Friday, June 24, 2011

Photoless Friday (18): What's happening in Milan?

It's not creepy.

And they even call themselves an "open air museum":

The "Cimitero monumentale" ("Monumental Cemetery") in Milan was built...More...

...(then) outside of town in 1863-66 by Carlo Maciachini in a Lombard Romanesque-y Eclectic kind of style. Some of the monuments are by big name artists and architects.

Right now, poor thing, it's quite sacrificed by the construction work for the new metro stop that will be right in front of it. Don't know when that work will be over. For now, it's still easily reachable by getting off at the tram 14 stop in via Bramante almost to the piazza.

The large U-shaped structure heading the cemetery houses the "Famedio" (a place where illustrious people are buried, or remembered with plaques and statues, if they are buried elsewhere).

In the guards' office in the left wing of this "U," ask them for a map of the cemetery: (1) so you don't get lost, (2) so you'll have at least a few of the more important monuments pointed out to you. (More in-depth guides in the form of a paperback book are available for purchase, at least in bookstores...maybe there, too.)

Just inside the cemetery, there is a three-dimensional Mondrian-like sculpture designed in 1946 by the famous architectural firm BBPR (Belgioioso, Banfi, Peressuti, Rogers) in honor of one of their firm, who died in a concentration camp during WWII.

This "city of the dead" (necropolis) is laid out logically, and has three main sections: the largest central section contains the Catholic burials, on the right (facing the entrance) is the section dedicated to Jewish burials, while on the left is the section dedicated to other non-Catholic burials.

"Why, oh why is she talking about a cemetery, for Pete's sake??!?," I can hear you mumbling while performing whatever gesture your culture uses to ward off the Evil Eye.

Because in just a few days, on the 30th of June, end the tours focussing on the "Scapigliatura*" art works in the cemetery.

Guided tours are at 10 A.M. and 2 P.M. (closed Mondays).

Entrance is free. (Though I don't know if the guided tours are....)

For info, see their web site, and/or call: 02.8844.1274

I finally understood a lot about Milanese architecture and design after studying the monuments, here.

Maybe one day, I'll post a photo of my favorite monument, or two. Very touching.

*What's "Scapigliatura"? A movement-centered mostly in Milan-spanning various arts, in which the writers, poets and artists wanted to breathe a breath of fresh European air (Baudelaire, Rodin, et al.) into the Italian peninsula. Here are a few words on the British encyclopedia site, which just begin to present the subject, but the source is a trustworthy place to start:

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