Many people use Milano as a hub, seeing only the stunning painting of “The Last Supper” before heading elsewhere. However, if you give Milano a chance you’ll be richly rewarded with art, architecture, and culture.
A great first stop is stern Castello Sforzesco, once home to the Dukes of Milan, in the heart of the city overlooking Parco Sempione. Tucked away in the 15th and final room of the Pinacoteca in the Castello, you will find an unusual and extraordinary treasure… the final work of Michelangelo. He began work on the Pieta Rondanini beginning in the 1550s and continued right up until the last days of his life in 1564. It was at this time that he is said to have transformed it by chiseling away at it until all that remained of his original vision of the sculpture was Christ’s dismembered right arm. Perhaps sensing his own mortality changed his view, who is to say?
One thing that is clear is that this sculpture is very different from any of his others. You may even sense the master through the raw chisel marks left indelibly on its surface, just visible here as they are invisible on his other pieces. From certain angles it appears that Christ is holding Mary up, taking her weight against his back rather than her holding him.
If you are in Milan be sure to extend your visit for this incredible piece and for everything else this great city has to offer!