• Alexandra Wendt

My Solo Trip to Milan


A couple weekends ago I did my very first solo trip--unless, of course, you count the whole moving to Italy all by myself thing.

Milan was one of the places I didn't get to during my time studying abroad here. Seeing The Last Supper is practically mandatory if you're an art historian in Italy, and I also wanted to see "Dentro Caravaggio," an exhibit on the painter in Palazzo Reale--with one of the pieces on display being John the Baptist (John in the Wilderness) from the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City (my home.)

Pictures weren't allowed at the "Dentro Caravaggio" exhibit, but it was still surreal and amazing to see a painting I'd seen since I was a little kid back home. And The Last Supper was much more impressive than people had described it to me. I expected it to be much smaller, in terrible condition, and in a room so dark that you could hardly see it.

Well, the room was dark and the piece is in terrible condition, but it was much bigger than I expected, and the restoration done on it made it a lot more vibrant than I thought too. (I'll let scholars more knowledgeable than me comment on how good the restoration is.)

I also had to see Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, of course, and the duomo.

Image credit: Alexandra Wendt.

Image credit: Alexandra Wendt.

And this is part of Santa Maria delle Grazie, where The Last Supper is.

Image credit: Alexandra Wendt.

General impressions of Milan: At first I was enchanted. It was hard for my imaginative writer brain to not picture myself in some sort of movie like Sabrina--lone girl goes and finds herself in a big city, etc. And it was exciting, and just *shiny* with all those expensive stores and tidy buildings. It's a very modern city, since so much of it was destroyed during World War II.

But by the time I had to leave, I was ready to return to quiet, peaceful Siena where there aren't hordes of people everywhere and you don't need to rely on public transportation to get around (if you live within the walls...) I'd definitely like to return to Milan and experience more of it, but to do that I need to be with a group of people.

Another note: It is very entertaining to be a young, single girl eating alone in a restaurant. I highly recommend it. Waiters love you, and you might get a free glass of Prosecco out of it.

~Alex

#studyabroad #travel #milan #italy #livingabroad #writerabroad

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