Saturday, 29 September 2012

A visit to Monza

Monza is famous for not being Milan, for being the home of a Formula One race track, for having a Royal Palace and for its

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main church, the Basilica of San Giovanni Battista being the home of The Iron Crown of Lombardy which is a coronet with a nail

Iron Crown of Lombardy

supposedly from the original cross inside it. There are many other religious items in a well laid out museum attached to the Basilica. My favourite item in the museum was a Hen and seven chicks


made in gold plated silver foil and said to represent Lombardy and its seven regions. It dates from around the 7th century. The age of some of the items was quite astonishingly old.

The church has a fine bell tower, bright

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stained glass and frescos

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and paintings covering every surface.

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The frescos were under restoration when we visited and so only a very limited area were on display. The Peacock lectern was of a

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striking design different to the rest of the church, we have not been able to find out anything about it.

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Monza town is a typical Italian town which is not very busy and only on the tourist trail when motor racing takes place

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It is full of interesting traditional buildings

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and the main street becomes pedestrians only at passegiata time

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Of course there are lots of churches, the Church of Santa Maria in Strada is on the left

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and all of the major buildings

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seem to front onto large squares.

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One other attraction in Monza is the Royal

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Palace which was built around 1780 but is now undergoing a major restoration programme – hence it is a building site. The park surrounding the palace is supposed to be a thing of beauty but it has definitely seen better days.

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The pond in particular has a problem

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in that it is infested with fairly vicious terrapins which have been dumped in the pond and now seem to be left to breed unchecked.

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We also saw a Red Squirrel in the park which reminded us of how few we see at home.

Monza is a nice town and the museum attached to the Basilica is well worth a visit.

Returning Home

Our journey home was very easy. The bus took us back to Bergamo airport, the flight was on time and seven hours after we left Milan, we opened the door to a cold house on a dark autumn night. We very much enjoyed Milan and know that we will have to go back there again in the not to distant future to see those things we missed this time.

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