Getting a bird's eye view of a city is my favorite thing to do, so I climbed the stairs to the roof top of the cathedral to capture the personality of the city and for an incredible view from above.
My other favorite view of Milan was from inside the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele,which is alongside the Duomo and competes with it for attention. The Galleria has a high curved glass and iron ceiling and a glistening marble, mosaic tiled floor. It is a splendid mall that has an ambiance of part Saks Fifth Avenue and part Vatican Palace. It houses exclusive stores such as Vittorio Emanuele, Louis Vuitton, David Campari, Gucci, Prada, Boss, Umberto Boccione and many more. It is a graceful, light-filled mall that offers some of the best people-watching in the world. And even if haute couture is not your kinda thing , it's worth the window shopping stroll. Well , Milan is definitely the fashion hub.
Next stop Da Vinci's " The Last Supper" which is in the dining room of a church Santa Maria della Grazie, and believed to be completed between 1495- 1498.The Last Supper is a painting and not a fresco which is 15 ft by 29 ft painted directly on a drywall and it is deteriorating fast. It has narrowly missed being destroyed from bombing during WWII. The paintings iconography was used as a central theme by author Dan Brown, native of Exeter, New Hampshire in his best seller "The Da Vinci Code" which was also made into a movie.
For the evening , I headed to the Navigli neighborhood which has a system of canals designed by Leonardo da Vinci in the 17th century. It was once the lifeblood of Milan and today it lends historic charm to this lively part of town. I strolled around the picturesque waterway, wandered off into the streets and alleys that stem off from it and walked past all sorts of bohemian bars, restaurants, antique shops and art galleries immersing in the hipster atmosphere. This area offers a totally different vibe from the main city. Selected a restaurant and settled down for a dinner. The nightly ritual of Aperitivo- where a predinner drink morphs into a full flegded buffet of meats, cheese, risotto, pasta , canape and more. It is the happiest of the happy hours. Restaurants are crowded and humming at this time. .
Next day headed to Sforza castle which is home to seven museums which are dedicated to everthing from ancient art, 15th- 21st century wooden sculptures, prehistoric/ Egyptian archeology.
Another museum Biblioteca Ambrosiana has about 30,000 manuscripts exhibited. My go to section here was 1,750 drawings by Da Vinci, you guessed it he's my favorite scientist. I checked out his codex Atlanticus
Next stop was the Royal Palace of Milan, inside is a sweeping staircases and elegant halls designed by Luigi Vanvitelli in 1769. The leading artists of the time were commissioned to decorate the interiors.The most stunning room is the Hall of Caryatides which escaped the bombing during WWII unlike other parts of the Palace which were later restored. The palace is an eye candy adorned with beautifully decorated ceilings, chandeliers, murals and rich tapestries.
Milan very gracefully blends the old with the new.