Monday, June 17, 2013

Day Trip to Milan

Somewhere along the way in planning this trip Jean and I got the idea that wr should make a day trip to Milan after arriving in the Lake Como area. People posted on TripAdvisor that it was an easy thirty minute train ride from Bellagio into the city where you could see Leonardo DaVinci's "Last Supper," assuming you could get tickets, since viewing was highly restricted. Ben was game, and in March we got five tickets through a private tour guide who would give us a three-hour tour, including the fifteen minutes we were allotted in the chapel with the painting.

Once we had made the journey to Bellagio, however, and fell under the town's lazy spell, it was daunting to think about retracing our steps back to Milan for our tour. But yesterday we did, getting up at 6:00, out the door by 7:00 AM, on the ferry to Varenna at 7:35, on the train from Varenna to Milan at 8:37, on the metro for four stops, and then emerging at the Piazza Doumo to meet our tour guide at 11:00 in front of the Duomo Cathedral. Later in the afternoon we reversed the process, arriving back in our apartment in Bellagio about 7:00 PM. And all this on a very hot day, with the temperature reaching 90 degrees.

Was it worth it? All of us agreed that it was. We liked seeing the second largest city in Italy and noting how different it was from Rome. We liked seeing the LaScala Opera House and imaging being at an opera in its huge auditorium. We liked seeing the Sforza Castle with its beautiful brick work. We liked the white ornate front of the Duomo and the beautiful stained glass inside. We liked having a late lunch while people watching in the Galleria Vittorio Emanuel. We like eating what really must be the best gelato in Italy at Shockolat. We enjoyed the knowledge and style of our guide, Alicia Salvagnin. But above all we liked seeing "The Last Supper." Robbie liked seeing a masterpiece in a room with so few people. (The Sistine Chapel had been packed and quite noisy with the guards calling "silencio" and clapping their hands.) This opinion was seconded by Paul, who liked the quiet of the room, and Ben, who liked the reverent setting and the relative solitude in which this masterpiece could be viewed. I was amazed by the vivid 3-D affect given through the painting's perspective. You felt like you could crawl right under the table or fly right out the window behind the table.

It was a wonderful day trip, one well worth the effort.

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