Thursday, May 28, 2015

Hurry, it's closing on the 4th of June: "I'll Be There Forever. The Sense of Classic" at Palazzo Cusani

Sponsored by Acqua di Parma and curated by Cloe Piccoli, "I'll Be There Forever. The Sense of Classic" explores not classic style, but...More......

...the essence of what makes a classic by juxtaposing contemporary and multimedia works with the historic interiors of Giovanni Ruggeri's Palazzo Cusani.

The first work to confront the viewer is the gigantic work by Diego Perrone, which seems to dialogue smartly with the surroundings, now the private club of military officials. Large white cannons - in color harmony with the courtyard - seem to threaten you as you pass through the street portal, but as you move around this super-size sculpture, the object turns into what looks like a gigantic garden fork. Food for thought (no pun intended, not even an EXPO reference). That is, until I read the title "Fusion of the Bell" (2007) and what the artist intended by it in the free booklet (Italian and English): a reference to the age-old tradition of casting bells. You decide how you want to interpret it.

The first room - stifling hot, take a fan - hosts the projected "Hidden Conference" trilogy of Rosa Barba that juxtaposes works of art from antiquity to the present in rapidly changing still and moving images projected onto ca. 6 foot tall by 12 foot wide screens, so that even the passing visitor or guard becomes a part of this evanescent glimpse at works seen and unseen, wrapped, stored or visible. Even the large projectors positioned around the room contribute to the sense of the past in the present with their ever constant clicking and humming. The room is completely dark to favor the vision of the films, so there is no evident dialogue with the interior.

The second room, the Garibaldi room, is quite literally a breath of fresh air, but the light coming from the tall windows interacts delightfully with the glass paste sculptures also by Diego Perrone. This, for me, was perhaps the most traditionally laid out display, yet the interaction of the pieces and the light of the room was one of the most successful, I thought.

The room with the photographs was, for me, a great disappointment, but it's not the artist's fault. Armin Linke, according to the little guide provided, was exploring the strata of cultures and time, but the picture on the PR material enticing me to come to the exhibit had led me to believe that I would be seeing THE Laurana sculpture, and not a photo of it. He's one of my favorite Italian Renaissance sculptors, his pieces transmit such beauty and peace. I was really disappointed. Now that you know, you’ll be able to evaluate Linke's installation better than I.

In order not to hurt feelings, ruffle feathers, and influence you unduly, I'll say no more. IMHO, some of the installations are quite successful, others so-so, and others not at all, and, since the PR material intrigued me with the idea of a multi-media installation, I would have liked an olfactory interpretation of the classic aspects in each room (if Parma delicately didn't want to push its perfumes, base elements could have been used and explained), but go judge for yourself before it closes much too soon on the 4th of June.

It's well worth the trip, before or after Brera for the art gallery and nearby nibbles.

Palazzo Cusani
Via Brera 15 - Milan
May 15 to June 4, 2015

The web site of the exhibit is pretty useless. The hours are not listed (and, ahem, I forgot to ask, I just showed up), and the arrows that seem to direct one to further information...don't, but here it is in English, anyway: I'll Be There Forever.

Sunday, May 31st, the "Via Lattea" (Milky Way) returns to Milan and surroundings...for some fresh air in the countryside

Cooped up in an office all day? Hemmed in, in the city all week long?

Get out into the countryside for some fresh air...More......

...(bring the kids, too!) together with FAI-Fondo Ambiente Italiano...they take care of what we call "material culture" we can all recognize, such as historic mansions and gardens, but they also take care of "immaterial culture"...habits, customs and traditions, in the case of the Lombard plains: animal husbandry and agriculture.

See the Via Lattea web site for info in English.


P.S., the picture is from the FAI web support them with signing up, if you love Italian history and culture, even if you're not here to enjoy it, physically. It costs about the same as the subscription to a local museum, and you'll help preserve the monuments for when you can come, and for the future.

Thursday, June 4...the first dramatized tour of Milan on a historic tram...don't miss it!

Want an overview of the city while having fun? A history buff, but you have to drag your Significant Other kicking and screaming to cultural stuff?

Drag no more!

Dramatram comes to your rescue...More......

...the first Thursday of every month during EXPO (and, let's hope, after!) first with a dramatized tour in English shortly after lunch, followed by a tour in Italian.

All on one of Milan's historic 1920s trams.

We went on the inauguration trip, yesterday, and it's really quite enjoyable, even for those you who might be familiar with the city's history and monuments.


The first trip is just around the corner, so hurry to get your tickets: Thursday, June 4, 2015.

For info and reservations: Dramatram.

Monday, May 25, 2015

Help! It's Monday, and all the museums are closed! (Not!)

Many museums the world over are closed on Monday. Just so you know.

If you're in Milan, though, there still are some interesting artsy things to see, beginning with any of the many beautiful churches scattered all over town. One heads-up:...More......

...the churches generally close by noon-thirty and don't reopen, again, until around 3 P.M. (The caretaker does have to eat, too, you know. Speaking of caretakers, they cost, too, as does the lighting, maintenance and restoration, so always find the box just for such donations -- restauro - mantenimento -- and be generous, after all, you're visiting it as a museum, not to pray.)

Here's a handy list of museums that are regularly open on Mondays, with some brief info for Mondays. Note that museums generally stop letting people in at least 30-45 minutes before the closing time.


MAPP-Paolo Pini Art Museum (contemporary art), 9:30 A.M. to 4 P.M.
Via Ippocrate 43 (MM3-yellow line to Affori FN)

Holocaust Memorial, 10 A.M. to 8 P.M.
On the right hand flank of the Stazione Centrale (MM2-green line / MM3-yellow line)

MUDEC-Museum of Cultures (cultural context of non-occidental objects), 2:30-7:30 P.M.
Via Tortona, 56 (MM2-green line, then a loooooooong walk down via Tortona)

Brera Observatory and Botanical Gardens, OBSERV.: 9 A.M. - 4:30 P.M., GARDEN: 10 A.M. - 6 P.M.
via Brera 28 (MM2-green line to Lanza)

Museum of Art and Science (ethnic art; the processes and techniques of authenticating art), 10 A.M. - 6 P.M.
Via Quintino Sella, 4

PIME Museum (ethnic art from Catholic missions around the world), 9 A.M. to 12:30 P.M., 2 P.M. - 6 P.M.
Via Mosé Bianchi, 94 (MM1-red line to Lotto)

Museum of the Basilica of St. Eustorgio and the Portinari Chapel, 10 A.M. - 6 P.M.
Piazza Sant'Eustorgio, 3 (trams 9, 29, 30 to Piazza XXIV Maggio, tram 3 to Piazza Sant'Eustorgio)

Poldi Pezzoli Museum, 10 A.M.-6 P.M.
via Manzoni, 12 (MM3 / tram 1 to Montenapoleone)

La Scala Theater Museum, 9 A.M. - 12:30 P.M., 1:30 -5:30 P.M. (If there are no performances, you will be able to go into one of the boxes to see the interior of the theater.)
Piazza della Scala (MM1-red line to the Duomo; MM3-yellow line to the Duomo or Montenapoleone; tram 1 to La Scala)

PAC-Contemporary Art Pavilion, 2:30-7:30 P.M.
via Palestro, 14 (bus 94 / tram 1 to Piazza Cavour)

Treasury of St. Ambrogio, 10 A.M. - noon, 2:30 P.M. - 6 P.M. (many objects have been moved to the Diocesan Museum, but there are still some VERY interesting things to see, and seeing the collection, housed in what used to be the monks' walkway between the monastery and the church, allows you also to see a very precious and well-preserved Early Christian mosaic of the late 4th century A.D.)
Piazza Sant'Ambrogio (trams 16 & 27 to via Monti/via Carducci; MM2-green line to Sant'Ambrogio; bus 94 to via di Amicis/Sant'Ambrogio)

Triennale (modern and contemporary design, temporary exhibits, cafè), 10:30 A.M. - 11 P.M.
Viale Alemagna, 6 (bus 61 - Triennale stop)

Opening the post is my photograph of the exterior of the Portinari Chapel, a "must-see" Milanese Renaissance jewel.

Saturday, May 9, 2015

I had hoped that some common sense would have reigned during EXPO, but...another strike: Friday, May 15

Italy Public strike affecting local transport (bus, tram, subway, metro, light rail...), Friday May 15; Milan 8:45AM-3PM (break) 6PM-end.


13 MAY 2015: BREAKING NEWS...the prefect has forbidden permission for the Milanese area, only, thanks to Expo, so--unless the drivers et al. get struck with an epidemic of colds--all should be OK in Milan, only. The rest of the country will still have local public transportation strikes

Friday, May 8, 2015

EXTENDED HOURS for Leonardo da Vinci's Last Supper (Cenacolo)

Didn't reserve your ticket for Leonardo da Vinci's "Last Supper" (in Italian, Cenacolo) before arriving in Milan? Good news breaking: extended hours are now available.

Don't miss this opportunity to see one of the world's greatest masterpieces.

For the "how to" AND a suggestion for how to enjoy the (10 minute) experience to the max, see my previous post.


Monday, April 13, 2015

Public transportation news in Milan (wonderful...finally)

Post after post after post about public transportation strikes in Milan and thought this was going to be another one, didn't you?...More......

I confess, when the original article's title caught my eye, I did, too...then hope began warring with disbelief, until good triumphed over evil: there will be public transportation in Milan 24 hours a day during Expo.

Wait...wait...don't get too excited.

The entire daytime network won't be running all night long. The much reduced late hours service of Friday and Saturday will be extended:

--bus 151 (substitutes M1-metro line 1)
--bus 152 (substitutes M2)
--bus 153 (substitutes M3)
--N42 (Bicocca-Central Train Station)
--N6, N15, N24, N27, N50, N54, N57, N80, N95
--the trams 90 and 91

This is as good a time as any to encourage ATM to extend service every day of the week by at least an hour or two. I'm no night owl, but if I want to go out for dinner and a movie, it's a scary proposition to play beat the public transportation clock in order to be able to watch, eat, chat and get home before the clanging of the clock shortly after midnight turns the ATM employees back into Cindarella's mice.


Thursday, April 9, 2015

April 12th - Marathon in Milan (again)

There are marathons in Milan, so it must be spring.

This Sunday the 12th of April the town will be paralyzed for the Swisse Gas Marathon.

Stay indoors and play video games or read, get out in support, or get out early, period.

It's pretty useless to try to make your way around town.

Another strike on the way...Tuesday, April 14, 8:45 AM - 3 PM

Yet another public transportation strike in Italy. In Milan, the times on Tuesday the 14th of April will be from 8:45 AM to 3 PM.

Could have been worse.

Monday, April 6, 2015

Massive amount of additions to my "Art in Milan" pages on the "Where Milan" site...check 'em out!

In honor of Expo, I've finally got the better of distractions, and spent HOURS writing out quick summaries for almost all of Milan's principal museums (and there are quite a few). Still have a couple to go, but am pooped. Will finish tomorrow. In the meantime, here's link, so you can have that info on hand, too.


Sunday, April 5, 2015

Free entry to SOME Italian state-owned museums on Easter and Easter Monday (2015)

Hope this becomes a nice habit: this year's free entry to state-owned museums in Italy on Easter and Easter Monday.

The bad news is that the official web site for the cultural patrimony ministry is only in Italian.

The good news is that the coverage of this possibility is pretty self-explanatory: a region by region, museum by museum list.

In Milan? Leonardo's "Last Supper" (by reservation what's the point?!) and the Brera Pinacoteca.


Saturday, April 4, 2015

April 10. What's up? Another public transportation strike, of course.

Could be worse.

This time it's "just" the new train company, Italo.

24 hours. April 10, 2015.

Info from "Milano Today" (in Italian).

Forewarned is forearmed.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

More art for sale in Milan: MIART, 10-12 April, 2015

You can't buy just one...MIART is back at Fiera Milano City (the in-town convention center), 10-12 April 2015, with vibrant pieces to tempt you just before Expo 2015 explodes.

Want more info about when, where and how much? Go to their web site in English.

Then come back, and let us know what you bought!


Monday, March 30, 2015

Handy ATM news in time for a reminder about the strike, tonight...

You're wandering around Milan, enjoying the city, but you're pooped, and ready to head back to the creature comforts of your hotel and a hot meal...without a valid ATM ticket, and no ticket vendor or machine in sight.

What to do?...More......

If you have TIM, Wind, Vodaphone or H3G and a smart phone, now you can buy your ticket via SMS!

BEFORE BOARDING, send an SMS to ATM at this number: 48444. You will receive an SMS with a normal urban ticket validated in that moment (so the seconds are have 90 minutes).

"Normal urban" means that the ticket is *not* valid for the metro stops outside of the city limits (that includes the Rho-Pera convention center).

Cost? Ticket: Euro 1,50 + whatever charges your carrier imposes.

How can you use it to ride on the metro, or on the TreNord and "passante" services? Go to one of the ATM ticket vending machines, press "ticket with SMS," input the PNR code (Personal Reservation Number), and print out the ticket. It automatically will have only the time remaining on the ticket.

Want more info in English? Too bad. I only found it in Italian, so you'll just have to trust me. :-)


P.S., about the public transportation strike in Milan, today, it's from 6 P.M. to 10 P.M.

Friday, March 27, 2015

Beware the 29th of's open season for city marathons in Milan, again...beginning with StraMilano

There are a handful of foot race and biking marathons that paralyze Milan a few times a year, and one is about to break on us, again:

StraMilano, Sunday, March 29.

The activities start at around 8:30 A.M., and are supposed to finish around 1 P.M.-ish. In the meantime, it will be practically impossible to drive or take surface transportation, or even sometimes walk, if where you need to go is on the other side of the race course. As the organizers kindly reminded me last year, 'Please encourage people to come out in support of the run.'

O.K., I've done it.

Or sleep in.

It's the morning after the time change in Italy, after all.

Want more info in English about just where it will be run and, heavens you're full of energy, how to participate? Click here.


P.S., I snapped this photo during the StraMilano a couple of years ago, for your non-profit personal pleasure.
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