was wonderful!
The restaurant next door for our Last Supper

The next morning we caught a taxi to the airport.

We are very sad to be leaving Italy
More photos in our 2017 Europe Photo Album

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