Milan Holiday Exploration
It has been a while since I have been able to blog as Italy has been so busy with enquiries – Italy certainly is Number 1 on everyone’s list right now!
Last week I got the chance to leave the office and have a few days in Milan. During that time I had one day sightseeing and two days in conferences with suppliers. For the first day I enjoyed the main sights of the fashion capital for myself!
I began my Milan holiday with a visit to Santa Maria delle Grazie; the church that houses Leonardo da Vinci’s famous painting “The Last Supper.” With my pre-booked ticket I was able, with a small group, to see one of the world’s most iconic paintings, which has led to quite a degree of controversy regarding the person to Jesus’s right! Between the allies bombing Milan and almost inadvertently destroying it, the wrong paints being used and even the kitchen heating up the wall on the other side, this painting was lucky to survive. It was quite moving to be in the room and see this for myself. This really is a highlight of any Milan holiday and must be booked in advance. I saw quite a few people turned away on the day.
My next stop was at the impressive Castello Sforzesca. The home of the ruling Sforza family for around a century, the castle has beautiful artwork and sculptures, which need a few hours to fully see and appreciate everything on offer, both above and below ground. However, no trip to the castle would be complete without enjoying the grounds. At the back of the castle is a peaceful walk through the park, which leads to the Arco della Pace. This peace arch was commissioned by Napoleon, but ironically completed by the Milanese after his departure, meaning they could finish the arch to their tastes! The carvings on the monument are truly exceptional and a guaranteed photo or two on your camera!
After lunch I continued on my Milan holiday exploration to Vittorio Emanuelle II, which works as both an elaborately decorative walkway between La Scala opera house and the Duomo, but also as a designers shopping mall. Here you can shop for well-known fashion pieces by designers including Prada and Versace. If you are considering returning for a further Milan holiday, don’t forget to look for the Turin bull painted on the mosaic floor tiles in the centre of the mall. Legend has it that if you grind your foot on a certain part of his anatomy and turn three times, you will return to Milan. I don’t know if it works, but I did it last time I was there, so . . . !
My final stop was the Duomo itself. It takes a few minutes when you first get inside to fully appreciate the scale and building of this gothic building. It really is incredibly impressive. Inside there are several of the Florentine Medici tombs, ornate stained glass and as much going on below ground as above, so make sure you visit the baptistery and as well as the tombs, the foundations of the original church.
After this incredible day, I concluded my Milan holiday with two days of meeting suppliers and looking at new options. I am currently working on a combination of new breaks, along with enhancing some areas we already offer. I will keep you updated as and when I have further details. It is all very exciting and a rewarding part of the role!