Friday, November 14, 2015 | Italy – Lombardy, Milan | Petra
LOVE AT SECOND SIGHT
THE BEAUTY OF MILAN
People have widely differing opinions about Milan, the capital of Lombardy. Some say it’s fantastic and some say it’s boring. I wanted to gain my own impression and got on a plane to Milan spontaneously. I was looking forward to some days of sightseeing. Unfortunately Win had to do some business so I went alone.
The first day I feel quite lost in this metropolis of fashion, design and culture. Too many people at the Piazza del Duomo with the famous Milan cathedral and as well at the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, the famous shopping arcade. Nevertheless, I am fascinated by the majestic cathedral looking like finest pastry in the bright sunshine.
I’ve planned to meet my german friend Alice in the late afternoon right in front of the cathedral. She is living in Milan with her family for the last two years. Our joy to meet again is big, much bigger than the cathedral behind us. We’re strolling through the former artists’ quarter Brera and linger at Piazza del Carmine chatting cheerfully like best friends do when meeting again since a long time.
My first evening in Milan turns out to be a great start. Thank you, Alice.
What are my activities during the following days?
I start my day with breakfast at PAVÉ’s on my way to the metro. The lively café with it’s modern shabby chic and nice people offers the most delicious pastries you can ever imagine. Delicacies handmade in the show kitchen. I love my oven-fresh ‚Kipfl’ with almonds!
In bright sunlight I climb up the rooftop terrace of the Milan cathedral – an absolute must and a good hint of my friend Barbara. The fantastic view and the filigree stonemasonries made by old masters are amazing.
The huge Parco Sempione with it’s extensive green areas and the imposing castle Castello Sforzesco invites me to enjoy the nice and warm autumn sun. Do you fancy a pistachio ice-cream?
On my way to Corso Como I drop in on EATALY’s, a department store selling finest Italian food on three (!) levels. My eyes get tempted by Parmesan, olive oil and pasta. It’s a shame that I’m incapable to eat anything. The ice-cream I had before was quite filling.
Another feast for the eyes is Silvia Emme’s performance of sand animations on the stage of the store. Accompanied by wonderful music Silvia creates beautiful landscapes with loose sand running through her fingers on a big light table. Within moments she transforms it to faces, animals or new landscapes again. Enchanting art arising and disappearing with just a wave of her hands.
I take my time at Novecento, the museum of modern Italian art next to the Duomo. I enjoy sneaking through the exhibition nearly alone and having free view of all artworks.
Of course I disappeared into the world of Leonardo da Vinci (1452 – 1519), a great master of the Renaissance era. An interactive exhibition shows among other things the many inventions of the all-round man with models, sketches and animations. You could see everything from musical instruments and aircrafts to mobile bridge constructions and armors. And of course detailed information about the famous artwork The Last Supper. Painting was virtually only an additional business of Leonardo.
Naviglio is a cozy place and the quarter of artists, models, antiquaries und reconstructed industrial buildings. Pretty shops, restaurants and bars form a line along an old canal system from the 13th century. It reminds me very much to Amsterdam in the Netherlands. I enjoy a delicious risotto with boletus, a glass of wine and an energizing café (Italian espresso). I like it!
If you like shopping you will be in good hands in Milan. You can leave a lot of money there and fashion victims can get an intoxication. But you will also have a lot of fun, if you only want to stroll along and tour through shops, mega stores and glamorous boutiques. Watching is still for free.
10 Corso Como in the quarter of Garibaldi is absolutely fabulous! There you can find fancy fashion, design and art, a book store full of art books and design items, a gallery and a romantic café. It’s a perfect place to enjoy a cultivated aperitivo.
By the way many bars and cafes offer snacks and antipasti with the aperitif for free often as buffet. So dinner can be canceled and due to my exhausting sightseeing tours during the day I fall into my bed tired to death. I leave parties to somebody else.
Speaking of tired to death: For me the municipal cemetery Cimitero Monumentale is a real highlight. Alice recommended it warmly to me and she was right – it is fabulous! Not to mention the peaceful silence but to call the graves just graves would be an understatement. The wealthy families and celebrities of Milan built almost houses as burial places of their families during the last 150 years at the municipal cemetery. I’m very much impressed.
Milan is a wonderful city that offers plenty of possibilities and wants to be discovered. It’s charm is not recognizable at a first glance. But if you open your heart and your eyes, you will see the wonderful moments of an enchanting city.