Monday, February 23, 2009

Duomo & Piazza

Our trip to Milan started with a visit to the Piazza del Duomo - the square in the center of town. With Carnival coming up next weekend (Milan starts celebrating just as the rest of the world's parties are winding down), the square was a festive scene of children in costumes, confetti, silly string, friendship bracelet con artists, and the fashionable Milanese. The piazza is also the site of MTV Italia's TRL (that's "Total Request Live" for the older crowd). It seems the TRL crowd got really rowdy when the Jonas Brothers visited.

We grabbed lunch at Luini Panzerotti's - just around the corner from the church. After our travels, the warm stuffed calzones where like heaven on earth. With our bellies full, we set out to see the 4th largest church in Europe.

Every inch of the exterior of the Duomo is covered in spires, statues, gargoyles, and pointed arches - an over-the-top high Gothic facade. The pink marble was sparkling from its cleaning in 2008 and really gleamed compared to the surrounding buildings.

To truly appreciate the spires and statues, we climbed to the Duomo rooftop. Instead of walking through a forest of trees, you are walking through a maze of spires and statues. The main body of the roof is slightly angled and offers an amazing view of the Milan skyline. Some say you can see the Swiss Alps on a clear day - the question is when the last clear day was. The air is so hazy in Milan that even the closest buildings appear faded and dull.

The Piazza del Duomo is the place to people watch on a sunny afternoon. In a five minute gelato break we saw (around noon on a Sunday):
  • 7 women wearing stilettos - and we are talking 4.5+ inch heels that tapered down to a very small point. Remember it is too late for the walk of shame and too early to be dressed for dinner. My favorite wearer was a sixty plus year-old lady with knee-high patent leather stiletto boots on and a full length fur coat!
  • 7 men with man purses - if is a Gucci man purse, does that make it better?
  • 15 women in fur coats - not just fur collars or fur trimmed, but real, 3/4 to full length fur coats. I really liked the fashion sense of the women wearing combat boats, purple hose, a floppy hat, and a full length fur coat.
The piazza is the place to see and be seen - just pray the pigeons don't poop on you.

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3 comments:

Rebecca Louise. said...

Milan looks beautiful! I am not suprised about the man bags and stillettos - fashion capital :) xxx.

The Rambler said...

Wow!!! Beautiful. And what me and my BFF's would give to watch interesting people like that pass by on a gelato break :)

Thanks so much for visiting my blog today!

Dawn said...

hi laura! thanks for stopping by my blog :) looks like you are on quite an adventure!! a real one! i'm anxious to poke around and see the sights!!