Excursion from Lake Como to Milan

DuomoMilan.jpgVisit Milan for the Duomo (gothic cathedral), Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II (shopping), Pinacoteca de Brera (art gallery) or San Siro (football stadium). Above all, try to see the mural of the ‘Last Supper’, the recent restoration of which took ten years and cost £5 million.

Milan is only an hour or so away, by train, from Como, Colico, Varenna or Lecco. This makes it an obvious destination for at least a day trip, moving in the opposite direction from the Milanese seeking a break from the city at the Lake.
It would be difficult to imagine opposites more complete than Milan and Lake Como – the former one of the most sophisticated cities in the world and the latter a haven of peace and quiet. But after a few days of chilling out you might just fancy a dash of the Milanese high life.

Milan’s leading attractions are household names – the magnificent gothic cathedral (the Duomo); the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II (described in one guide as the world’s most beautiful shopping centre); La Scala opera house; the Pinacoteca de Brera art gallery and the San Siro football stadium.

But the attraction for which demand always outstrips supply is the painting of the ‘Last Supper’ on the wall of the refectory at Santa Maria Delle Grazie. To see it, you have to book in advance, which can be easier said than done, because to protect the damaged surface from further decay, only twenty five visitors are allowed in at a time, and then only for fifteen minutes in front of the painting.

The painting has been cleaned and restored, a somewhat controversial process that took about twenty years and cost £5 million. More information on this, and stunning before and after photographs, are included in [post=15].