Today is the day, everybody! Today begins your trip on my trip through Italy. International travel is honestly and acquired taste, much in the same way that the Ebola virus is a minor illness. I will say that if you find yourself in a position where you can go to Italy, than for the love of God fly Aer Lingus. It’s a commonly known fact that Aer Lingus debts are the safest ones in the air, since the gremlins that plague all air traffic are met with protective forces of drunken Leprechauns. Aer Lingus. Being protected by angry, drunken leprechauns since they first settled their contact with the angry, drunken leprechaun union. I didn’t take any photos of the airport in Dublin. On the trip to Italy, the portion we were in was kind of ugly. The main terminal is much, much prettier. The first day was kind of a nightmare. Jet lag makes for bad viewing conditions overall. Now, to be fair, I am sure to remember things wrong and I will place some things in the wrong cities. So if you see anything that looks wrong, be sure to tell me. The first day we were in Milan. Milan, as a city, has kind of a 50’s feel to it. It’s very minimalist in comparison to a city like Venice or Florence, but it’s not ugly and it’s also very colorful in comparison to a city like New York. Basically, think Paris only with less ornamentation and maybe a splash more color. And shorter blocks. The train station, which shall appear on day two, was the most epic thing I had seen thus far in the trip. Certainly, it’s the most impressive train station I’ve ever seen.
The first day we went to St. Ambrose and this church remains my favorite. The outside was essentially a museum of pieces of the history. Plaques, coats of arms and inscriptions were lining up all around the outside of the church. The inside was very Romanesque and you will note that tomorrow I took almost no pictures of the baroque cathedral in town. I prefer simplicity in art for the same reason I don’t like most sleeve tattoos. It’s sensory overload. When you give me too much art to look at, I can’t appreciate and so I lose interest. My attention span simply can’t handle it. On most of the rest of the days I will post around twenty to twenty-five photos. Today we are starting off with a mega-post of sorts. Mostly this will be the church because I didn’t think to include any pictures of Milan. If interest is shown than I can likely locate a few pictures to give you an idea of what the city was like as a whole.
This was the courtyard of the church from a long view. To the left and the right are the walls in question.
Older Latin had very poor/zero punctuation. Ha ha ha. This does make for complications, but it also helps to date the Latin. I like how all these things are just fitted right into the bricks.
As you can see, a lot of these fragments are just that. Fragments. It’s a nice way of preserving history and making it easy access for the public, like myself, who might not appreciate it enough, but appreciate having it to see.
This one has a very nice Chi Ro at the top. The rest of it lacks any punctuation, but it’s still fun.
The use of animals in medieval symbolism is always fascinating. This bird is one that I saw a lot, though I’m not sure if it’s a heron or not. The fragment is sadly very small like most of the rest.
Look at all these fragments of inscriptions! I wish we had more of the rest of these, but even so they are soooooo cool.
This is a close-up of the biggest fragment. The bricks seem to have worn away a bit around the edges. The white stone is quite fun though.
I can’t tell what it says. I couldn’t read it anyways. Maybe it’s calling me names. I don’t know Latin.
Requiescant in pace? Who knows? The piece is very small, but it makes me wonder if these are all from memorial stones that got broken down.
This is amazing. The letters come through so clearly and the image at the top is lovely. I wish I knew more about these kinds of inscriptions.
This is something I saw in too many churches and other buildings. It looks like it was a very nice painting of the crucifixion, but the paint has faded so far it’s hard to tell what was going on in parts of the picture. In fact, the cross itself is more noticeable from the place where it should be than the details of the actual painting.
A closer shot of that same scene, focused this time on the top of the picture. More details to be had there.
In this case at least we have a corner piece of the puzzle.
Another one that faded too far. You can see the Chi Ro at the top and thhe lack of any punctuation gives a little background. This is making me realize how much I don’t know.
This one is so cool. I love the dragon/dog thing going on. In fact, as you shall see, I just love medieval inscriptions of animals period. It’s so amazing.
This one is also too faded for my liking. The colors must have been something to see when it was new. You can tell the original colors of the arch must have been really, really bright.
Like this arch here, it’s too faded to see the way it must have looked. I liked the way the window arches inwards too.
Another inscription. Another plaque. This one is quite ornate, so I had to get a shot of it.
Another arch which shows the colors even better. I love that even when it comes to arches, the colors and designs were in no way neglected. The artwork pairs nicely with the actual architecture of the building.
Just look at that. The inscription of the lamb shows the color pretty well and the engraving around it is downright amazing.
Naturally, I needed a close up of the center to show off the colors and the engraving.
The left side.
Even the archway? This is awesome!
Did I mention that I love medieval animals? I love medieval animals. And the guy in the rain poncho inbetween them. Clever girl.
Another couple of animals. I love medieval animals.
I’m betting these arches maintained their paint better because they were a little more out of the sun. Either that or the church had begun a restoration project some time ago. Either way, you can see the sun from an earlier picture here I think.
It really makes me happy when pieces of the painting survive like this. I just get blown away by the difference in art, even in the places we went to.
This is part of the pulpit used to preach the homily from. It’s one of the old school ones that would focus as a podium/platform to get you closer to the people than the altar and it puts you above them so you can project your voice in all directions.
The base of the pulpit. The statues go all the way around but my camera stubbornly refused to take non-blurry pictures of it. What you are seeing isn’t great, and was the result of many attempts.
The scene of heaven done in icon form (sort of) above the altar.
This is the other side of the inscription.
A view from the ground towards the middle of the church, to give you some idea of the scope of the building. It’s huge, isn’t it?
This one was inside the church and it was amazing preserved. We have the whole thing too. I don’t think I took a pan out shot. I was more interested in the symbols at the top of the plaque than the whole of the text.
This is perhaps the most ornate building, barring churches, that I saw in Milan. It’s such a beautiful building though.
One running thread through all my pictures is graffiti. It might seem like a waste, but I don’t feel that it was. Honestly, the graffiti was really so different that it would have been a shame to not take a picture of it. This one, the first that I found, remains one of my favorites. It was on the wall outside my hotel.
I know it’s likely referring to some political party, almost all the graffiti in Italy was political in nature, but this one is too good. No Nazis? Rock on, Milan. That’s graffiti I can get behind.
This is outside a university. Very faded, but you can still see the “No Nazi” written on the wall.
More inscriptions? Yeah, we got lost and ended up back here. I just love these things.
Very well preserved coat of arms. This is so amazingly cool. I don’t know Ecclesiastical heraldry all that well, though.
There were a lot of coats of arms around here. This one seems to be a little later than the first one.
These two coats of arms do have me wondering about the whole “where they came from” thing. They seem to come from different periods of time, but alas I can tell you nothing more than that. And that is a suspicion at best.
Some of these are lay, most of them are actually. A later church had tons of coats of arms around the entire outside.
I don’t recall any coats of arms appearing more than once. I did see places where the coat of arms of the ruling family appeared quite frequently.
I went around the whole courtyard and tracked down every single one. I just love the art, the detail and the fact that so many were in the same place.
Italian heraldry really did a lot more with the shield than most other countries. This might be because I think jousting lasted longer in Italy? Not really my area.
I like this one because the inscriptions are so deep and easily readable.
Here, I believe, is the same one from further back. It looks like it isn’t missing much if you want to attempt a translation.
Another coat of arms with a chalice and host on the side.
This is such an epic coat of arms. How can you not like this? The coat of arms itself is fairy small in comparison to the lion and the knights helmet, the technical phrase escapes me right now.
Another coat of arms, a lion rampant I believe?
Very nice coat of arms for a cardinal or a pope I would guess. The number of tassels on the left and right indicate rank in ecclesiastical heraldry. Being in stone, I sadly lack the indicator that the color of the hat and tassels would give.
One last inscription for the road.
One last coat of arms, much of the same. Now, tomorrow I think we’ll cut this trip short in terms of time by doing maybe twenty photos instead of this many. Lots of pictures and me acting all intelligiment. Be there and be square. No, just show up and read and look at the damned pictures. I really enjoyed taking them all with you, and especially Miss Cobwebs in mind. Hopefully I can locate more photos of Milan that aren’t on the same couple of walls. If there is any interest that is. Onwards!