Monday, May 19, 2014

Musings from Milano

After a year-long hiatus, the blog has returned!

Lindsey graduated on May 11th, with a B.A. in Anthropology and an emphasis in archeology. She left the next day to go visit San Luis Obisbo (or SLO in slang and maybe pace?) as a potential new town to live in when she decides to get ”unFlagstuck”. Meanwhile, she is living in our house while Darrell and I are on a one-month trip to Italy, Slovenia and Croatia.

Lindsey in front of the NAU Dome
 Darrell has a meeting in Trieste, Italy and that is the only excuse we needed to see a new part of the world. I packed as little as I could and weighed in at under 20 lbs. including my computer and all the clothes I was wearing! Of course that means I’ll have only one pair of pants for the entire trip, but every ounce counts!

Less than 20 pounds!
We landed in Milan, Italy on May 15th. We found the bus to Central Station and walked to our hotel. Darrell is a master at marking our locations using the OffMaps app, and then we can navigate without being connected to the internet. Very handy!

After a shower and a 1-hour nap, we walked downtown through a couple of parks. The one euro espresso in the plastic cup was our first taste of Italy. But I especially liked the slices of coconut in their own fountain!

We wandered to the Duoma (Cathedral). This Gothic cathedral took over six centuries (1386-1965) to complete. It is the 5th largest cathedral in the world and the largest in Italy. While our own Mark Twain commented on it quite favorably, I like the description from Oscar Wilde better. He visited Milan in 1875 and in a letter to his mother he wrote: "The Cathedral is an awful failure. Outside the design is monstrous and inartistic. The over-elaborated details stuck high up where no one can see them; everything is vile in it; it is, however, imposing and gigantic as a failure, through its great size and elaborate execution."

John Ruskin, the 19th century renaissance man, put it even more succinctly, stating that the cathedral steals "from every style in the world: and every style spoiled”.

Right next door to the cathedral is a monument to another of man’s “religions”, one of the world’s oldest shopping malls, the 4-story Galleria Vittoria Emanuaele II. This mall carries mostly high-end merchandise. After a 20-year residency, they didn’t renew the lease for McDonald’s – replacing it with a second Prada retailer instead. McDonald’s is suing over the loss of 6 million euros/year.

For dinner we had piping hot salmon penne and spaghetti carbonara. So far we’ve been too full after pasta and pizza to eat any dessert, so the ravings on delicious tiramisu will have to wait!

I'll leave you with one last photo of a building that is more my style - just windows and books!

PS I haven't figured out formatting well - so forgive the odd placement of photos! Someday I will learn to put two side-by-side or wrap text...

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