While I was in Lecco and loving everything about Lecco, I decided I still needed to spend a day in Milan. It’s only an hour train ride away from Lecco, so it’s easy to make the day trip.
Little did I realize that I went during fashion week. Whoops! I didn’t see any shows, but even on the streets the level of personal style was incredible! I felt quite un-put-together but alas, the people at fashion week hadn’t been traveling for three and a half months (at least I assume).
It was definitely cool to realize that’s what’s going on and to appreciate the style, but I didn’t let it distract me from my main plans! Or, you know… feel too guilty about not being stylish at all that day!
I started at the Milan Duomo. Holy crap it was amazing. It’s so intricate, so well-carved and the Gothic architecture was just stunning. Even though I’d been in Naples, I hadn’t been in any of the churches in Italy, so it was also amazing as an intro to Italian cathedrals.
I went inside and the architecture was just incredible. The ceilings were probably my favorite part – I loved the way they sort of domed and formed arches to heaven, and I loved the feeling of them being so high!
The statuary in the cathedral and around was fun to look at – there were so many sculptures! One I fell in love with was hauntingly detailed and complex – in some ways it was like a grotesque Halloween costume, but I can’t believe that someone sculpted that out of marble!
The cathedral is on the same square as the Galleria Vittorio Emmanuele II, which is a shopping mall that’s 240 years old! It’s funny coming after the malls in the US, because I was a little like “that’s it? Those are the only stores in the mall?”. It’s definitely small compared to our malls, but the detail on the building is much greater. The ceilings are arched and glass, so the whole thing feels a bit like a cathedral in a way.
After that, I walked down the road to Sforza Castle – I was lucky because I went on a Tuesday, and every Tuesday it’s free to go into the castle after 2pm! I love how many cathedrals, museums, and castles in Europe have free days and times if you look for them. It’s such a cool way to make things accessible to all.
In Asia, they had admission prices for citizens versus foreigners, which accomplished the same thing of making the sites accessible, but I felt a bit like I was constantly being “taxed” for being a foreigner. I like that the free things in Europe are free for all. (Though, to note, most places have other discounts for EU citizens generally based on age.)
And with just those three things, it ended up being a full and fun day in Milan. I didn’t do any real shopping – my backpack was already heavy enough! But I’d love to go back one day and really discover the retail and fashion sides of Milan.