Saturday, April 7, 2018

A GLORIOUS Friday in Milano

Friday, 6 April, 2018

It was a weather day that made all the members of the Milano Tourist Board smile.

I had to take advantage of this splendid weather break as more rain is predicted for next week.

I had already completed about 97.6% of the things that I needed to do to prepare for Saturday's game against the Sant'Agata Knights, so I felt good about a day without American football.

Milano . . . HERE I COME!

On tap were visits to three more sites from my book 111 Places in Milan That You Must Not Miss plus any and all random churches, artwork, photos ops and pasticcerias that caught my eye.

Now, THAT'S a fence!

Door to a random and
closed church

#100 Urbicus, the Gladiator
All that remains of the Roman amphitheater

My first stop of the day

This site was once more of a coliseum than an amphitheater in my opinion in both its construction and use where gladiator battles and lion fights once took center stage.

The entry to the Parco took me through the small, free and informative Antiquarium Alda Levy Museum before depositing me at the ruins.

The museum is dedicated to Alda Levy who was a Jewish archaeologist that was persecuted by the Fascists.

A bit weather worn

Urbicus, the Gladiator

This is Urbicus' funeral stele from the 3rd-century A.D.

Urbicus was known to be a ferocious and courageous fighter in the arena.

He was only 22 years old when he died but already had 13 gladiatorial victories to his name.

His wife, Laurica, wrote the inscription seen at the base of the stele that translates from Latin to say "I warn you, kill the opponent whom you defeat, whoever he may be. His fans will keep his memory alive."

Urbicus' memory is still alive Laurica!

 A great gladiator helmet
in the Antiquarium

There is a Palio in
nearby Legnano?

Joe Mollica and I saw the famous, colorful and exciting Palio in Sienna back in 2008.

A trip to Legnano looms I think.

As for the ruins . . . 

This is an artist rendering
of what the site looked like
centuries ago

Note the series of eight rows of foundation work at the bottom of the rendering.

You see, that is all that remains
of the original structure

Typically, as future generations throughout the old Roman Empire built bigger and better cities, they used the building materials from old Roman structures like this coliseum to build new churches and government edifices.

Milano was no different.

A few other random stones could be found . . .

How many stones like this one
were hewn to make the coliseum?

Fancy stonecutting

As I left the interesting Antiquarium, I accidentally stumbled upon . . .

#108 The Wall of Dolls
To end violence against women

 Yep, it is a wall and it does
have lots of dolls

It is an art installation aimed at raising alertness about violence against women conceived by artist Jo Squall.

If you know the significance of the wall, the silent dolls scream at you to end the abuse against women everywhere.

Onward . . .

 Impressive gateway at
Porta Ticinese

A closer look at the
Madonna and Child


#67 Parco delle Basiliche
A park with an ominous past

This is a large park site that has the huge Basilica San Lorenzo at the north end, the Chiesa Sant'Eustorgio at the south end and dark Inquisition history in the middle.

The columns in front of
Basilica San Lorenzo

 Same columns, different view

The impressive
Basilica San Lorenzo

Who is that immortalized in the courtyard's statue?

Why it's Emperor Constantine!

A fitting tribute as the Emperor, a pagan until converting to Christianity on his deathbed in 312 A.D., was instrumental in ending Christian persecution in the empire even after died with the passage of the Edict of Milan in 313 A.D.

I wonder what Constantine
once held in his right hand?

I opted to enter this huge basilica and, as per Sandy Brucker's instructions, made three wishes once inside.

1. No more rain.



I doubt that it will work.

Padre Pio
canonized a Saint in 2002

 A Pieta painting

 Pope John XXIII
canonized a Saint in 2014

He was born in our Lombardia region in the mountain village of Sotto il Monte.

 Another Pieta interpretation

A Last Supper

Not the Last Supper by Leonardo da Vinci which Laurie and I will see in May.

A thin altar

 GREAT hat!

Even the Madonna and Child
can't awaken this warrior
from a much needed nap

The view of the rear of the
Basilica San Lorenzo

As for our reason to be here, the park seen here does indeed have an ominous history.

It was here that several accused and convicted liberated women, preachers, heretics, free spirits, witches and warlocks were put to death as the result of the Inquisition Tribunal that was headquartered in the Chiesa Sant'Eustorgio at the south end of this park.

When executed, the Inquisition declared "damnation memorial" (damnation of memory), which declared that nothing should remain either physically or in the mind of the dead who received their condemnations on account of their "atrocities."

Front view of the
Chiesa Sant'Eustorgio

Nice architecture atop this
old Inquisition Tribunal Chiesa

 Rear view of the
Chiesa Sant'Eustorgio

I still had one more stop on the day's agenda but I was getting hungry so I headed to the nearby Naviglia area.

Some old Los Angeles Rams fans
can hold a grudge for a LONG time!

I'm one of them, Georgia.

A delicious prosciutto and fromagio
arancini hit the spot

Minchia beer?

They were selling MINCHIA beer?

No grazie!

#89 Streets of Art Nouveau
The artistic façades of the new century

The turn of the 20th-century marked Milan's rise to power as Italy's financial capital.

Thus empowered, new buildings went up throughout the city that were, for the times, considered irreverent, avant-garde, imaginative, eclectic and/or bizarre.

This street, Via Marcello Malpighi, tends to give you a sense of what the architects were striving to achieve.

The only drawback today was that the best example of this Art Nouveau style, the Casa Galimberti, was completely under wraps while renovations were in progress.

Oh well, here are some examples of the early 20th-century Art Nouveau movement in this nook of Milan.

A bashful maiden

"No lo so"

Two Milanese ladies enjoying
café in the sunshine

Nice hair day


 Art Nouveau grill work

 Nice railing

Lots of nice railings

I had a great day in Milan but it was time to head home to Venegono Superiore.

After all, I still had that pesky remaining 2.4% of my game day preparation to work on if we are going to . . .


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