Italia Per Due: Week 9 Milan
Il Monumentale di Milano Museo a Cielo Aperto
This weekend, Angela and I flew up to Milan. It is a beautiful city that dates back to around 400 BC and is filled with lots of history, art, and culture. One of my favorite things that we saw during our weekend there was Il Monumentale di Milano Museo a Cielo Aperto. This translates to “The Monumental Cemetary of Milan” and is a huge cemetary that was started in 1866. It is the final resting place for Milanese citizens from all walks of life. We saw thousands of graves and tombs from the years 1866 up to 2016.
While walking up to the monument, the first thing that you notice is a huge structure that is beautifully decorated with pointed towers and large windows. As you approach the monument, you notice that there are niches with large statues of mythical gods on top of podiums. To get to all the gravesites, you walk through a stone courtyard and walk under archways.
Through the arches and into the cemetery proper
Inside the cemetery, the graves are decorated with large statues of the people buried there as well as scenes from their lives on earth. Every grave was beautifully carved and decorated with marble and different types of stone. There were also tombs that were very large and intricately decorated with statues of animals such as bulls and elephants, as well as gods and angels surrounding the people who were presumably buried inside.
Ornately carved statues adorn each grave
This was a very somber but also educational experience because of the history of this monument. It is astounding to realize how many people are buried there and to see all the graves of families buried together. The quality of the artwork and statues is something that is very unique and would not be commonly found in cemeteries back home.
By Adam Shoemaker
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The Beautiful Duomo in Milan!
This weekend we had three days off, which allowed us to travel! I went to Milan which is the biggest fashion capital in the world, and home to the beautiful Duomo cathedral located in the center of the city. When I visited Milan three years ago, I only saw the Duomo briefly. This time, I wanted the full experience—which included touring the inside, the rooftop terrace, and the Duomo Museum. When you enter the space it is breathtaking! The walls are lined with gorgeous stained glass windows with each piece showcasing biblical or historical stories. In the back of the Duomo was an exact replica of the statue of the Madonna of the Duomo.
Madonna of the Duomo
This specific piece stuck with me throughout the duration of the trip because of how beautiful she is, and the meaning behind her. It is said that the Milanese people an tourists from all over the world have an intense desire to get as close to the Madonna as possible. The original piece was made with 33 copper sheets and a metal framework that is still intact and is showcased in the museum!
The original Madonna metal framework
The Madonna represents protection and it is said that those who gaze upon her and think of her will receive it. She is placed in the Duomo’s central location so when the light filters through the stained glass, the Madonna releases strength and energy. She was created with open arms to symbolize comfort and protection to those that visit her.
After learning all about the Madonna, and walking up to the rooftop terrace, I saw there was another statue of her on the highest peak of the cathedral overlooking the city. She was first placed here in 1774. Being able to travel to Milan and learn so much of its history has made me grateful to be able to have this experience in Italy!
The Madonna and me on the rooftop of the Duomo
By Angela Piccinich