Friday, July 15, 2016

I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream!

In Italy, and hunting for some fantastic gelato?

This is the post for you!...More......

Run through the mouthwatering ice cream possibilities in this slide show looking for one in the town where you are, or, why not?!, plan your vacation around a tour of these 50 (plus one) 'gelaterie.' The site is in Italian, but the names of the stores and addresses are clear.

Why plus one?

Because they missed out on "Il Massimo del Gelato" (The Maximum/Maximillian of Gelato...the play on words between "maximum" and the founder's name is delightful) in Milan offering the thickest, creamiest, tastiest ice cream I think that I have ever tasted in my whole life.

They are opening an ice cream shop in Corso Magenta next to the Palazzo Litta, while their principal seat is in the Corso Sempione area at via Lodovico Castelvetro, 18.

That seat is open Tues-Sun noon-midnight, closed on Mondays (as lots of things that stay open in Italy on the weekends are).

You're going to thank me...but maybe your scales won't!


P.S., I rarely post pics that I haven't snapped, myself, but, heads-up, this tasty one comes from their website.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Alas, another train strike: from 9 PM today, 23 June, for 24 hours

There is lots of great stuff happening in's just that I'm hoppin' with work, so only have time to pass you bad news ... yet another national and local TRAIN strike. If you're not taking a train, you're good to go.

If you are taking a train, you'll be pretty much stuck from 9 PM, today, until one minute before 9 P.M., tomorrow. If you're in a rush, ask about the "pullman," the city-to-city busses. In fact, they sometimes are more convenient than the trains (from Milan to Siena, for example).

If that's all that's worrying you, you can skip the rest of this message...and I wish you good travelling.

If you want to stay updated about potential strikes of all kinds in Italy, ... ...More...

...and if you can read a bit of Italian, go to the official Ministry of Infrastructure "strikes" page by clicking here.

Even if you can't read Italian, here are a few hints and words that will help you.

First of all, when writing the date, Italians put the DAY before the MONTH: 23-06-2016. (It's easy to spot when the day number is higher than 12, but remember it when we're in the first couple of weeks of the month.) The web page has the STARTING date in the far left hand column. The END date is in the second to the left column.

Second, you'll need to look at the "sector" (settore) in the fourth from the left column. SECTORS: general (generale), plane (aereo), busses/trams/metro (trasporto pubblico locale), trains (ferroviario), boats (marittimo), cargo (trasporto merci), helicopters (elicotteri), taxi (taxi), roads--probably for the toll ones (circolazione e sicurezza stradale), cross-sector (intersettoriale) and finally Ncc (apparently: noleggio con conducente = car rental with a driver).

Third, you'll need to look at the "category" (categoria) in the middle column, as this is where you'll be able to see, for example, if the place YOU are interested in is involved (for example, if you scan the column entries, you'll see city and / or region names).

Fourth, the "modality" (modalità) column fourth from the right is where you'll see the times. Italy regulates itself on the 24-hour clock. (13:00 is 1 P.M., 14:00 is 2 P.M., etc. Once you get used to it, it's great.)

Finally, the "relevance" (rilevanza) column third from the right is where you'll see whether it's national (nazionale) or local (locale).

Unless you're versed in which union (sindacato) covers which field, that info in the third column from the left won't be helpful.

If you get brave, you can click on the two blue filter buttons in the upper left, and try to sort the news out by relevance (rilevanza) or sector (settore).

At the time of this writing, the RSS feed link wasn't working. (I've dropped them a line...although a lot of good that will probably do....).

Hope this is helpful! Bookmark it, so you have the info at hand for the next time...gotta run! Bye!

Sunday, June 5, 2016

Hurry! Free entry for a few more hours: Archaeological Museum, Milan

Free entry to museums every now and then is a nice thing. Our entry fee helps to sustain their activities, but who says "no" to a thank you freebie every once in a while?

Milan's Archaeological Museum is set up on an area that used to be part of the city's ancient imperial Roman walls and kidding...that later housed the city's most prestigious female monastery, eventually overseen by none other than a Sforza abbess.

Have you been, but a long time ago? Go, again. They've renewed the exhibits quite a bit over the last few years.

Archaeological Museum of Milan
Corso Magenta, 15 (in Italian)
Tues-Sun, 9:00 A.M.-5:30 P.M. (last entry, 5:00 P.M.)

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Rain, Rain, go away... well, no, stay for a bit...

Rain is predicted for a few days. It's true, it can clean the air, but it is a bit of a hassle in the city. The fields need the rain, though, and the snow packs need to be rejuvenated to give us water throughout the rest of the year.

Hunker down, put on rain coats and galoshes, and just tough it out.

As my dad says, "You're not made of sugar. You won't melt."

Sugar and spice and everything nice...


Friday, April 29, 2016

Breaking News: Piazza Cordusio problematical from 4 to 8+ PM

The nice traffic lady of our morning news just let slip the news: Piazza Cordusio will be a sticky mess (not quite her words), today, from 4 to 8 P.M. (and after), thanks to a protest gathering.

Visiting the city, and need a hint for how to cross the piazza? Easy peasy: take the MM1 red metro line from the Duomo to Cairoli (the Piazza Castello stop).

The last couple of days have been gorgeous, cold, but gorgeous, notwithstanding the weatherman's prediction of clouds. Hope we get more of the same, today.

Bring your umbrella, rain is on the way for the weekend. (How do the weather gods do that? When it has to rain - and we're glad it does - it seems it always rains on the weekend.)


Monday, April 25, 2016

Gorgeous day at the Sforza Castle in Milan

Gorgeous day...Sunday...long weekend (so feeling relatively guilt-free about not starting the preparation of the following week's lessons)...first thought? Photos at the lovely Milanese castle. Here's...More...

...the front façade facing toward the city.

The original kernel was a gate on the ancient Roman walls around the city, protecting the city from invasion from without.

In the Middle Ages, under the Visconti family, it was enlarged, and became a military fortress, protecting the city from without, but also serving as a last resort to protect the Visconti (who still lived in the ducal palace next to the Duomo) from the Milanese. Decidedly a change.

Having married the Visconti heiress (as a woman, unable to take political control) and being one of the time's most powerful and successful generals-for-hire, Francesca Sforza added these round (a then new development, which better deflected the then still stone cannon balls) defensive towers. If you look under the Sforza heraldic crest, you'll see that the rustication still shows damage from cannon balls. (Some of the stone cannon balls are on display in the inner moats of the castle; when cannon balls became made of iron towards the end of the 15th century -- this innovation was introduced by the invading French -- this kind of fortress was no longer able to withstand the blows, and so military architecture and defensive strategy had to change. Nevertheless, this castle, to which further defensive structures continued to be added over the centuries, was considered fact, it was a traitor that let the invading French in. The story of its fate in the 19th century is for another day.)

In the 3rd quarter of the 15th century, under the Sforza family, part of it was transformed to house the princely quarters (a sign of the duke's nervousness, but also the cause of some lovely frescoes and a beautiful court in the palace area of the fortress).

Towards the end of the 15th century after the assassination of the duke, the duchess Bona of Savoy - mother of the rightful heir, still a minor - built this defensive tower over the entrance that leads from the large military grounds inside the castle to a smaller, more easily defendable part of the castle. Didn't work. Her brother-in-law, a younger brother of the murdered duke, took over, and reigned until he, too, was dethroned, this time by the invading French.

In the meantime...those are my translations on the info panels scattered throughout the open grounds of the castle! They are still there after yea so many years. What a satisfaction.

Monday morning hugs to all,


P.S., Pooh on those who say, in error, that Milan is a gray industrial city with bad weather and nothing to see!

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Marathon messes up street level traffic from 8 AM to 5 PM - Sunday 3 April 2016

Marathon messes up street level traffic from 8 AM to 5 PM - Sunday 3 April 2016.

Title says it all.


Hope to have better news, soon.
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