Friday, October 26, 2007

Ramblin' 'round Milano

A few more reasons why Milan continues to grow on me like a pleasant moustache. What? Never mind. I don’t know either. Must be all of these late night/early morning Red Sox games. Oh, and a BC football game. Oh, and Mark just brought home two hockey sticks – I can see the headlines in Il Cittadino now: “Intrepid immigrants inject area inter-murals with hockey sans ice.”

A stone's throw from the castello, Milan's Chelsea/West Village lies in wait. Artists lounge, smoke, chat, doodle, scan the perforate-toothed want ads and have ads, discuss Matsuzaka’s Game 3 start in spacious Coors Field – an art school with balustraded courtyards, an astronomical museum, and a botanical garden. Sagan, spray paint disk space scenes busked, Audubon hummingbirds, O’Keefe, Da Vinci (same of the navigli). Perhaps it is common to use cartoon characters to advertise exhibitions of historical astronomical instruments but... i Simpson? He who designed said sign ingested perhaps an additional hallucinatory hot pepper.

Meanwhile, across town... The navigli, or canals, as I’ve mentioned before continue to wave their flower-boxed windows at me, smile back from their colorful reflections, wind their way towards my heart. They are twists on the type, an endearing wrinkle in the fabric of the city. Not as whimsical as the slide from a pedestrian walkway at the top of the ascensor where I lived in Valparaiso, Chile, but unexpected just the same.

Later, with the day winding down... il Duomo stands stately over the largest piazza in the city, justly famous for staccato spires and a reconstructing facade. Inside, I found it hard to see the trees for the forest – the nave and transept crossing at great heights, both filled with gild and gesso-glossed gigantic canvases. Devotional candles, a collection of closed-door confessionals, stone pillars smooth from years rising above a foundation started 700 years ago... Il Duomo inside is one of the most breath-taking buildings I’ve ever been in; outside... well... I’m curious to know if there are any cathedrals the world over that allow you to sit on the roof and take in the sights. And what sights. After walking up the stairs (or taking the lift if you want to pay an extra 2 euros and get there quicker), you can elbow up with saints and gargoyles, gulls and flying-buttress sight lines, but sadly no kite lines. The green copper domes of other churches rise above the sprawling centro storico. Cranes swings stories above rooftops constructing the new amidst the old. The clouds color as the sky fades to black.

For more photos of my Milano meander, please click here. No here. Okay, really here... or here. That will work. Pinkie swear.


leigh andrew said...

the roof of the duomo is just incredible. how do these things get designed and built? - they are like the most gorgeous drip castles imaginable.

Diabolical said...

drip castles, how apt

Fango said...

The Italians have developed some very advanced water/sand construction techniques. Among others. Apt indeed!