Sunday, May 27, 2012

Italia (Milan) " The Church of San Maurizio"

"Italy is a dream that keeps returning for the rest of your life." --Anna Akhmatova

Today Milan was a huge bicycle race ( akin to New York City shutting down for the marathon). There were no taxis to the city center. The hotel's complimentary shuttle was not running. The only good thing was that the local government allowed unlimited use of the metro (subway) for 1.50 Euro for the day. Since we are only 3 stops and about 5 minutes from the Duomo stop, we ventured out to see something which I had wanted to see- La Chiesa di San Maurizio al Monastero Maggiore (the Church of Saint Maurice in the Great Monastery). This Catholic Church is on one of Milan's most famous and elegant streets "Corso Magenta" (old Milan) and if you were not looking for it you could easily pass it by since it is in a non descript, gray, drab building (albeit using some parts of buildings from Roman times). It is not large and has a small Church in the front and a building in the back (Monastery) which was once one of the most important Benedictine convents in the world. But you do not visit this Church for its size nor exterior. You visit it for what is on the inside-and when you enter not expecting too much it hits you- a blast of colors like a kaleidoscope of some of the most beautiful frescoes (floor to ceiling) that you will ever see anywhere. When we entered, there was a two string quartet playing on a harp and flute in the Monastery and people were seated in some of the most beautiful and intricacy carved wooden pews that I have ever seen. The long daily Mass had just ended about an hour before. It was a very soothing experience. My daughter Ashley asked me why we didn't have a Church like this back home!

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