Travels in Italy: Lombardy – Milan (May 26, 2015)

DSC01413.jpg

Map of the Lombardy region of Italy. Courtesy of Google Maps

Map of the Lombardy region of Italy. Courtesy of Google Maps

Attractions:

  • Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II
  • Duomo
  • Teatro alla Scala (La Scala Opera House)
  • Castello Sforzesco (Sofrenza Palace) with Pietà

Milan is the capital of the Lombardy region of Italy—the region begins at the Alps near the Switzerland border and goes down to the River Po. The Lombards, a Germanic tribe, resided in the area in 6th century AD were adept at trade and commerce, giving rise to the fame of the region. Today, Milan is still the financial and fashion center of Italy.

We only spent half the day in Milan, so we were only able to visit a few places with the local tour guide. We met our guide at the Palazzo Marino, which is central to the main attractions in the city.

Then we walked to the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II—an ornate shopping center built in the shape of a Latin cross with mosaics representing the four continents of the world. Filled with designer brands, the Galleria is a shopping paradise for the wealthy.

Galleria

As we exited the Galleria, we entered the Piazza del Duomo, where we had a grand view of the Duomo of Milan.

Piazza del Duomo

The Duomo is one of the largest Gothic cathedrals in the world and originated from the 14th century.

DSC01389.jpg

The outside of the cathedral is made of pink and white marble; the façade is elaborately decorated with several spires and statues. Admission costs 2 euros per person to the cathedral and crypt. We were allowed free time to explore on our own. Continue reading

ARTS: Literary Event: Shakespeare Festival (Ashland, OR)

Ashland, Oregon (May 16-18)- the least expected place to contain so much literary love amidst a startling landscape and humble community. The proof lies in the shops that dotted the main street with souvenirs honoring the great playwright, Shakespeare, and used books starting from the 1900s at bargains of “3 for $1.00” or “$3.00 a book.” It was simply heartwarming to my literary soul to see so much appreciation for fine arts. The town itself is a pleasant mixture of the old and the new with a wide variety of restaurants from Greek to Thai. Undoubtedly, it is a place set to be explored and to be welcomed.

As for the plays, it is difficult to recall the emotions I have felt while watching them as such emotions are usually evoked at the performance itself. It is with these recollections that I piece together this review and synopsis of these beautiful stage plays.

Continue reading