Saturday, April 28, 2012

May Day, May Day...! Will the public transportation be available?

May Day! May Day!

The public transportation service will not be normal on the first of May, a public holiday. Instead, it will run in Milan from 7 A.M. to 7:30 P.M. (too bad that the ATM English language pages of the web site are not would have missed this news, had you depended on THEM!).

Beware, too, on the 30th of April...Saturday hours will be in force on this pre-holiday day.

Check the websites for the public transportation of other cities.

Hope this helps!


Wow! Italy has a new (private) train service: .italo

Today, a new (private and fast) train service five years in the making fired up the first trains: ".italo"...yeah!

With only a handful of stops (for now), but touted as cheaper than the national train service "Trenitalia," it--like some low-cost plane services--uses the more peripheral stations...More...

In Rome, it arrives and departs from Tibertina, while in Milan you can catch it at the Rogoredo station (easily reached with the yellow line of the subway) and at the Porta Garibaldi station (for the moment, easily reached with a few bus lines, but in the next few years, it will be on the new blue subway line).

Other cities? Turin, Bologna, Florence, Naples and Salerno. All of the stations may not yet be active.

Got any more good news?


It has pages in English!

So, what's the service like? The wagons looked modern and comfortable, but you'll have to wait 'til I take it for the scoop on plugs and WiFi and...let's face it...clean bathrooms.

In the meantime...enjoy!

P.S., Google and Blogger have changed things, again, and--at least for the moment--it's not possible to preview the entire message before here's crossing my fingers that all goes well!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Freshen up your house at the international furniture trade fair, April 17-22, Milan

That sofa looking a bit ragged? Living room looking a bit drab? Brighten things up on a big scale at the international furniture trade fair in Milan (April 17-22), in the 'new' fairgrounds and convention center in the suburb twin city of Rho-Pero: (hey, it's in ENGLISH!).

NOTE: "Open to the general public only on Saturday, April 21, and Sunday, April 22." (P.S., April 21st is Rome's birthday...happy birthday, Rome!)

Take the handy subway out...but forewarned is forearmed. The convention center is outside the circle of the standard public transportation fee, so there's a surcharge on the basic round-trip ticket. Get the skinny (in English, yeah!), here:

State Museum Freebies April 14-22

For the XIVth annual week of culture (April 14-22), the Italian government is offering free entry to STATE-owned museums: (in Italian).

Other museums may not participate (and don't bedrudge it...entrance fees cover only a small portion of day-to-day costs, let alone the humongous costs incurred for mounting special exhibits).

Gather ye (painted and sculpted) rosebuds while ye may...


Saturday, April 14, 2012

Milano City Marathon (not to be confused with the StraMilano marathon) and blankets

Run covered with a blanket? I guess they do have those space-age blankets. You could run covered in one of those.

You're going to need it, tomorrow (April 15), for the Milano City Marathon (because of which the center of town will be closed to car traffic until mid-afternoon...the up side is that the ATM ticket is valid for a lot longer). More rain and cold is predicted...More......

Want more info about this marathon through town (not to be confused with the StraMilano that took place last month) English? Here's a bank's website with helpful stuff (no plug for the bank intended, but, Cosmos bless them, they have a page in English):

You're going to need extra blankets even if you're not running in the marathon.

Right on time with the return of the cold is the city-wide (nation-wide?) mandated shutting off of centralized heating.

So, get out your blankets, cuddle up, and watch the runners go by.


Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Accessible (i.e., affordable) Art, 12-15 April, 2012

Love art, and wish you could buy and collect originals? This one's not for sale, though! It's one of my needlepoints!

Here's your chance. Another "affordable art" event: Arte accessibile.

Now in it's 4th edition, it will be held in...More......

...the "Spazio EventiQuattro" of the newspaper group Il Sole-24 Ore"* in via Monte Rosa, 91, Milan, from the 12th to the 15th of April.

For further info about times and costs: Yeah! At least part of it is in English!

To follow my blog on hand-done needlepointing, see "Ars acupicturae - Star's Needlepoint Art,"

*For those of you who don't speak Italian, the number "24" is pronounced "venti-quattro," so the name of the space "Eventi-Quattro" is a play on their newspaper name.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Blatant Plug for a Friend's One-Man Show (and the scoop about what I did with my Easter vacation)

Here's a blatant plug for a friend's one-man show: popular John Peter Sloan will delight (mostly in Italian) audiences at the Teatro Smeraldo, Milan, on the 12th of April, 2012, for more information and other cities, see

Go, John!

And now for the scoop about my Easter Sunday and Angel Monday...More......

Lovely, lovely, lovely: much needed rest and the healing comforting company of friends (none of whom are visible in this snap of the lovely weather to be had in the Piazza del Duomo on Easter day, the same angle appearing in a blog post months ago with the taxis waiting in dreary weather,

Walked my friend to the tram, and spotted this spring-y little robot in a shop window on Via Torino.

Fade out Easter day, fade in Angel Monday...huh? 'What is Angel Monday?,' I can hear you asking. I'd never heard of it before coming to Italy, either, so don't feel silly. If you're not Catholic, you probably don't know, either.

It's the Monday immediately following Easter, and is a holy feast day dedicated to angels, so it's a public holiday, too. (Good going! This is one thing I *love* about living in Italy...the hectic pace of modern life is tempered with a sprinkling of a few more public holidays than in the U.S., well, at least it WAS...with the crunch, some of them have been cancelled, boo-hoo!)

Got another glimpse of one of the "crazy" new skyscrapers going up around town. This one in the Porta Nuova* area looks like it's pregnant.

*The second, newer, Porta Nuova, from the NeoClassical era, not the earlier, older one of the same name (that wasn't very clever, was it?) from the medieval period. I think I should do a post just on the gates of Milan.

Did I mention two excellent movies, too?

The first movie we saw, and had planned to see, is called "Magnifiche Presenze" ("Magnificent Presences") by Ozpetek, a Turk, who has lived many years in Rome, where the film is set (in Italian, but with a video, I'll only reveal what is clear from the billboards: a young man somehow comes into contact with spirits from the 1940s. A dream-like film, gorgeous to see, too, that explores the relationship between reality and fiction, but with a delicate touch. I'd enjoy seeing it, again, and that's always a good sign.

Wandering in a dreamy state, we chanced by the theater where the other film that had interested us was playing, but another one looked even better, and was more personally significant: "La scomparsa di Patò" (The Disappearance of Patò), book and screenplay by a wonderful author, Camilleri,

Is it crazy to see two films, one right after the other? Who cares?! In the right place at the right time, we launched ourselves into that experience, too. I was very curious to see how the film transposed the narrative--expressed through a series of letters and newspaper clippings--into film. I won't spoil the surprise, I'll only say that--except for the more obvious spelling out of the ending, which in the book is more delicately and effectively left to the reader's imagination--it was a delightful expression of the story.

The two-day holiday (with a bit of work thrown in so as not to feel guilty!) came to a delicious end: oh, what a heavenly smell and colors...the wisteria is blooming on via Monte Santo - Monte Grappa.

I hope your Easter and Angel Monday were restful and significant, too.

These pictures were snapped on Easter Sunday and Angel Monday with you in mind for your personal, non-commercial pleasure.

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