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Monthly Archives: April 2014

Milan: art and food

This is the place where my daughter had to be for her test, the headquarters of the Triennale.

The “Triennale di Milano” is a design museum and events venue located inside the Palace of Art building, part of Parco Sempione, the park grounds adjacent to Castello Sforzesco. It hosts exhibitions and events which highlight contemporary Italian design, urban planning, architecture, music, and media arts, emphasizing the relationship between art and industry. The museum houses the Collezione Permanente, a collection of significant objects in contemporary Italian design.The museum has been the venue for the Milan Triennial Exhibition of Decorative Arts and Modern Architecture; recognized by the Bureau of International Expositions, this major exhibition has been held thirteen times so far, the latest one in 1996. The museum also manages La Triennale di Milano Tokyo Museum, located in the Shiodome district of Tokyo, Japan.

It has a portion of the Sempione Park as a private ground for summer events and art exhibitions on open air

When we arrived, inside there were already some people waiting for the briefing and the calling for the test

When they called the applicants, I had a coffee at the bar lounge, a look at the bookshop and a tour of the two free little exhibitions there

The first one was about coffee, each aroma associates with a color and a sound, if you stand in the middle of the colored spot you can hear a different music and smell a different fragrance

This is about home automation, every aspect of your everyday living, supported by modern techology in helping you to warm up, cool down, light up ect, your home…. when you’re not home.

When the test was over (and by now we know she didn’t make it, damn!) we had lunch in a very nice and cozy place, Le Bistrò

We shared a very good mushrooms risotto….

and then we had a warm potatoes and octopus salad

and a cold one just on a bed of lettuce

Too bad M won’t have a job in Milan (after all she doesn’t like the city that much) and it was a little tiring, but I’m always grateful when I have the chance to do something different, even better if it’s totally unexpected and with my daughter!

 
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Posted by on April 24, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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Milan: a gallery …and more

The Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II is one of the world’s oldest shopping malls. Housed within a four-story double arcade in central Milan, the Galleria is named after Vittorio Emanuele II, the first king of the Kingdom of Italy. It was designed in 1861 and built by Giuseppe Mengoni between 1865 and 1877.

The structure consists of two glass-vaulted arcades intersecting in an octagon covering the street connecting Piazza del Duomo to Piazza della Scala. The street is covered by an arching glass and cast iron roof, a popular design for 19th-century arcades, such as the Burlington Arcade in London, which was the prototype for larger glazed shopping arcades, beginning with the Saint-Hubert Gallery in Brussels (opened in 1847), the Passazh in St Petersburg (opened in 1848), the Galleria Umberto I in Naples (opened in 1890) and the Budapest Galleria. The four paintings under the glass roof represent Asia, Africa, Europa and America.

The central octagonal space is topped with a glass dome. The Milanese Galleria was larger in scale than its predecessors and was an important step in the evolution of the modern glazed and enclosed shopping mall, of which it was the direct progenitor. It has inspired the use of the term galleria for many other shopping arcades and malls. On the ground of the central octagonal, there are four mosaics portraying the Coat of Arms of the three Capitals of the Kingdom of Italy (Turin, Florence and Rome) plus the Milan’s. The tradition tells that if a person put its right heel on the bull’s genitals depicted of the bull from Turin Coat of Arms and turn on himself three times, this will bring good luck. This practice causes damage to the mosaic: a hole developed on the place of the bull’s genitals (………..no, we didn’t do it…..)

The Galleria is often nicknamed il salotto di Milano (Milan’s living room), due to its numerous shops and importance as a common Milanese meeting and dining place. As of 2013, the arcade principally contains luxury retailers selling haute couture, jewelry, books and paintings, as well as restaurants, cafés, and bars. The Galleria is famous for being home to some of the oldest shops and restaurants in Milan, such as Biffi Caffè (founded in 1867 by Paolo Biffi, pastry chef to the monarch),the Savini restaurant, the silverware store Bernasconi and the Art Nouveau classic Zucca’s Bar. In 2012, a McDonald’s restaurant was prevented from renewing its tenancy in the mall, after 20 years of occupancy. The restaurant contended that it was the only mall tenant to be denied the right of first refusal on its new lease, and that the public tender to replace it was “unfair”. McDonald’s has sued the landlord—the city of Milan—for 24 million in damages, alleging that the loss of the lease will deprive McDonald’s of €6 million per year in sales. During its last few hours of operation, the restaurant offered free food and drink to over 5.000 customers. The McDonald’s restaurant was replaced with the mall’s second Prada store.

From the Gallery you can enter one of the last addition to the many commercial ventures, the Aperol Lounge. We sat there for a while in the afternoon, quietly enjoying a drink between the rush hours of lunch and dinner…

 

 

 

 

 
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Posted by on April 24, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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Milan: a cathedral

After lunch, we just had a look at the entrance of the Royal Palace where usually several exhibitions are held, and we were astounded by the crowd lined up to get a ticket………no way we were able to visit the Klimt exhibition as we planned and get our train in time! A Plan B was needed. No problem, just in front of the Royal Palace, there’s the Duomo, Milan Cathedral, just coming out of a deep cleaning of its external marbles….(sorry some of the inside pics are a little too dark)

Dedicated to Santa Maria Nascente (Saint Mary Nascent), the Gothic cathedral took nearly six centuries to complete. It is the fifth largest cathedral in the world and the largest in the Italian state territory. Milan’s layout, with streets either radiating from the Duomo or circling it, reveals that the Duomo occupies what was the most central site in Roman Mediolanum, that of the public basilica facing the forum. Saint Ambrose’s ‘New Basilica’ was built on this site at the beginning of the 5th century, with an adjoining basilica added in 836. The old baptistery (Battistero Paleocristiano, constructed in 335) still can be visited under the Milan Cathedral, it is one of the oldest Christian buildings in Europe. When a fire damaged the cathedral and basilica in 1075, they were later rebuilt as the Duomo. In 1386, Archbishop Antonio da Saluzzo began construction of the cathedral. Start of the construction coincided with the accession to power in Milan of the archbishop’s cousin Gian Galeazzo Visconti, and was meant as a reward to the noble and working classes, who had suffered under his tyrannical Visconti predecessor Barnabò. Before actual work began, three main buildings were demolished: the palace of the Archbishop, the Ordinari Palace and the Baptistry of St. Stephen at the Spring, while the old church of Sta. Maria Maggiore was exploited as a stone quarry. Enthusiasm for the immense new building soon spread among the population, and the shrewd Gian Galeazzo, together with his cousin the archbishop, collected large donations for the work-in-progress. The construction program was strictly regulated under the “Fabbrica del Duomo”, which had 300 employees led by first chief engineer Simone da Orsenigo. Orsenigo initially planned to build the cathedral from brick in Lombard Gothic style.

Visconti had ambitions to follow the newest trends in European architecture. In 1389, a French chief engineer, Nicolas de Bonaventure, was appointed, adding to the church its Rayonnant Gothic, a French style not typical for Italy. He decided that the brick structure should be panelled with marble. Galeazzo gave the Fabbrica del Duomo exclusive use of the marble from the Candoglia quarry and exempted it from taxes. Ten years later another French architect, Jean Mignot, was called from Paris to judge and improve upon the work done, as the masons needed new technical aid to lift stones to an unprecedented height. Mignot declared all the work done up till then as in pericolo di ruina (“peril of ruin”), as it had been done sine scienzia (“without science”). In the following years Mignot’s forecasts proved untrue, but anyway they spurred Galeazzo’s engineers to improve their instruments and techniques. Work proceeded quickly, and at the death of Gian Galeazzo in 1402, almost half the cathedral was complete. Construction, however, stalled almost totally until 1480, for lack of Dor Falah money and ideas: the most notable works of this period were the tombs of Marco Carelli and Pope Martin V (1424) and the windows of the apse (1470s), of which those extant portray St. John the Evangelist, by Cristoforo de’ Mottis, and Saint Eligius and San John of Damascus, both by Niccolò da Varallo. In 1452, under Francesco Sforza, the nave and the aisles were completed up to the sixth bay.

In 1500 to 1510, under Ludovico Sforza, the octagonal cupola was completed, and decorated in the interior with four series of 15 statues each, portraying saints, prophets, sibyls and other characters of the Bible. The exterior long remained without any decoration, except for the Guglietto dell’Amadeo (“Amadeo‘s Little Spire”), constructed in1507-1510. This is a Renaissance masterwork which nevertheless harmonized well with the general Gothic appearance of the church. During the subsequent Spanish domination, the new church proved usable, even though the interior remained largely unfinished, and some bays of the nave and the transepts were still missing. In 1552 Giacomo Antegnati was commissioned to build a large organ for the north side of the choir, and Giuseppe Meda provided four of the sixteen pales which were to decorate the altar area (the program was completed by Federico Borromeo). In 1562, Marco d’ Agrate’s St. Bartholomew and the famous Trivulzio candelabrum (12th century) were added. After the accession of Carlo Borromeo to the archbishop’s throne, all lay monuments were removed from the Duomo. These included the tombs of Giovanni, Barnabò and Filippo Maria Visconti, Francesco I and his wife Bianca, Galeazzo Maria and Lodovico Sforza, which were brought to unknown destinations. However, Borromeo’s main intervention was the appointment, in 1571, of Pellegrino Pellegrini as chief engineer— a contentious move, since to appoint Pellegrino, who was not a lay brother of the duomo, required a revision of the Fabbrica’s statutes.

Borromeo and Pellegrini strove for a new, Renaissance appearance for the cathedral, that would emphasise its Roman / Italian nature, and subdue the Gothic style, which was now seen as foreign. As the façade still was largely incomplete, Pellegrini designed a “Roman” style one, with columns, obelisks and a large tympanum. When Pellegrini’s design was revealed, a competition for the design of the façade was announced, and this elicited nearly a dozen entries, including one by Antonio Barca. This design was never carried out, but the interior decoration continued: in 1575-1585 the presbytery was rebuilt, while new altars and the baptistry were added. Wooden choir stalls were constructed by 1614 for the main altar by Francesco Brambilla. In 1577 Borromeo finally consecrated the whole edifice as a new church, distinct from the old Santa Maria Maggiore and Santa Tecla (which had been unified in 1549 after heavy disputes).

At the beginning of the 17th century Federico Borromeo had the foundations of the new façade laid by Francesco Maria Richini and Fabio Mangone. Work continued until 1638 with the construction of five portals and two middle windows. In 1649, however, the new chief architect Carlo Buzzi introduced a striking revolution: the façade was to revert to original Gothic style, including the already finished details within big Gothic pilasters and two giant belfries. Other designs were provided by, among others, Filippo Juvarra (1733) and Luigi Vanvitelli (1745), but all remained unapplied. In 1682 the façade of Santa Maria Maggiore was demolished and the cathedral’s roof covering completed. In 1762 one of the main features of the cathedral, the Madonnina’s spire, was erected at the dizzying height of 108.5 m. The spire was designed by Carlo Pellicani and sports at the top a famous polychrome Madonnina statue, designed by Giuseppe Perego that befits the original stature of the cathedral.Given Milan’s notoriously damp and foggy climate, the Milanese consider it a fair-weather day when the Madonnina is visible from a distance, as it is so often covered by mist. On May 20, 1805, Napoleon Bonaparte, about to be crowned King of Italy, ordered the façade to be finished by Carlo Pellicani. In his enthusiasm, he assured that all expenses would fall to the French treasurer, who would reimburse the Fabbrica for the real estate it had to sell. Even though this reimbursement was never paid, it still meant that finally, within only seven years, the Cathedral had its façade completed. The new architect, Carlo Pellicani Junior, largely followed Buzzi’s project, adding some neo-Gothic details to the upper windows. As a form of thanksgiving, a statue of Napoleon was placed at the top of one of the spires. Napoleon was crowned King of Italy at the Duomo.

In the following years, most of the missing arches and spires were constructed. The statues on the southern wall were also finished, while in 1829-1858, new stained glass windows replaced the old ones, though with less aesthetically significant results. The last details of the cathedral were finished only in the 20th century: the last gate was inaugurated on January 6, 1965. This date is considered the very end of a process which had proceeded for generations, although even now, some uncarved blocks remain to be completed as statues. The Duomo’s main façade went under renovation from 2003 to early 2009: as of February 2009, it has been completely uncovered, showing again the colours of the Candoglia marble. In November 2012 officials announced a campaign to raise funds for the cathedral’s preservation by asking patrons to adopt the building’s gargoyles. The effects of pollution on the 14th-century building entail regular maintenance, and recent austerity cuts to Italy’s culture budget has left less money for upkeep of cultural institutions, including the cathedral. To help make up funds, Duomo management launched a campaign offering its 135 gargoyles up for “adoption.” Donors who contribute €100,000 (about $135,220US) or more will have their name engraved under one of the grotesque figures perched on the cathedral’s rooftop. The figures serve as drainage pipes.

 
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Posted by on April 23, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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Milan: a castle in a park

Last friday I had to take a day off to go to Milan with my daughter. She had to take a test for a possible temporary employment there. We had to be at the appointment by 10am and while she was busy with her essay, I wandered around. Just adjacent to the Triennale headquarters, there is a big park, Parco Sempione.

Established in 1888, it has an overall area of 386,000 m², and it is located in the historic centre of the city. It owes its name to Corso Sempione, a major thoroughfare of Milan, dating back to the Napoleonic Empire. The park is adjacent to the gardens of the Sforza Castle and to the Arch of Peace, two of the prominent landmarks of Milan.

The Sempione gate is marked by a landmark triumphal arch called Arco della Pace (“Arch of Peace”), dating back to the 19th century, but its origins can be traced back to a gate of the Roman walls of Milan.The very design of the park, due to architect Emilio Alemagna, was conceived with the intent of creating panoramic views encompassing both monuments.

After a walk in the park I decided to have a look at the Castello Sforzesco, because even if I’ve been in Milan several times (usually to visit some exhibitions) I’ve never seen the Castle.The Castle complex includes some museums:The Pinacoteca del Castello Sforzesco,with an art collection which includes Andrea Mantegna’s Trivulzio Madonna and masterpieces by Canaletto, Tiepolo, Vincenzo Foppa, Tiziano Vecellio and Tintoretto. The Museum of Ancient Art which includes Michelangelo’s last sculpture (the Rondanini Pietà), the armory, the tapestry room and some funerary monuments.The Museum of Musical Instruments.The Egyptian Museum. The Prehistoric collections of the Archaeological Museum of Milan.The Applied Arts Collection.The Antique Furniture & Wooden Sculpture Museum.The Achille Bertarelli Print Collection.The Trivulziana Library holds Leonardo da Vinci‘s ‘Codex Trivulzianus‘ manuscript. Also in 2012 new paintings attributable to Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio have been discovered at the castle. I really hadn’t the time to visit even one of them (the queues at the entrances were way too long) but I had a great time walking through its inner courtyards. I actually entered the Catle from the back and oldest gate, called Barcho.

The original construction was ordered by local lord Galeazzo II Visconti in 1358-c. 1370; this castle was known as Castello di Porta Giova (or Porta Zubia), from the name of a gate in walls located nearby.His successors Gian Galeazzo, Giovanni Maria and Filippo Maria Visconti enlarged it, until it became a square-plan castle with 200 m-long sides, four towers at the corners and up to 7 m-thick walls. The castle was the main residence in the city of its Visconti lords, and was destroyed by the short-lived Golden Ambrosian Republic which ousted them in 1447.

In 1450, Francesco Sforza, once shattered the republicans, began reconstruction of the castle to turn it into his princely residence. In 1452 he hired sculptor and architect Filarete to design and decorate the central tower, which is indeed still known as Torre del Filarete. After Francesco’s death, the construction was continued by his son Galeazzo Maria, under architect Benedetto Ferrini. The decoration was executed by local painters. In 1476, during the regency of Bona of Savoy, the tower with her name was built. In 1494 Ludovico Sforza became lord of Milan, and called numerous artists to decorate the castle. These include Leonardo da Vinci (who frescoed several rooms, in collaboration with Bernardino Zenale and Bernardino Butinone) and Bramante, who painted frescoes in the Sala del Tesoro;the Sala della Balla was decorated with Francesco Sforza’s deeds.Around 1498, Leonardo worked at the ceiling of the Sala delle Asse, painting decorations of vegetable motifs. In the following years, however, the castle was damaged by assaults from Italian, French and German troops; a bastion, known as tenaglia was added, perhaps designed by Cesare Cesariano. After the French victory in the 1515 Battle of Marignano, the defeated Massimiliano Sforza, his Swiss mercenaries, and the cardinal-bishop of Sion retreated into the castle. However, King Francis I of France followed them into Milan, and his sappers placed mines under the castle’s foundations, whereupon the defenders capitulated. In 1521, in a period in which was used as weapons depot, the Torre del Filarete exploded. When Francesco II Sforza returned briefly into power in Milan, he had the fortress restored and enlarged, and a part of it adapted as residence for his wife, Christina of Denmark.

Under the Spanish domination which followed, the castle became a citadel, as the governor’s seat was moved to the Ducal Palace (1535). Its garrison varied from 1000 to 3000 men, led by a Spanish castellan. In 1550 works began to adapt the castle to modern fortification style, as an hexagon (originally pentagon)-shaped star fort, following the addition of 12 bastions. The external fortifications reached 3 km in length and covered an area of 25.9 hectares.The castle remained in use as a fort also after the Spaniards were replaced by the Austrians in Lombardy. Most of the outer fortifications were demolished during the period of Napoleonic rule in Milan under the Cisalpine Republic. The semi-circular Piazza Castello was constructed around the city side of the castle, surrounded by a radial street layout of new urban blocks bounded by the Foro Buonoparte. The area on the “country” side of the castle was laid out as a vast 700m by 700m square parade ground known as Piazza d’Armi.  After the unification of Italy in the 19th century, the castle was transferred from military use to the city of Milan.

So far, the history. With regard to its architecture, the castle has a quadrangular plan, site across the city’s walls. The wall which once faced the countryside north to Milan has square towers and has an ogival gate. This was once accessed through a drawbridge. The northern tower is known as Torre della Corte, while the western one is called ”Torre del Tesoro: both received wide windows during the Sforza age.The corner defended by the Torre Ducale is characterized by a loggia bridge, attributed to Bramante, and commissioned by Ludovico Sforza in the late 15th century to connect the Corte Ducale (the court in the area used as ducal residence) and the Cortile della Ghirlanda. This ghirlanda refers to a wall, protected by a ditch filled by water, built under Francesco Sforza, of which few traces remain today, including the Porta del Soccorso. Remains of two later ravelins can be seen in correspondence of the point in which the castle was joined by the city walls (near the Porta Comasina gate) and the Porta del Carmine. The Porta della Ghirlanda gate was entered through a ravelin (now lost) and had two entrances accessed through runways, on which lead to an underground passage which continued along the walls. The external side which once faced the walled city has two round towers, commissioned by Francesco Sforza to replace the former square ones, which had become less suitable to defend against fire weapons. The central tower, called Torre del Filarete, is a modern reconstruction. The round towers lost the upper parts under the Austrians, which needed open space for their artillery. Their upper sector existing today is also a modern restoration. The Torre del Filarete and the Porta del Santo Spirito, located more southwards, are both preceded by a ravelin.The main gate leads to a large court from which several internal features can be seen. These include the Tower of Bonza of Savoy (1476) and the Rocchetta, a sort of internal defensive ridotto with a ate of its own. At the right of the Porta del Carmine are remains of two 15th century courts. The Rocchetta, whose access gate from the main court (a modern addition) features the coat of arms of the Sforza, has an internal courts with, on three sides, a portico with 15th century arcades. The Corte Ducale is the wing of the castle originally used as ducal residence; it features a court with two loggias, a smaller one at left and a larger one at its end, called Loggiato dell’Elefante due to the presence of a fresco of an elephant.

I finally entered the last courtyard (actually the first and most important one if you have access from the main gate looking on Piazza Castello)

I had to go back on my path to meet with my daughter who texted me she was finished. Together we walked again through the Castle (she’s already been there so it was no “ohhh” and “awww” for her) and this time we passed under the main gate to the the Piazza Castello.

It was past lunch time and we were starving so we took the subway to our usual place where to eat when in Milan, and we had plans for the afternoon…………

 

 

 
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Posted by on April 22, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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Memories…..travels, family, friends, places…..

My daughter helped me go through and organize in a different (and easier) way all my photos, delete old online photos albums and copying them on some cds. Doing that it was really like I had all my life (well…..almost) passing before my eyes………so many memories, good and bad moments, old and new faces, different feelings…….

Sorry, this will be a long post, and not all the pics are that good….

Our newest friends, L&S from Modena, here waiting for dinner the same day we met for the first time at the Nurburgring racetrack in Germany in august 2007.

Our oldest, – L&D – living just a block away, in 1981 in San Marino and in 2003 visiting the Mauthausen Concentration Camp with our families.

During my teens I used to go to the same beach for years and in 1979 I met this parisian girl  with italian roots, T. We stayed in touch and in 1984 just after I got married, she came to visit

and the next year we went to Paris for the first time to meet her and her family family

The most cherished vacation memory, South West England in 2004 with our friends L&E and our daughters

They are members of our mixed group of addicted bikers…not always on the saddle but often around a table!

Hubby with one of his heroes in London in 2004 – no matter he was made of wax – ………

and finally on the Assen track in Netherland in 2008

and where we actually have our second home, Verdon Canyon in France (here in 2011) – after 5 times there we expect the honorary citizenship soon!

The photo below brings so many happy memories and a sad feeling because our friends G&O (here the 4 of us before the Belvedere Palace in Wien in 1997) have disappeared from the scene three years ago, they are on the verge of a divorce for some time now, and have burnt all the bridges behind them……

Another happy moment follwed soon by a sad one. This was the last time S&P were out with us before she was diagnosed with breast cancer. She lost her battle two years ago.

Me and daughter M at Le Point du Grouin (Bretagne) in 1996 and in London in 2010 (first trip of many just-me-and-you)

Our last trip together (till now…..) in Belgrade last november

The lifetime trip (till now at least, I have no limits….) Boston and New York in 2013

Do you remember when I posted about my favourite tv channel? It was a dream came true when I finally was in that shop!!!

I was born one month after the Wall in Berlin was built, I was fortunate to see it go down during a touching television live program, and I was there to see its remains in 2010

When me and hubby got together I was 17 and he was 20…..

and here we are, on our honeymoon in Tenerife in 1984…yup, next month it will be our 30th anniversary!

Who knew that 29 years later we would be proud parents to this Dr lady?

And talking about family, here we, hubby and I, some years ago with my parents just a year before my father was diagnosed with Alzheimer

Me with my parents, I was about 2 years old…

and at 8 on my First Communion and my aunt E was my godmother. I lost her 4 years ago.

My maternal grandparents, the most serene people I’ve ever known. I lost them too years ago, but not the “love instructions” they gave us all.

Years ago, in 1998, one of my first dreams came true, and we had an amazing time in Ireland. I have to go back there and take back home the piece of my heart I left in that beautiful and enchanted land…

 

 

 

 

 
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Posted by on April 10, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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First ride of the season

Boretto is a little village located on the right shore of the river Po, about 25 kms from Parma. The remains of this ancient town’s Roman roots – it was called Brixellum during the Roman era – can still be seen in the Antiquarium where ancient Roman relics and sculptures are on display. This town is most famous, however, for being the antebellum set for one of Italy’s most loved film series: that of Peppone and Don Camillo, played by Gino Cervi and Fernandel and based on the books by Giovannino Guareschi. For the 36th time, last weekend it housed a national bikers’ gathering……………and we were there, with a couple of friends…….As you can see, we weren’t alone….

We had a reservation at a restaurant some 30 kms from there, it was a very sunny and warm morning, it was pure joy to drive along those roads till we got there, really hungry at that point….

The place is so cozy and friendly, it was the third time we were there (it’s a little far from home, but worth it), and the owners are part of the equation as well.

The care and the attention they put in all the dishes they serve (simple but oh…so tasteful) it’s one of main reasons we like the place. Others had some cheese and veggies pie, I choose some polenta au gratin with smoked pork fat and herbs

and all four decided for this wonderful risotto with minced fresh salami meat………..

and while the men enjoyed a delicious (their words) tiramisù, E and I (the fair sex) had strawberries and ice-cream

After the coffee and a long conversation about next bike trips and summer vacations (nothing decided for sure yet) we have a walk along the country roads leading to the main village and through a hole in an old wall we had a sneak peek of a villa currently under renovation, due to be opened to the public again at the end of next month. “Villa Medici del Vascello”, is a composite structure derived from a castle of the XV century, transformed many times in Sforza era in the 16th and 17th centuries. The present park is Romantic in style and houses rare botanic plants and stylish ‘imitations’ in style. The villa is also famous because it was home for some time till her death to Cecilia Gallerani, the The Lady with an Ermine painted by Leonardo da Vinci.

Not too far from the villa, there’s a castle called “Mina della Scala”.

The castle was built in 1596, as deduced by a walled headstone, by the Count Ludovico Schizzi from Cremona and it was built for him and his family as a summer house and for official royal meetings. In 1875 due to the marriage between Augusto Mina and  Francesca della Scala, of the Cremona branch of the Family Veronese, the two names were joined to call the castle. The visits at the castle are possible on appointment only.

Considering all the interesting places were closed, we decided to hit the road towards home, with a coffee break in Colorno, sitting at a bar just at the corner of the Royal Palace, still under partial restoration after the last earthquake (for more about the place, read what I wrote here or here

It was a nice day out, doing what we like the most doing with our friends. Now that spring is really here, with longer and warmer days, I hope there will be lots of days like this.

 

 

 
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Posted by on April 2, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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