3 hours in Milan

I feel a little bad, writing about a place I have spent such a short amount of time, but since I had some photos I wanted to share and google loves text, you’ll have to suffer some additional words of wisdom.

We were on our way back home from Levanto and had some hours to kill, so decide to park our rental in the tightest underground garage you can imagine and set out on foot. As a German I was very surprised that all the shops were open on a Sunday. Not only that, it seemed like, this is the day when literally everyone is shopping or just meeting with friends to have a coffee and do some people watching – there was a lot to watch. And yes, the Italians or at least the Milanese are as well-dressed and -groomed as everyone thinks them to be.

Yes, the Italians do dress quite posh - and aren't afraid to show their bling

Yes, the Italians do dress quite posh – and aren’t afraid to show their bling

After a short walk we stand in front one most unlikely buildings i have ever seen – partly shrouded in megaposters advertising for D&G and Samsung: Il Duomo di Santa Maria Nascente, the cathedral of Milan, the third largest church in the world. It’s really huge, let me tell you. It’s white marble facade actually glows in the Octobre sun and I wonder how people 500 years ago must have felt when they were approaching the city. In every nook and every cranny is a statue, most of them too high up, to even make out their gender. Of course the whole idea of a building like that, is to honour god and he sure doesn’t need a telescope to see them. But I like to imagine that some of the rich people who financed the cathedral had access to a telescope and stood at the windows of their palazzos to gaze at the incredible artisanship that no one else was ever able to see.

Golden statue atop Milans cathedral Duomo di Santa Maria Nascente.

Golden statue atop Milans cathedral Duomo di Santa Maria Nascente.

In the middle of the crowded plaza in front of the Duomo is a statue of Vittorio Emanuele II, who played a big part in uniting Italy 150 years ago. Directly across and nearly as impressive as the cathedral is one the oldest shopping malls, named after him. Opened in 1867 it features a beautful glass roof, almost like a greenhouse and real indoor facades. Needless to say the shops it houses are way beyond my paygrade.

Glass roof in one the oldest shoppings malls in the world the Vittorio Emanuele II Passages

Glass roof in one the oldest shoppings malls in the world the Vittorio Emanuele II Passages

On our way to Castello Sforzesco, a giant 15th century fortress and castle, we find something odd, especially if you’ve grown up in Berlin:

Quite disturbing decoration outside NATO's rapid response forces in downtown Milan. The depicted helmet looks decidedly like one from the German Wehrmacht.

Quite disturbing decoration outside NATO’s rapid response forces in downtown Milan. The depicted helmet looks decidedly like one from the German Wehrmacht.

Anyway, long story short; after a picnic in the castle’s yard we head back to our car and Berlin. I hope to come back one day, maybe explore a little more (I’ve heard the nightlife is amazing).

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