(covert photo, to prove I was there)
As much as it was fun to make Last Supper jokes on twitter this morning (trust me, I had *so* many that went unused), it was pretty remarkable to see in person. Far more powerful than I was expecting – I must have walked from side to side a half dozen times, watching the perspective shift. I still don’t understand how it’s possible, but it really is 3d.
After that rather pleasant start to the day, I caught the train to Pavia for some random wandering. Pavia is like many other small Italian towns – once powerful, now not so much. Very similar to Lucca in many ways, though lacking the walls – pedestrian only center, with a more modern, vibrant outer area (though not as large as Lucca). The Duomo, which is the ostensibly the third largest in Italy, is closed for renovation at the moment, but the other sites were nice.
The Visconti Castle is an odd affair – very low key. I was the only tourist there, and there weren’t even docents in the archaeological museum. A very strange vibe all around.
After more aimless wandering in Pavia (and plenty of pastries), I caught the train out to Certosa Di Pavia. The linked article gives a good review of how this place ended up as insane as it is. But let me walk through my experience.
First, you’re getting off the train in the middle of nowhere. Nobody around.
You catch a glimpse of this strange tower from the train station, and start walking towards it.
But oh! You hit a wall. A literal wall. Surely, the entrance is on the wall somewhere, so you start walking. There’s even a small sign!
So you keep walking.
And you take a corner.
And you keep walking. At this point, I’m looking for Jennifer Connelly and David Bowie’s penis – I don’t recall wishing to the Goblin King, but I’m starting to wonder. I later looked – the wall is more than a mile and a half in circumference.
Eventually, you reach the inside – again, another near-empty empty sight. But still, rather impressive.
I bought some I-Think-It’s-Fruit-And-Honey and some I-Think-It’s-Some-Kind-Of-Tea-Or-Maybe-Medicine from the monks. Pretty amazing place, that I can’t imagine sees many visitors each year.
Upon my return to Milan, I swung by the market again to get some picnic supplies for the next couple days. Tomorrow is, weather permitting, a trip to Lake Como and a decent walk.