Sunday, April 6, 2014

Like freebies? Head for civic museums in Milan from April 8th to the 13th

Getting foreign journalists and visitors to love Milan (as they both senses of this phrase) has been made easier, again: another round of freebies entry to civic museums for the week of the city's famous furniture trade fair from the 8th to the 13th of April at the Rho-Pero Fiera convention center site just outside of town. (Taking the metro? Don't forget to get the round-trip ticket with the supplement!)

Participating museums are:...More......

Museo del Novecento (dedicated to modern art of the 20th century; web site in English)

Museo della Storia Naturale (minerals, dioramas, stuffed animals, informative didactics,...; web site only in Italian)

Musei del Castello Sforzesco (the variegated museums in the city's lovely castle, including the collection of historial things Milanese and the ancient Celtic and Egyptian collections; web site in English)

Palazzo Morando (fascinating glimpses of the Milan of yesteryear seen in period paintings; the rooms are punctuated with displays of period dress; web site only in Italian) (hmmmm...I was sure that I had done a blog post on this museum, already, but I can't find it, so I should put it on the top of the "To Do" list)

Acquario civico (refurbished a few short years ago, the acquarium, similar to Goldilock's bowl of porridge, is "just right"...neither too big to bore non-enthusiasts, nor too small to bore fans...and there's a fun tub-tunnel...hmmm, I see that I need to do an individual post on this museum, too, but for a general look see this post)

GAM-Galleria d'arte moderna (go here for your 19th century art background before you head off to see the modern stuff...not so interested in 19th century art? GO ANYWAY...the early 19th century palazzo is gorgeous...stay out of the park in the back,'s reserved for families with young children; web site only in Italian; yet another museum to add to the "To Do" list, apparently)

Museo del Risorgimento (dedicated to the peninsula's finally successful attempt to become a single independent nation, it also has other delightful surprises: the coronation robe Napoleon wore in Milan's Duomo, the bell cracked by hammering during the 1848 insurrection, paintings whose content can surprise and move...; web site only in Italian ... and yet another museum to add to my "To Do" list)

For another source of official times, places and directions, here's the link to a list in through to find the ones listed above...the city's site is horribly depressingly black and hard to read the type is so small, but at least it's in English.


Thursday, April 3, 2014

Not another public transportation strike...yes, I'm afraid so

Well, you can tell that things are heating up for Expo2015 by the frequency of the strikes, or the threatened strikes.

I'm really sorry to have this news to give you, but it's better to know it, than not.

Tomorrow, at least in Milan, there will be a public transportation strike from 6 P.M. to 10 P.M.

At least it will last only 4 hours.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Countdown 'til the covers are pulled back from the new metro trains and eco buying

Looking for something to do this weekend, maybe with the kids? Curious about new technology, or just nosy? Want to know more about the little and big things you can do to live a more ecologically sustainable life? Here you go!

From the 29th of March to the 13th of April, 10 A.M. to 7 P.M., the new trains of Milan's metro will be on display free-of-charge in the Duomo's piazza.

Not your style?

How about eco consumerism? You can see (and, I'll bet, even buy) new and favorite products on display at the 11th national commercial show of conscientious buying, ecological concepts and life styles, "Fa la cosa giusta!" (Do the right thing!). Where? Fiera City in downtown Milan (MM1 Lotto-Fiera). You wanna know something more, like how much it costs to get in? Their web site is in English, too!.

For your personal, non-commercial viewing pleasure, I snapped this shot on the 20th of May 2013, and then retouched it this morning with PhotoShop thanks to all I'm learning from my teacher, Beppe. Thanks, too, to my sweet friends Etta and Giorgio who encouraged me to take the class. I'm having lots of fun and learning lots of useful stuff!



Saturday, March 22, 2014

FAI on you! And some sirens, too.

Can't resist a good pun, and this weekend in Italy it's "FAI" weekend...Fondo Ambiente Italiano, which means the fund for the Italian environment...but they take care of not just gardens and wetlands, but lots of important historic buildings and collections, too....More......

Every spring, FAI sponsors a weekend of Open Days (link only in Italian, I fear) for some of their own properties and properties that aren't theirs. Find something open in a city near you and just show up. If you're a member, you get to stand in the fast lane to get in. If you're not a member...become one! It costs really very little (something like E. 45 a year) to make a small, but important contribution to preserving Italy's patrimony.

And in these days of crumbling walls at Pompeii, the topic couldn't be timelier.

I took this snap of the 1782 fountain of the sirens that Piermarini's favorite sculptor, Giuseppe Franchi, installed in front of the architect's new façade for the archbishop's mansion. The piazza, right behind the Duomo, is now called "Piazza della Fontana" (Fountain Piazza). The lovely sculpture was just cleaned.

If you're in Milan for the StraMilano marathon tomorrow morning, Sunday, March 24, why not swing by to see it?

I took this snap just a few days ago for your personal non-commercial pleasure.


Wednesday, March 19, 2014

ahhh, another public transportation strike, today

Sigh...another public transportation strike, today.

In Milan, that means you'd better hustle out the door quick like a bunny because it starts at 8:30 A.M., and will take a break only from 3 P.M. to 6 P.M., after which get out your tennies, 'cuz you're walkin' home.

Can hardly close with my usual "Enjoy!," can I?

Thursday, February 20, 2014

There is sun in Milan in the winter...'s just slipped in between wintery days, that's all!

I snapped this on the 25th of January, 2014, at about 12:15 P.M. at the corner of the Piazza del Duomo and via Mazzini.


Sunday, January 26, 2014

Snow is on the way for Wednesday the 29th of January, but...

...the day should end with rain followed by a few rainy days, so it shouldn't stick...thank goodness.

Enjoy the pretty flakes while they're coming down!

I snapped this shot of a statue on the outside of Milan's Duomo on the 3rd of April, 2005, at almost 9 A.M.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Another local public transportation strike, today...

There's another local public transportation strike, today. Busses, trams and subways are involved.

In Milan, the strike goes from 8:30 A.M. to 3 P.M., then from 6 P.M. to the end of service.

Oh...and Happy New Year....

Monday, December 16, 2013

Neo-Futurist fun in Milan

Running around Milan for last minute holiday gifts?

Look up, now and then!

An expected delight on the corner of Corso Magenta and via Carducci just a hop, skip and jump from the Cadorna train station: Rino Ferrini’s 1936 timidly Expressionistic and Neo-Futuristic building…apartments above, shops below.

I snapped this photo on the 17th of November, 2013, at about 5:30 P.M.


Thursday, December 5, 2013

Strikes December 2013

Not happy news to share, but share I must, then run. Hope it's helpful (and hope to post more, soon!).

December 6
--Meridiana Airlines, probably from 12:01 A.M. Dec. 6 to 12:00 P.M. Dec. 7, not specified. Meridiana flies in the south of Italy and, I've just seen, also to Tirana, the capital of Albania.
--LOCAL TRANSPORTATION, 4 hour strike, in Milan: from 8:45 A.M. 'til 12:45 P.M.

December 9
--Trucking, from 12:01 A.M. until 12:00 P.M. May cause slowing (or stops) on the freeways, beware.

December 16
--SEA handling, so Malpensa and Linate will be involved; from 12:01 A.M. 'til 12:00 midnight
--LOCAL TRANSPORTATION...again...four hours, not yet specified how Milan's public transport will be affected, but I'm guessing it will be like the strike scheduled for Friday the 6th...from 8:45 A.M. 'til 12:45 P.M.

December 17
--Meridiana Airlines...again...probably from 12:01 A.M. 'til 12:00 midnight

I can hardly say "Enjoy!," can I?

Friday, November 15, 2013

Cova...a very nice pun

So, here I am "cova-ing" ("covare": incubate, nurse, sit) a few new projects that are keeping me hop-hop-hopping, but missin' ya', so here's my lovely snap of the...More...

...mansion built in 1910 by the architect Adolfo Coppedè for the Cova family on a corner just in front of the piazza and reconstructed gate in front of the (marvelous) Sant'Ambrogio church...very very ancient, indeed, and worthy of its own post...some day....

The "Touring Club - Milano," my usual source for names and dates, doesn't specify that the Cova family was one and the same with the family owning and operating (at least, then!) the lovely and historic Cova bar and pastry shop in the Montenapoleone district...but what other Cova's could it have been?

Gotta run, but sending hugs, and hope to be able to write more, soon!


Sunday, October 13, 2013

Marathon blocks Milan's center this morning

'Til noon, the center of Milan will be criss-crossed by the runners of the Deejay 10 marathon.

All busses and trams criss-crossing the center of town have been deviated until at least noon, though the metro should not be affected (except by heavier than usual crowds).

The day should be lovely in the afternoon, though, so don't renounce the opportunity to come into town, and enjoy this fascinating city.


Saturday, September 14, 2013

Trade Fairs, Milan and You

If you are a business person thinking about displaying your wares in today's (really big) Italian version of an all-year-round county fair, then go here. Milan has two venues: the old/renewed/being renewed venue in town now called "FieraMilanoCity" seen in this post's first snap and the new venue called "FieraMilano" just outside of Milan, in Rho-Pero. The web site is also in English, yeah!

Even if you want to come to Milan "just" for tourism, it's in your best interest to check the link out, anyway. Why?......More......

Because if you can avoid the times of the really big trade fairs (the furniture and design fair, the female ready-to-wear fairs and--to a lesser extent--the male ready-to-wear fairs), it'll be MUCH easier to find a good hotel room, to avoid the public transportation rush and squash and to get a cab.

Not a business person flaunting your wares, but the theme of the fair sounds fascinating to you? Check out the info, anyway. The trade fairs often have days when the general public can visit the stands, for an entry fee, of course.

It's a madhouse, but an interesting madhouse, and worth the experience, if only just once. (Worried about getting hungry and thirsty? Fear not, there are vendors for that, too.)

The trade fair area in town, FieraMilanoCity, began in the 1920s, has been renewed over the years, and currently is being renewed. Part of the structures still are in use, so if you have a smaller fair or convention you'd like to position in Milan, they might have just the space you need. Can't say whether they're going to revamp the 1920s entrance buildings for the Fiera or for City Life. Just as long as they do. On the other side of the Fiera is a gigantic crumbly metal blanket thing. If it isn't a Fuksas, it's in his style.

Adjacent to it is the CityLife project. I've looked at their web site. It's not clear whether the area and project ultimately still belong to the FieraMilano people, or if the area abandoned during the move to Rho-Pera was sold by FieraMilano to new owners--whoever they are--of the CityLife project.

Upshot? The requalification of the area will include a stop of one of the new metro lines, gardens, businesses and mini-highrise hootingly ridiculously expensive designer housing some of which already looks pretty silly to me...this one's shaping up to look like a retro idea of a 1930s cruise ship heaved up onto land (see below for the "novelty" comment). One plus: it's outside the current ecology-conscious traffic-limiting "Area C", so whoever will live there won't have to pay through the nose to come and go...but they'll be so rich, they probably wouldn't worry about that, anyway.

I'm glad that it appears they'll also be salvaging another of the older structures (whether for the Fiera or, more probably given the area, City Life, I don't know): a large domed oval structure, currently obstructed by scaffolding, so here's an older snap.

Similarly, the new web-like glass and metal structure of the Rho-Pero site by the architect Fuksas has garnered a lot of praise and criticism. To confess straight away, stuff that is novel just to be novel really irritates me. Looking at it from far away, one of my first thoughts was (and remains): "It looks like a gigantic hole-y crumpled blanket. It's going to be impossible to keep clean, and glass looks so awful when its clogged with gunk. What a stupid idea!" Architects, beware. Natural rain is not sufficient.

That said, being under the big web is more pleasant than I expected. First off, a roof of some kind was necessary to favor the trade fair during wintery weather. The undulations psychologically lead you to keep on going (clever, that). Being open on the sides keeps the air fresh, but fear not, that's just the main walkway. The actual area with the trade stands is enclosed, and is just what you'd expect: gigantic halls packed with stands and--the vendors hope--people.

One word to the wise: if you are taking the metro or busses out to the new Rho-Pero Fiera, it's just outside of Milan's city limits, so there is a surcharge on the tickets. Don't forget to get the supplement! Little by little, all the metro stations are being fitted with--sigh--automatic ticket controls for going OUT, as well as for coming IN, so you'll get all the way there, and you won't hear that magic friendly beep with the green light. You'll be stuck in the metro, and even if you get out, you won't be able to get back in, and get home.


Tuesday, September 3, 2013

September 3...remembering my dear sweet husband

One of my dear sweet husband's favorite themes was the Annunciation because he saw in it the meeting place between two realities, an expression of the inquiry that drove the last decades of his professional life, right up to the end: do we have a soul, or is our...More......

...consciousness "just" an expression of the incredible complexity of our brain?

Living with him was fascinating and wonderful on so many levels.

As of today, he has been gone for three long years.

I found this for you on Sunday, sweetheart, in a side chapel in Milan's Certosa di Garegnano.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Free yoga class, Friday, October 11, as part of a yoga festival

Curious about yoga and its potential to help us get rid of stress? Me, too.

There's ONE free 50-minute yoga class at 10 A.M. on Friday, the 11th of October, during a three-day session at...More......

...Superstudio più, via Tortona, 27. (I just might go, too.)

How to get there? The place is served by METRO: Linea verde MM2 P.ta Genova or S.Agostino; AUTOBUS: Lines 47 – 59 – 68 – 74 – 90/91; TRAM: Lines 14 – 29/30.

Want someone to draw you a handy map for door-to-door? Try the "GiroMilano" feature on the ATM website (input the street names into the DA (from) and A (to) boxes in the mid-left of the screen, and press "calcola").

Interested in the free class? You'll need to sign up, here (the site's in Italian).

Fee-based classes interest you? Go here for the rest of the program (with a gentle reminder that I get no kickbacks of any kind for mentioning fee-based things).

A little worried about signing up, if you don't understand Italian? Try contacting them, directly. You might get someone who can muddle through a bit of English:

Yogafestival Milano 2013
Milano 20129 – via Goldoni 11 ph 02.76280433
mobile ph 335 7057711

And the snap? Taken on June 29, 2013, in one of Milan's public parks on my way to the JPS la Scuola end-of-the-school-year picnic spot. I should mention that I teach English, there, so that the partially self-serving aspect is perfectly clear!

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