Monday, July 6, 2015

milan, italy - wrapping it up like a present, part 2.

starting out this post with just a few more pretty pictures of the duomo in all its glory. it's almost too beautiful. it's overwhelming! 

here's a common scene for us, during this europe trip & back in the city, too: the stroller pulled into a side street with us getting something done to help the babe, whether it's furtively changing a diaper (we also try & find a bathroom to do that, when we can) or mixing up a bottle (norah weaned herself).

one of the beautiful things about having a baby, i've discovered, is that it forces you not only to slow down, but sometimes come to a complete stop. in a side street. in italy.

i was chatting with a friend today who is about to inherit a few stepkids (how do you say that? she's going to marry a guy who has children from a previous marriage) & she was like, "wait until norah is a teenager. she will have ben tied around her little finger." i look at pictures like these & i'm like, "yep! he's toast." 

a cool staircase spotted near the duomo:

a shot to recognize the expo that's happening in milan right now. sorry, the coloring of this photo is SO weird:

that evening, megan volunteered to watch our sleeping norah while ben & i went to see da vinci's the last supper--a fresco on the wall of a small church. it's an interesting setup--you have to buy tickets to get in to see it, & not only do the tickets sell out REALLY fast & you have to book them weeks in advance, but they only let you in to see the painting for FIFTEEN minutes...& then kick you out! we hadn't thought ahead enough to get tickets, but when we checked the night before, by some sheer stroke of luck we suddenly found that there were TWO available tickets for the very next night! we bought them immediately & made arrangements for norah. i'm not going to lie, we've seen some AMAZING art this trip. 

the last supper was incredible, & i'm SO glad things worked out for us to see it. being hyper aware of the fifteen minute time limit was actually kind of nice, because i ended up using every last second just drinking in the painting instead of letting my eye wander to anything else (not that there's a lot else happening in that room of the church [apparently it was a dining hall, in its earliest days]. in fact, did you know that during world war ii, the church that housed it was bombed? [THIS is really interesting. guess i need to go watch monuments men!] & then at one point, someone just sliced a doorway through the bottom part of the painting. & of course, it started peeling & flaking almost from the moment it was painted. that fresco is a SURVIVOR. IT DEMANDS TO BE SEEN.) 

i love that it's an active, reactionary painting--literally, it depicts the apostles' reactions to jesus's statement that he will be betrayed by one of them. & then ben doesn't know the whole da vinci code storyline, so i explained some of that to him as well. :) (as an undergrad i worked with someone in the writing center who haaaaaated dan brown. in fact, i'm pretty sure the topic of her undergrad english thesis paper was debunking all of his storytelling & literary techniques & basically explaining why he is the worst. haha). they don't allow photos to be taken of la ├║ltima cena, but i did grab a few photos of the beautiful church & surrounding buildings.

the sunset was hitting this one dome PERFECTLY. everything else was in the shade. lovely.

& just peeking into a pretty villa nearby:

before heading home to our friends & our sleeping babe, we grabbed some food at spontini. it's a place near the duomo where we had seen long lines of people (usually a good sign) earlier in the day. & neither we nor those many people were wrong! it was DELICIOUS. 

it was definitely a little tourist-y feeling, but i would highly recommend it, should you find yourself in milan (the other delicious place we tried on a recommendation from the nances was luini. they serve panzerotti there, which are, i dunno, sort of like little calzones in fried bread. amazing. & right across the street from spontini!)

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