On our second day in Milan, we started by having breakfast in our hotel. I’m pretty gutted I didn’t take any photos of the buffet, as for three Euros a day there was a great selection of food, including bread and cheeses and the best mini custard doughnuts!
Once we’d filled up on food we took the train to Piazza del Duomo which is the central area, as that’s where our three hour walking tour started from.
As the cycle race Giro d’Italia was finishing in the centre, it was super busy and buzzing so I didn’t get a tonne of photos, but our tour guide was really great.
We admired Duomo and learnt how the construction of it took 600 years to complete, about the statues of the saints on the spires and loads more.
A close up.
Do you recognise the female statue with the spiked crown?
The Statue of Liberty in New York was supposedly based on this statue.
After learning more about Duomo, we headed just opposite to the famous shopping centre, Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II. Our guide told us about the four paintings on the walls in the shopping centre and how they represent different regions of the world and about the lucky bull!
Whilst in the UK we ‘touch wood’, in Italy you touch iron or if you can’t find iron, men touch their private parts for luck. So in the shopping centre, people spin on the bulls balls three times for luck.
Me spinning around.
We walked the beautiful streets of Milan, learning about the Teatro Alla Scala (opera house).
Before stopping in the Brera District for a drink. I tried a coffee but as nice as this one looked, I’m still not a fan!
Our next stop was to Castello Sforzesco (Sforza Castle), which was originally built as a fortress in the 14th century and later used as a palace and residence by the powerful Sforza family.
The fountain outside the castle is often called the ‘Wedding Cake’ fountain due to its shape.
And then it was time for the big finale, going to see one of Leonardo da Vinci’s most famous paintings, The Last Supper.
We tried to book to see the painting months in advance but it had already sold out, which is why we booked to do the walking tour as it included entry to see The Last Supper.
Only small groups can enter and view the painting at any one time and you get 15 minutes in total to admire Da Vinci’s work of art.
The Last Supper took Da Vinci four years to paint between 1494-1498 and was painted in an experimental way on a dry plaster wall instead of on fresh, wet plaster. Due to this, the painting started to deteriorate quickly and the heat and humidity also caused further damage.
The Last Supper was a controversial painting at the time, as all religious paintings depicted saints and disciples as straight faced and unable to show emotion. Jesus would always be painted with a halo above his head, as would saints and Jesus would often be painted with yellow skin to show he was other-worldly.
Da Vinci painted Jesus as a regular man and his disciples clearly look shocked and show emotion in The Last Supper painting, as Jesus says one of them will betray him. As Da Vinci was friends with the Sforza family he got away with his controversial painting, even if it wasn’t popular.
The Last Supper is a large, intricately painted and realistic work of art. It’s definitely worth seeing and it was one of my highlights from our visit to Milan.
As our walking tour concluded, we stopped off at Chocolat Milano for ice cream.
I got a mixture of Stracciatella and After Eight ice creams, both of which were delicious. Chocolat Milano was my favourite gelato shop that we visited whilst in Italy.
And then we got the train back into the centre of Milan. We spent more time around Duomo, we browsed the shops and found the statue of Leonardo da Vinci.
The statue at the top is Da Vinci himself and underneath are statues of his four favourite students. Also depicted is Da Vinci’s different disciplines and things he mastered, such as painting, sculpting, engineering and architecture.
After wandering around, we stopped off for drinks with a view.
Before going to Il Salotto for dinner. We usually avoid eating in touristy places like those in the Galleria shopping centre, but as we liked the look of the menu, we took a chance.
I had a risotto and my partner had the best tagliatelle, which I kept eating.
After a great meal, we took some photos of us outside Duomo.
Before heading back to our hotel to catch some sleep, ready for our last full day in Milan.