Friday, June 14, 2019

A No American Football, Wanderlust Wednesday to Monza

Wednesday, 12 June, 2019

It was definitely time for a Wanderlust Wednesday and its beneficial American football mind clearing effect on this somewhat weary soul.

But where to go . . .

A look out of our balcony into the
mossy court below gave evidence
as to the amount of rain we've
had in the last few weeks

The forecast today called for sunny skies and warm temperatures throughout Lombardia, so we had lots of choices as to what city to visit.

A few weeks ago Laurie and I spent a couple of hours in Monza late in the afternoon before scouting the Hammers-Mastifs game and really liked what we saw.

We realized that there was much more to see in this Northeast suburb of Milano, so back we were today.

Our first stop was was to Monza's
Villa Reale, but on the way there . . .

. . . we found this poignant plaque
celebrating the end of Nazi and Fascist
rule in 1945

Too bad that we seem to have forgotten the lessons of WWII in parts of America these days.

The Villa Reale as you walk
through its Main Gate

More magnificent the closer we got

It was built between 1777 and 1780 as a residence for Archduke Ferdinand of Austria and was modeled on Vienna's Schönbrunn Palace.

It later served as the Summer home for Italian royalty until Italian King Umberto I was assassinated in Monza in 1900.

An artist surnamed Catania

I wonder if he is an Elephants fan?

We signed up for the Grand Tour of the Villa Reale and the Special Exhibit of the art of French Bell Époque painter Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec.

Art in the waiting room was . . .

. . . abundant

An eagle met us once we entered
the area of the Royal living quarters

I instantly became enamored
with the Villa's ceiling art

A small, quaint room to display
your fine china

It had a mesmerizing ceiling . . .

. . . and some nice word working art

This drawing room was
colorful and understated of course

All of our travels living in Europe
the better part of the last 12 years has
shown us that EuroRoyals all fell in love
with Oriental Art at some point

Today, these Oriental cultures' main impact on the Continent is, unfortunately, just hundreds of all-you-can-eat restaurants.

GREAT wooden floors abounded

One interesting ceiling . . .

. . . and another

We could do this in Casa Contreras

A view to the Villa Reale's
back lawn

Tea anyone?

Tea Room ceiling

I think my Mother has the matching
pieces in her home in San Marino

Archduke Ferdinand perhaps?

Now, THAT'S a nice door frame!

Silk fabric wall covering

I'm becoming passionate
about ceiling art!

Queen Margherita's bed

She was the wife of King Umberto I.

The Queen's bedside urn

The Queen's private bathroom

The queen's initial above . . .

. . . her smallish bath tub

The Medusa

The Queen's wardrobe

What is the purpose of this
ornate item?

Pack your bags,
we're going on a road trip!

The House of Savoy crest in
brocade as a wall covering


Double Lion Chair

OK, but not among my Top Five
Villa Reale ceilings

The King's bedroom

Regal indeed!

The House of Savoy crest
above the King's bedroom door

Part of the King's bathroom

Just inside the door to the right
is the Royal Urinal

Part of the King's wardrobe

Interesting hangers

A good resemblance to the FitzGerald's
famed walk-in wardrobe in Camarillo

More amazing wall covers

Looking back towards
the Main Gate

Our tour of the Royal suites was over, so now we headed to the Toulouse-Lautrec exhibit.

Nice ceilings in this part
of the Villa Reale too

Here we go!

Love his use of colors

Henri really loved the feminine form

And this guy . . .

. . . too!

Aristide Bruant was a French cabaret singer, comedian and night club owner who was one of Toulouse-Lautrec's best friends.

Toulouse-Lautrec posing for himself

Yet another fine ceiling

Anatomically IMPOSSIBLE!

I think.

Nice fire place

Walking your bear on a leash . . .

. . . is much better than letting
your bull run amok in the streets!

Henri drew horse related themes
to prove his sanity during rehab

Ah, women

Parisian High Society
during the Belle Époque

Just a nondescript
Villa Reale hallway

Queen Laurie I greeting . . .

. . . the millions assembled on the
back lawn to greet her

The visit to Monza's Villa Reale was well worth it. Such an opulent lifestyle!

We decided to walk through the Parco di Monza grounds on our way towards our next assignment, lunch!

Thick stand of trees

A colorful butterfly themed
part of the Parco di Monza

Giuseppe Garibaldi

Still Italy's last great hero if you ask me.

After a solid lunch, a fish risotto for me and a salad for Laurie with most of this year's entire Italian olive crop in it, we headed towards Monza's Duomo.

Duomo Tower on the left,
Monza's ancient Trade and Meeting
Hall, the Arengario, on the right

Who was she?

Here comes the Sun!

Weather worn

This is a GREAT museum
for amazing religious art

But no photos were allowed.

Cool building across from the Museum

Just before entering the
subterranean museum

First thing we saw after
exiting the museum

This museum was really a good one, you should definitely see it the next time you visit the greater Milano megalopolis.

Our museum tickets included a 4:00 p.m. viewing of the famed Corona Ferrea (Iron Crown) rumored to be fashioned from one of the nails used to crucify Jesus Christ.

The Crown was used at the coronation of Charlemagne, Frederick I (Barbarossa) and Napoleon among others.

No photos allowed.

But we were allowed to take photos inside the Duomo itself other than in its Corona Ferrea chapel.

 Crowning a King

I'm guessing that it is with the Corona Ferrea.

One of many fine
murals in the Duomo

Who is that Pope?

 A beautiful Duomo has to have
a beautiful Rose Window

Lots of wonderful murals
can be found in this Duomo

 Another view of the Arengario

We still had time for a gelato before our tour of the Corona Ferrea started.

Above the Duomo's cupola

Two FIERCE lions guarding
the Duomo's entryway
Another lion, maybe?

 Just a gorgeous church interior

The Corona Ferrea is housed
behind that curtain

 The golden main altar

 Nice peacock

 I did mention the Duomo's
wondrous murals, didn't I?

 Such intricate carvings
near the Sacristy

Above the Sacristy door

The Duomo's Cupola

It was a BEAUTIFUL day in Monza, a somewhat overlooked city that really should be on your list of Italian cities to visit when in Lombardia!

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