Most all Americans have heard about shopping malls called The Galleria. I don’t know a large city in the U.S. that doesn’t have one. But what hardly any Americans know is that this concept dates back to an original Galleria, in the north Italian city of Milano. If you go there, you will not just be impressed – if you are an American and not accustomed to sights like this, there is a danger your eyeballs might explode:
Officially it’s known as the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, and it is actually quite a recent building, dating back to around 1867. Inside, its filled with very high priced boutiques. But the real tourist attraction is a tile inlay of the Bull of Turin in the middle of the mall, shown here:
It is widely believed that if you spin around the bull with your heel three times, you’ll receive good luck.
While most tourists flock to Florence, I’ve always found Bolognato be more fascinating.
Here’s a good example: any visitor to Bologna would surely see this sight and think they are looking at Saint Petronius:
It even says so right above his head: Petronius, Protector and Father. But in fact this is a statute of Pope Gregory XIII! When the French invaded Italy in 1796, the locals took to subterfuge rather than destroy what, even at that time, was a very precious piece of art. Later on, after the French left, nobody bothered to change the inscription in the plaque.
You can also find plenty of gruesome statues in Bologna, like this one:
The small town of Como is located on Lake Como in northern Italy, just across the border with Switzerland. With a car it’s less than a three hour drive from Zürich, so while you’ll find some Swiss residents here on the weekend, it is quite surprising you don’t find more of them.
This shot is pretty but not remarkable:
And this snap is also pretty but not remarkable:
But now to compensate this boredom, here are two remarkable things! First, this is a building whose purpose I cannot fathom. The arches seem much too small to bear any weight, so it’s not clear to me what purpose they served. Second, there is a BUG in the content management system I am using. The picture is not rotated in any way, as you’ll see if you click on it. But the media import module in WordPress – for whatever reason – has created a rotated thumbnail!
So, as is the theme for my website, sometimes you can find the most remarkable of things in the least remarkable places!