Monday, September 17, 2012

A Ride on the Metro and a Monumental Experience

Our goal for Sunday was to figure out how to ride the Metro and to visit another interesting place in Milan.

We had previously purchased a carne - or ticket for ten rides on public transit.  After checking our guidebook and map of the city, we realized how well placed our residence is - there are very few notable sites that aren't within walking distance!  Finally we settled on the Monumental Cemetery (Il Cimitero Monumentale).

We discovered that the Milan metro is very easy to navigate.  There are only three lines.  We would need to take the line nearest our residence and then transfer only once to arrive at our destination.  Once we exited the Metro, we were at a loss.  It was in the midst of a large construction zone with cranes and barriers all around.  We tried walking to one street and that didn't seem right (no visible street signs), then reversed directions, but that didn't seem right either.  At last we asked someone for directions and discovered we were only a few blocks from the cemetery - and what an amazing place!

The cemetery was opened in 1866 to provide a suitable resting spot for the city's famous and well-deserving men. The main entrance is through an enormous building called the Famedio:

 This is a picture of just a small section of the building.

Once inside there is a truly amazing array of tombs and enormous monuments with incredible statuary.

Mourning angels and wives:

Angels sheltering the deceased under their wings:

Reclining cherubs:

The grim reaper:

A farmer:

A young woman reclining peacefully with her faithful dog

This next statue was particularly moving.  The son was killed during World War II and his parents had this statue carved to remember him.  If you look at the pictures of the family you can see how exact his
likeness was created in the sculpture!  A memory of a much-beloved son in happier days.

Then there was this graphic sculpture of a First World War soldier:

As we moved further into the cemetery we came to the many enormous family monuments.

As you can see some are very new and modern.

The older monuments had amazing wrought iron doors:

This cemetery has been called a vast garden art gallery and George and I had to agree!  

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