Saturday, 14 June 2014

Italy, Milan

We touched down at Malpensa Airport at 7.50 am (Italy time). It was freezing cold that morning.

This is the Malpensa Express that we took from the airport to Milano Cadorna. From there, we changed to the Metropolitana (Urban Railway System) to get to Milano Centrale, where our accommodation was located.

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Even though Italy was 6 hours behind Singapore and the flight took more than 13 hours, there was no jet lag. We were lucky in that sense, so as soon as we had secured our luggage at the hotel, it's time for an exploration.  

Actually, I also had a bit of a culture shock earlier on while travelling on the Malpensa Express. I didn't take this photo but Milan was not spared when it comes to graffiti. It was disturbing too because graffiti covered every walls along the railway tracks. 

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However, the central area of Milan itself was a beautiful place. We went to Castello Sforzesco that morning. At Piazza Castello, there was a large fountain; it was really impressive. The water sprouting out had a rhythmic tune and it certainly had a calming effect on anyone.

Most of the buildings that we passed by were low rise buildings and there was so much space as compared to Singapore. Here, piazzas (public square) were built everywhere for people to get a good breather. 

Adrenaline high, I was being paranoid here. I had my bag placed under my jacket, a gesture to ward off pickpockets and those offering friendship bracelets.

Walking into the walls of the castle, I felt like I was in the era of medieval times. Strangely, of all the movies I could connect to in this era was the Lord of the Rings. That got a laugh from my friend because she thinks that I'm a craze fan of the LOTR. Urghhh... it should have been Robin Hood or King Authur.

This is one of the castle's courtyards.

I love the circular-shaped structure of the castle. This castle was originally constructed in 1358, but it was then enhanced into a princely residence by Francesco Forza, a duke, in the 1450s. When Milan came under foreign rulers, the castle became neglected. By 1860s, its state was really bad that the city wanted it to be demolished. Luckily, it was saved by an architect named Luca Beltrami. 

And today, this castle is a public building which houses 9 civic museums. After walking around the castle, we took our time to venture to other places.

Another piazza, Piazza Della Scala. 

This is the statue of Leonardo da Vinci, one of the three giants of the High Renaissance. The other two giants were Michaelangelo and Raphael (not featured here). I had to admit that I am always lost when it comes to art. But wrt Leonardo, I knew that he was the artist who painted the famous Mona Lisa and The Last Supper. Huhu.. But I knew nothing on his other art pieces. 

And guess what? Nearby there's an exhibition on Raphael. Time to seek some knowledge.

Continue more of my trip to Milan in my next post.

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