Day 1: Milan

 We went to see the Milan city straight from the airport. People were excited, children were super excited to travel in Europe.

Milan, the capital of Lombardy, is the second largest city in Italy. It is the economic centre of the country with financial services, car industries, media empires, and fashion houses. It has the world’s largest Gothic cathedral, a fifteenth century castle, art galleries and museums displaying works by the old masters.

 Galleria Vittorio Emanuele

The Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II is a double arcade structure is formed by two glass-vaulted arcades intersecting in an octagon covering the street connecting Piazza del Duomo to Piazza dellaScala.  It is housed within a four-storey double arcade. But it is true to say that the Galleria is a landmark on its own right.

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 It is supposed to be the world’s oldest shopping mall. The Galleria is named after Vittorio Emanuele II, the first king of the Kingdom of Italy. It was designed in 1861 and built by Giuseppe Mengoni between 1865 and 1877, who fell to his death from the structure during construction.  It is still used a shopping center and houses high-end store like Gucci and Prada.

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The tradition tells that if a person put its right heel on the bull’s genitals depicted of the bull from Turin Coat of Armsand turn on himself three times, this will bring good luck. This practice causes damage to the mosaic: a hole developed on the place of the bull’s genitals.

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Dumo (the cathedral)

It was an amazing moment to step out of the Galleria into Piazza del Duomo and experience the grandeur and magnificence of the Cathedral of Milan.  It took a few moments to realize the shear massiveness of the fourth largest church in Europe and the largest in Italy.  The marble that adorns the cathedral actually came from the Lago Maggiore region of Northern Italy.  For a building that took over four hundred years to build, it is absoutely breathtaking!

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Dumo is the name for a cathedral. The Milan cathedral is dedicated to Santa Maria Nascente.  It is the seat of the Archbishop of Milan. It is said that the construction of Gothic cathedral started in 1380 and took nearly six centuries to complete. The golden ‘Madonnina’ (Little Madonna) stands on the largest pinnacle. It was created by Giovanni Perego in 1774.

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The Golden “Little Madonna”

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The enterance door to the church

 The façade was completed in 1813 at the behest of Napoleon Bonaparte, who chose to be crowned King of Italy here. Some 135 spires and 3,200 statues are crammed onto the roof and into the facade.

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Soumya and dad relaxing a bit…..

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Soumya in awe….

  It is recommended to go to the top of the cathedral. When we visited, some repair works were going on. The cathedral is white marble, over a brick core, and has a cruciform plan. It was designed to accommodate 40,000 worshippers. It is an imposing structure. The first thing that comes to mind is how the hell did people manage to construct such a cathedral? If the outside was mesmerizing, the inside was awesome.

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Stained glass window in the cathedral.

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More stained glass windows in the cathedral.

During World War II the Madonnina was wrapped up in rags to avoid light reflected from the statue attracting American bomber planes. But the Duomo was terribly damage and was later largely restored, while the surviving wooden doors were replaced iwth bronze doors made by the sculptors Arrigo Minerbi, Giannino Castiglioni and Luciano Minguzzi. For the last thirty years its façade has been the object of continued restoration and cleaning works to counteract the disastrous effects of smog and city traffic.

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During the XIX century all the remaining spires were completed and the central bronze door, by the Milanese sculptor Lodovico Pogliaghi, was installed. The interior has 52 pillars that divide it into a nave and four aisles containing numerous sarcophagi and altars of great historical and architectural value. The façade is a real summation of all Italian architectural styles. The present arrangement of the façade dates back to 1888; it is the work of Giuseppe Brentano.

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Piazza del Duomo

After enjoying the beauty of the cathedral, we stepped out into the Piazza del Duomo, the Cathedral Square of Milan. It is the main piazza (city square) of Milan. It is named after, and dominated by, the Milan Cathedral (the Duomo). The piazza marks the center of the city.

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At the Piazza del Duomo, the Cathedral Square of Milan.

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Monument of Vittorio Emanuele II

We sat there for a while to rest our aching feet and enjoyed the beauty of the Monument of Vittorio Emanuele II. then we decided to circle the cathedral before going out to the meeting place, where we had to meet Mr. Manish.

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People playing awesome music on the streets

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Soumya drinking water from the streeet fountain.

Statue of Leonardo. Just outside the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele (next to La Scala) is the statue of Leonardo. There is a sitting area around it. After looking around, Soumya and I sat here for a while observing the birds sitting on the heads of the statue.

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Statue of Leonardo

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A beautiful green tree.

One thing that I noticed is that about 90% of the people (young, old, boys, girls, women, men)weres moking and puffing. It sort of left me suffocated. Everybody seemed to be smokers.

Others:

It you are interested in seeing the famous works of art in the world, Leonardo da Vinci’s ‘The Last Supper’, you will have to guarantee your visit by making reservations for the same. Reservations to see this legendary painting are limited and sell out quickly, sometimes months in advance. We did not see this. The Last Supper, Leonardo da Vinci’s masterpiece, is housed at Santa Maria delle Grazie in Milan, and has earned a spot on the UNESCO World Heritage List. The famous fresco has enjoyed increased popularity since the publication of Dan Brown’s bestselling novel, The Da Vinci Code.

At 6.45 pm, we all boarded the coach, went straight for dinner. Enjoyed a nice Indian dinner at “Aangan”. After all the flight meals related goofup by MMT, we all were so very hungry and enjoyed our first dinner at Europe. Then went to the hotel (Idea San Siro) where stayed for the night!!

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6 Responses

  1. Very nice review. We are also going for European Bonanza this month. I have a doubt here, you said on the very first day you had Milan tour but as per itinerary of European Bonanza, first day is for just checking in the hotel and rest. The Milan and Venice tours are mentioned on day 2. Can you please confirm if your itinerary was different or it was changed later?

    Regards
    Tushar

    • Hello Tushar, Yes, the itinerary of European Bonanza says that the first day is for just checking in the hotel and rest. We reached Milan at 2.00 pm. The tour manager asked us if we could go for visiting the main places in Milan on the same day. This would give more time at Venice the next day. So we all agreed!!

      If you have any other queries, please feel free to ask!
      Sajitha

      • Can you please tell us if you had anyone joining from outside India in your group? And if so how they joined you when the tour manager decided to change the plan and take Milan tour on same day.

      • Hi, No. all of us were from India. We took flights from India to Doha, but from there I think we all were in the same flight. You must have received a document (you will receive it 2-3 days before you leave for your trip) with the contact details of your tour manager. You can then contact your tour manager and ask how the trip is going to happen.

        If the tour manager plans to take you all for the Milan tour on the day of arrival, he/she might first collect you from the hotel or collect you on the way to the tour.

        You may also check with your local contact regarding the details of your tour manager at Europe and then contact the person for details. Are you opting for the Jungfraujoch tour at Switzerland? If so, be prepared with all possible woollens. It is extremely cold at the peak….Enjoy your trip.

        Regards,
        Sajitha

  2. That’s nice but we are going from Dubai and we will reach before India group reaches there. They have asked us to check-in at hotel since India group comes in afternoon. If they decide to go directly from airport as they did for you, we will be at hotel. I’ll check this up with them as well. Thanks for the details. Did you write travelogue for other cities as well?

    Thanks again
    Tushar

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