Thursday we went on a day trip to Milan. The forecast called for rain and snow and for the temperature to be in the mid 30s. As soon as we came out of the first tunnel on the train ride from Genoa to Milan, it was snowing. A little further down the tracks and there was already a few inches of snow on the ground. As much as I would prefer it to be sunny and warm when we have to be outside all day, if were gonna have some kind of precipitation i would much rather it be snow. Of course, once we arrived in Milan it was raining all day long. There were some occasional snow flurries but nothing stuck and it always changed back over to rain.
Despite the shitty weather, I really enjoyed Milan. It was one of the few large cities in Italy I haven’t been to before. One of the really exciting parts of our trip was going to see the Duomo. It is very different from other duomos I have been to such as in Florence, but it was equally beautiful in a very different way. The Duomo in Milano took over 5 centuries to build which is just unbelievable. They had to create a school that taught people how to sculpt, paint, and build in the style in which the building was started, so as to maintain its gothic style. Despite the rain we were able to go onto the roof of the Duomo, which was absolutely unbelievable. From that point you could really see all the detail in the sculptures decorating the exterior of the cathedral.
We also visited the Santa Maria delle Grazie church. I didn’t know this until we were standing outside in the rain listening to Giuditta talk, but the original Last Supper painting is on display in the refectory of the church’s convent. We didn’t get to go see it on this trip, but Judy promised to try to get us reservations for one of our other day trips to Milan. Another amazing church we visited was Santa Maria presso San Satiro, which was a small church in the city center. The story of the churches construction was really interesting. It had been a small church that was remodeled during the 15th century. There was not enough space to expand the church because it was already situated between preexisting buildings. They were able to build out towards the street to create the bottom part of the ‘cross-shaped’ nave, but had no room to expand and build the upper part of the nave, towards the altar. Architect and designer, Donato Bramante, created a perspective painting behind the altar to give the illusion that the church was actually in the typical cross plan. Giuditta didn’t tell us that this was actually a painting until we had been in the church for around 5 minutes. When she told us we were all shocked. Then we walked down the aisle and to the right and only then could we really believe that the church didn’t extend past the side aisles.