Friday, June 24, 2011

Julia’s Becomes a Teenager

Well, it has finally happened. I now have two teenagers. Julia turned 13 in Milan yesterday. To celebrate, we gave her some money and she and I went shopping. We did quite well and had a lot of fun but ironically the labels in our clothes are from many international countries but not from Italy.

Rhys and Tom spent the day at the National Science and Technology museum, enjoying Da Vinci models and Marconi radios. Then the two of them decided to go shopping…for digital equipment and wound up spending twice the amount Julia and I spent. They bought a new camera so we took pictures of Julia and I in our new clothes with the new camera for your enjoyment.

Julia and I spent seven hours shopping. That seems like a long time but actually felt quite quick. We shopped on the street rather than at a mall and wandered in to the same chain stores you see everywhere in Europe. There were relatively few boutiques and those that existed were priced out of our range. We went to the Galleria downtown the day before. It is a covered street with very expensive designer clothes. Even the department store was full of sky-high prices on “new lines” in designer wear. This would be the Milan everyone hears about. Prada, Louis Vuitton and names I’d never heard of crowded for space with McDonald’s. We opted not to shop there on her birthday. In the Galleria there was a bull that grants good luck to those that step on his balls and spin. I’m not sure if that was the bull’s idea or not. Seems cruel but we took a turn because you don’t want to turn down luck when it’s offered.

We visited the “Last Supper” by Da Vinci and the Duomo the same day as the Galleria. The painting brought tears to my eyes again. It is always so moving to be in the presence of things you have heard of all your life. The painting was much bigger than I thought. It fills a whole wall! It is also more square than you usually see. I guess usually they just cut the slice with the people out. There is a door that was cut into the wall destroying part of the painting back in the 1500’s. The Friars needed a bigger door to get in and out of their dining room. You know, when you have to cut a bigger door it’s time to stop eating so much. Reminds me of Winnie-the-Pooh. We took the tour in English and it was interesting to hear all the ways Leonardo applied his knowledge of science to the painting. He must have been a really interesting man to chat with.

The Duomo (church) as big as are most Duomo’s we have visited. It is just behind the Vatican’s, London’s and Seville’s. It was fun to realize we had been to them all. This one was big because the Italian boys here wanted to impress the northerners so used the northern style and ran with it. Boy did they run. This place looks like a big sandcastle that somebody dripped wet sand over a very long time. It took over 500 years to build so they had some time. We got to climb the stairs to the roof and it was fun to walk among the spires. There are seats on the roof and they hold symphony concerts at night amongst the lit spires. It must be awesome! It is under renovation now but between that and the Scala, Milan should get on the must-see list for music lovers.

1 comments: said...

Loved reading about your busy, busy day and love all your pictures.