Sunday, May 31, 2015

Italian handicrafts display in the historic downtown of Milan, today 31 May, from 10 AM to 7 PM

Enjoy a lovely spring day and traditional Italian handicrafts, today, in historic downtown Milan's Palazzo Giureconsulti from 10 A.M. to 7 P.M.

Don't know where that is?

Head to the piazza del Duomo, look......More...... the direction of the Sforza Castle, spot the late Renaissance building on the corner with a tall tower, and head to it. You're there!

Entrance is free, and you'll have the chance to see live demonstrations, talk with the artisans and, ahem, even buy their great stuff.

Take the kids so they can be inspired and informed while having fun.

Go on, be prepared for once for upcoming birthdays and that last-minute unexpected gift!

Want more info AND you read Italian? Here's the MilanoToday article.


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.

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