Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Our first stop is to the beautiful city of Milan
Milan is the most northern and centrally located of Italy's once great city-state republics. It’s early existence and growth was something of a miracle because it was vulnerable to invading armies since the days of the Roman invasions. Nevertheless, Milan experienced extraordinary periods of prosperity and cultural achievements.
During the Renaissance, Noble families commissioned art that endured long beyond their political intrigues. Among many familiar art masterpieces, Milan is home to Leonardo da Vinci's Last Supper, now under meticulous restoration at the Church of Santa Maria delle Grazie.
Milan is half the size of Rome to the south but seems to move at double the speed. The financial heart of the country, It's energetic pace matches it’s sky-scrapered counterparts in the rest of the world. However, the Italian eye for beauty and style never dims. Milan's Trade Fairs and bustling commerce showcase an it’s obsession with fashion, textiles, home design, advertising and banking and finance.
In spite of its high financial profile, Milan is a deservedly popular tourist destination. Its captivating, 14th century rose-marbled Il Duomo Cathedral is second in size only to Rome's St. Peter's, but exceeding it in grandeur. The adjacent, famed Galleria - probably the world's most elegant shopping mall - leads into what is surely the world's most illustrious Opera House, La Scala. For a genuine sense of Milan's daily enjoyments, we will head for the streets along the old Naviglio canals; here, the shops are charming, the sights colorful and the cafes most alluring . . .


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