Saturday, October 22, 2016

Rocca Scaligera

Executive summary by darmansjah

Expanding their influence northwards, the Scaligeri of Verona built this enormous square-cut castle right at the entrance to the island. It guards the only footbridge into Sirmione, looming over it with impressive crenellated turrets and towers. There's not a lot inside, but the climb to the top (146 steps to the top of the tower) affords beautiful views over Sirmione's rooftops and the enclosed harbour.

Friday, October 21, 2016

La Scala Opera House

Teatro alla Scala

Executive summary by darmansjah

La Scala  is a world-renowned opera house in Milan, Italy. The theatre was inaugurated on 3 August 1778 and was originally known as the New Royal-Ducal Theatre alla Scala (Nuovo Regio Ducale Teatro alla Scala). The premiere performance was Antonio Salieri's Europa riconosciuta.

Most of Italy's greatest operatic artists, and many of the finest singers from around the world, have appeared at La Scala during the past 200 years. Today, the theatre is still recognised as one of the leading opera and ballet theatres in the world and is home to the La Scala Theatre Chorus, La Scala Theatre Ballet and La Scala Theatre Orchestra. The theatre also has an associate school, known as the La Scala Theatre Academy (Italian: Accademia Teatro alla Scala), which offers professional training in music, dance, stage craft and stage management.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

The Last Supper

Executive summary by darmansjah

Leonardo Da Vinci’s depiction of Christ and his dinner companions is one of the world’s most iconic images. You need to book anything from two weeks to a couple of months ahead or take a somewhat pricey city tour to see it. If you get lucky, you might find vacancies if you just turn up, but don’t bank on it. Once in, you get just 15 minutes’ viewing time.

The mural is hidden away on one wall of the Cenacolo Vinciano, the refectory adjoining the Chiesa di Santa Maria delle Grazie. Restoration of The Last Supper was completed in 1999 after more than 22 years’ work. Despite the painstaking restoration effort, 80% of the original colour has been lost. Da Vinci was partly responsible for all this trouble. Because he worked on a dry wall over three years (1495–98), rather than on wet plaster over a week, it is not really a fresco. And it began to deteriorate within a few years of completion.

Reservations must be made by phone. You’ll be allotted a visiting time and reservation number, which you present 30 minutes before your visit at the refectory ticket desk. If you turn up late, your ticket will be resold.

English-language guided tours (€3.25) take place at 9.30am and 3.30pm Tuesday to Sunday – again you’ll need to reserve ahead