This morning Michael went to a couple of talks at the meeting and I did a few housekeeping chores like blog writing and adding more time to our cell phone cards. When we met back up we decided to go back to the the Duomo and then off for some more sightseeing. I am glad that we returned to the church as there was an area open that had been closed yesterday. It allowed us to see many of the stained glass windows and some cool tapestries.
After exiting from the church, we had fun trying to take a photo in the style of all of the young people today…..holding the camera out at arm’s length….it worked pretty well, however it certainly highlights our fat pockets and wrinkles!!!!
Back in May, we had booked tickets to see DaVinci’s “The Last Supper” and we planned to take a taxi to the church (Santa Maria della Grazzie). However, Michael felt like walking so we pulled out the map and started making our way there. We found it very hard to follow the map as there is a small piazza (plaza) almost every block and 4 or 5 streets come off of it. We got lost numerous times, but said “what the heck….we are in Milan”.
The church is under renovation, but is still quite beautiful…..
We arrived at the church and picked up our tickets. It was good that we had already made reservations as it was completely sold out for the day. They only allow 25 people to go into the room for 15 minutes each. The darkened room was long with the painting filling one end wall. There were benches in front of the painting and it was wonderful to sit in the quiet and look at the painting.
Apparently, DaVinci used a new type of fresco technique for this painting which did not require the plaster to be wet and gave him more time to add details to the painting. However, the piece began deteriorating just a few years after he painted it so it has been in a constant state of refurbishment since then. The colors are very faded and most of the lines are no longer sharp. Even so, it is a magnificent piece of artwork.
One of the funny things is that sometime in the past, a door was cut into the wall, and they cut off a portion of the painting…..so, you cannot see Jesus’ feet because of this new doorway. You have to ask yourself “what were they thinking”!!!!!
We walked across the street and stopped at a little cafe to eat lunch. You selected your Panini from pre-made ones on display and then they toasted them for you. We picked one call “Blue Moon” which contained thin sliced prosciutto, some sort of cheese and fresh spinach leaves!!! Afterwards Michael ordered an espresso and a pot of tea using only ITALIAN words…..I am so proud of him!!!
We then walked a few blocks more to the Sforza Castle. It was originally built as a fort in the late 1300’s and then became the palace of the Sforza family. We walked thru the Museum of Ancient Art and enjoyed many of the pieces there.
This ceiling work had been covered with a whitewash and was uncovered a few years ago…..again….what were they thinking!!!
The crown jewel of this museum is an unfinished Michelangelo piece that he was working on when he died. It is his fourth Pieta (a depiction of a dead Christ and a sorrowing Mary). It was so interesting to see how he worked the piece. It is roughed out entirely with many short chisel strokes in the stone while certain areas are polished and finished entirely. We felt as if the arm in the foreground is out of scale with the rest of the piece and wondered if he would have changed this as the piece progressed.
Unfortunately, you couldn’t use a flash in this area so the photos are a bit blurred….
As we walked back to the hotel, we passed this gentleman carving vegetables into wondrous shapes….his work was amazing…..