|Subject: Dead Guys in the Duomo (Milan)|
Disclaimer: I am using purposeful irony in the subject line. Don't dump on me, I grew up Catholic (though we had no Dead Guys Under Glass in south Florida, or anywhere in the USA that I know of.)
Our first experience during a recent visit to Tuscany with a genuine Dead Guy (or woman, in this case) was the at the Church of St. Frediano in Lucca, where we unexpectedly came across St. Zita, who died in 1272 and is enshrined in a glass case in a side chapel. Apparently one of her miracles is that her body did not decompose, and once a year on her memorial day Zita is taken out of the glass case and paraded around Lucca (yew!). She is the patron saint of lost keys.
Most of the guide books poo-pooh Milan and suggest skipping it, but after we dropped our car off at Malpensa (we had a Renault on the excellent "rebuy" program they offer) we took the express train into city center. It was really quite lovely and reminded me in many ways of Paris. The Duomo was an unexpected pleasure and quite a surprise- it is really magnificent, one of the most impressive of all that we saw in Italy. It is also huge, according to reports the 3rd largest church in the world.
And.....it holds the record, I think, for Dead Guys Under Glass. We had already come across the Head of St. Catherine - and her index finger- in Siena, of course. (St. C was so well loved that upon her death they cut her up and sent her parts all over Italy.) But the Milan Duomo is really a mind-blower, case upon case of Dead Guys (at least 10), mostly former archbishops, including St. Charles Borremeo, and curiously, one case in which there is an Archbishop and a guy (together!) dressed in a Roman legate's costume. By the time I reached the latter, I REALLY wished we had bought the audio tour, but they cannot be relied upon to explain the really interesting details, like the Dead Guys. This Duomo really should be rated PG-13, I would not bring young children there.
I have been Googling the Duomo in Milan but haven't found any on-line resources to explain the Dead Guys, and I am sure there are some good explanations somewhere- there must be a story behind each, especially the legate. I'd really appreciate it if anyone else has any information or sources in this regard.
Regards, Jim, Salt Lake