Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Milan Day Two

Day two in Milan started out relatively early because we had a reservation to see the Last Supper. You have to make reservations because they only let in 30 people at a time through a guided tour. We thought we had made reservations for a tour in English, but our tour ended up being in Italian, which was kind of disappointing, especially since we had to pay extra for the English tour and the majority of the people on our tour were not Italian. It didn't matter too much, since we didn't really care about the tour, we just wanted to see the painting, but it would have been nice to understand what the tour guide was saying.

They did have a few signs to help you identify each person in the painting. Both Mike and I agreed that John looked like a girl. I think there is some story behind that, but I'll have to research. It's pretty incredible to think about all that the painting has gone through (a major WWII bombing of the church) and the fact that it's still there. I also just think it's pretty cool to see since it takes over a whole wall. Sometimes I think famous paintings (cough: the Mona Lisa ::cough) get so built up that, by the time you actually see them, it's kind of a disappointment. This was definitely not the case with the Last Supper. It's just as amazing as the hype surrounding it says.

The church that is home to the Last Supper

The painting opposite the Last Supper, which no one ever pays attention to.  Poor painting :(

The tour of the Last Supper only lasted about 30 minutes, if that, so we really had most of the day free. There is a castle in Milan that has a bunch of museums and a park behind it. We walked around the grounds of the castle and stopped in some of the museums before heading to lunch. The museums were pretty small, but the musical instrument museum was interesting. I'm not a music person, but seeing the old kinds of string instruments was pretty cool.

After lunch, we set out for some church sight seeing. There is almost a church on every block, so you could spend your entire life admiring the churches of Italy, but there were a few that had been recommended via Lonely Planet and they didn't disappoint. One of them had been around since the fifth century! Pretty cool!

I love the way the sun shone through the window here

Pretty creepy but kind of cool

It really never gets old

Once we had our fill of churches, we still had a few hours, so we went to the Pinateca di Brera, an art museum which had gotten great reviews. By this point, my feet were tired, so the thought of wandering around an art museum wasn't the most appealing, but I'm glad we did it. There were some beautiful pieces of art there and it was a pretty big museum, so there was lots to see. They give you a map with a few pieces mentioned to look out for, which was nice since there were over 35 rooms with art in them!

After the museum, we had to head back to our AirBnB and get ready because we were going to the opera that night!! Neither of know much about opera, but when in Italy, am I right? I'm so glad we did this because it was quite the experience. Even if you don't go to see an actual opera, you should find a way into the opera house, La Scalla, because it's a piece of art in itself. The box seats surround the walls of the theater and the excitement of the guests adds to the ambiance. We had seats on the floor towards the back, which ended up being great seats. I wasn't sure how the whole opera was going to go since we don't speak Italian, but they had little machines on the back of each seat that provided subtitles in either English or Italian. Even if you spoke Italian, I think you'd need subtitles because it can be hard to understand at times.

Rigalleto was great and despite our frustrations with the plot, it was a fun experience. The actors and actresses were great, the set was a piece of art in itself and the singing puts Mike's girl T. Swift to shame (don't tell him I said that!). I love getting dressed up and feeling fancy for a night every once and a while and this time was no different. I don't know if we'll be going to another opera any time soon, but it was a fun experience and definitely worthwhile when in Milano!

Step Count: 27,169