After being closed due to COVID-19 for months, the cathedral opened to tourists on May 29th. Of course, social distancing and other measures have been put in place but it is open nonetheless. No visit to Milan is complete without visiting this iconic site. Its towering gothic spires decorated with hundreds and thousands of statues are impressive. Step into the church and you’re immediately struck by the grandeur, beauty and size of the towering, sequoia size marble pillars. The Duomo of Milan was definitely built to impress. You can learn more about visiting the church in my previous post.
Back in January I visited one of my favorite churches in Milan, Basilica di Sant’Ambrogio (Basilica of Saint Ambrose). I love exploring churches in Milan. Everyone knows that Milan’s iconic church is the Duomo, but few realize there are so many historic, beautiful churches in the city. As a Protestant, I especially like learning about early church history and there is lots to learn here. Milan’s history is long and rich and its Christian roots are some of the oldest in the world. Saint Ambrose, who was the bishop of Milan in the fourth century, built the church on the site of what was believed to be the graves of martyrs.
After nearly 10 weeks of lockdown, we are nearly at the end of Phase 1. Tomorrow Phase 2 begins here in Italy. The entire country is ready to have a little more freedom, putting the worst behind us and moving forward. You can read about what Phase 2 will look like in my previous post. As we enter into the new phase, here’s what I’ll remember:
Last night, Italian Prime Minister, Giuseppe Conte, explained to all of Italy what life will look like as we enter into Phase 2 of containment measures. Phase 1 of the lockdown ends next week on May 4 and for several weeks now, many have been asking and wondering when the details of Phase 2 would be revealed. Although the new measures are a bit vague on some details, one thing is very sure and that is the continued enforcement of social distancing in every area of public life. The new phase is laid out in a 70 page document released last night. Here are the highlights:
Like so many others, during quarantine, I’ve made an effort to create a rhythm to daily life for my family. I try to find ways to enjoy simple pleasures. One of the ways I’ve sought to do that is making our meals special. Whether it’s trying new recipes, perfecting favorite dishes, or having fun with the table setting, making mealtimes an event helps us to look forward to something pleasurable, something that brings us comfort. There’s a reassuring comfort in a favorite dish and excitement in trying something new. I love that around 2 p.m. every afternoon my youngest son asks the same question, “What’s for dinner?” It makes me giggle because it’s evident he’s anticipating and thinking of what’s to come.
Yesterday, I, along with millions of people around the world, watched Andrea Bocelli give a live stream concert from the Duomo of Milan. The mayor of Milan, Bepe Sala, had invited him to give the concert as a gift to people of Milan, and indeed the world, on Easter Sunday.
Sunday morning I woke to the news that all of Lombardia and most of northern Italy was on lockdown. The “red zone” which was previously limited to 11 towns where the outbreak was concentrated, was expanded to include Lombardia and other provinces here in the north. As of yesterday morning, the ENTIRE country has been placed on lockdown. The number of cases has risen to 9,172 and sadly the number of deaths has risen to 463.
Sunday morning our world changed in the Milan metro area in ways that we would have never anticipated. Cases of the Coronavirus were diagnosed in towns outside of Milan and those towns were put on lock down, no one in and no one out. As I digested the news, more news arrived. The governor of Lombardy issued an ordinance for the whole region: no university classes, no school, no sporting events, no performances, no cinema, no religious meetings and no public or private meetings of any kind. Then it snowballed into museums, libraries, public offices, etc., all closed.