11.25 train from Milan - first stop Stresa located on Lake Maggiore. Intend to visit that area next week. At Domodossola we had to get off the train and onto buses to Iselle (working on tracks) then onto a train for Brig. Fortunately sharing a compartment with a couple of Frenchmen who spoke good English who explained what was happening. From Iselle we are in Switzerland. Changed trains in Brig to a cog capable narrow gauge train to Zermatt. There were several stops along the way - St Niklaus was one. In Zermatt, changed some Euros to Swiss Francs and hopped taxi to the Jagerhof Hotel. Upgraded to an apartment. Tough that. The sun was in a bad place to get good photos of the Matterhorn but in case it is cloudy tomorrow here are a few and a few sights around Zermatt, a lovely, tidy and flower covered hamlet.
Milan's modern art gallery is housed in a splendid Neo-Classical villa built by the Austrian architect Leopold Pollack in 1790 for Count Ludovico Barbiamo di Belgioioso. It was lived in by Napoleon in 1802. The top attraction here is the dining room with a Parnassus by Appiani. The painting I liked best was "The Girl" by Francesco Hayez. It was too hot to take photos of the villa from the outside and again no photos inside.
The Ospedale was started to be built in 1456 by Francesco Sforza, one of his greatest public works, a massive hospital with separate wings for men and women, each based around four courtyards. The vast central Cortile Maggiore was added in the 17th Century, along with the Annunciazione church. The entire hospital moved elsewhere in 1939, to be replaced by the University of Milan. Following is a photo of the Cortile Maggiore and brief movie. Then the same for one of the 15th century court yards.
Next to the old hospital was a church called San Nazaro Maggiore. This basilica was built by Saint Ambrose in 382-6 AD to house the remains of the Apostles Abdrew, John and Thomas, which is why it was known as the Basilica Apostolorum. It was dedicated to San Nazaro when his remains - found by St Anbrose near the basilica and were buried there in 396. It was rebuilt after a fire in 1076. Sadly San Nazaro Maggiore was closed today and so have only a photo of the church and the memory of its bells chiming.
A.few more photos of some of the amasing art in this art gallery.
36C whew! The Brera art gallery holds one of Italy's most important art collections featuring masterpieces from the 13th to the20th centuries, including Raphael, Mantegna, Piero Della Francesca and Caravaggio. The Pinacoteca is housed in the late 16th century palazzo built for the Jesuits. They were supported in their activities by Empress Maria Theresa of Austria. Unfortunately photos were forbidden. But I sneaked a couple.
34C today, bus 95 to metro to St Ambrogio, bus 94 to San Lorenzo. During the 4th century, San Lorenzo is one of the oldest round churches in western Christendom and may have been the ancient imperial palatine chapel. The church was built utilizing materials from a nearby Roman amphitheater. After several fires the church was reconstructed in the 11th and 12th centuries and was rebuilt again in 1573 when the dome collapsed but the original quatrefoil plan has been preserved. The chapel of Saint Aquilino contains some of the best mosaics in Northern Italy.
The bronze work of the Statu e of Constantine is a copy of a Roman statue of the emperor who issued the edict of Milan in AD 313 bringing persecution of Christians to an end.
The 16 Corinthian columns from the 2nd-3rd century, were part of an unidentified temple and were placed in their present position in the 4th century.
The monk police were active and I didn't take a photo of the Duke and Beatrice's funerary. Makes me want to read a bit about these folks - what with him being exiled to France.
It was 33C when visiting the monastery. Fortunately when leaving the train station about 2 km away, was picked up by a nicer person and dropped at the gates. Noon and shut until 2.30. Nearby there was an al fresco restaurant so wiled away a couple of hours with a long lunch. Who would believe a white tuna sauce over very thin sliced veal served cold would be so delicious. After the viewing walked back to the train and it was warm. At a moment of indecision at a crossroads a car stopped and pointed the shortest way to the rail station so guardian angels do exist.
Bus 95 to end of line Rogoredo train station about 15 on a nice new double decker train. Useful to recharge my iPhone as there are some electrical plugs available on the train. Gian Galeazzo Visconti founded this Carthusian Monstery in 1396. It became one of the great monuments of the Lo
Bard Rennaisance. After the 1782 suppression of the Carthusian order, it was abandoned, then inhabited for brief spells u til in 1968, the Cistersians moved in to stay. Currently there are 7 monks here.
We were not supposed to photograph hence the hurried and poor quality movies. There was a beautiful tomb there with carved likenesses of Ludovico il Moro and his wife Beatrice d'Este (he married well - the Estes were big in Ferrara and still have wine called after them). But the Duke ended up dying in exile in France and Beatrice was buried in Santa Maria delle Gracie (last supper fame). The church strapped for cash sold the funerary monument to Certosa in 1564. Will take a photo of a postcard and add later. Striking funerary.
The basilica was built by Bishop Ambrose in AD 379-86. The church was dedicated to Ambrogio, a defender of Christianity against Arianism, after his burial here. The Benedictines enlarged it in the 8th Century and was rebuilt after the dome collapsed in 1196. In 1492 the Sforza family asked Bramante to restructure the rectory and Benedictine monastery. Shady there was damage to the church by bombs in 1943.
What a museum. 50,000 M2, 15,000 objects, 7 departments, 17 exhibition areas, 13 labs, 155 educational activities and 2 libraries. Founded in 1953 this is the largest science and technology museum in Italy. The museum is named after Leonardo da Vinci who mastered Rt science and technology. There is a huge collection of working models by Leonardo some of which I had not seen before. There are planes, steam engines, a submarine, a large portion of a sea going liner, early TV sets, Telegraph etc.