Thursday, January 23, 2020

A Trip to Milano to See a Museum for the First Time

Wednesday, 22 January, 2020

I had the desire to do a little traveling today but I had no clear cut idea what to go and see.

I headed down the street to the Bar al Semaforo for my morning cappuccino and to peruse the daily La Gazzetta dello Sport still looking for some clarity to my problem. 

Voilà, problem solved . . .

The lead article was all about
planned improvements to the
historic San Siro stadium

San Siro is the home to both of Milano's Serie A teams, Inter Milan and AC Milan.

Last year I had read about AC Milan's gleaming Casa Milan headquarters and museum but had not visited the facility. Inspired by the San Siro story, I opted to visit Casa Milan today.

Sun bathing in January in Milano
is never a good idea

A spiral hilltop just made for
a physical fitness test

I opted to keep walking on flat ground.

Casa Milan did indeed gleam

Of course they had a merchandise
store begging me to shop

Why not take a peek?

The men running out of that
pillar were worrisome

But enough about the store, I was not in a buying mood and wanted to see what would prove to be the most interesting AC Milan . . .

. . . the Museum was that-a-way

It held 121 years of AC Milan history

When founded by an Englishman,
Herbert Kilpin, in 1899, it was a
Cricket Club as well as a football club

Good reasoning in deciding
on the new club's colors

No word on how old this
particular banner might be

Entering the time chamber
of AC Milan history

Year-by-year seasons listed on the floor with information about each year on the left wall. The better the season, the more elaborate the season recap.

Don't you just hate it when a
World War interferes with your season

Maybe this game helped fill the void

Another World War, another
of those pesky interruptions

Again it happened

The first step back to normalcy

There were many of these
medallions on display

Winning a National Championship
is a great way to celebrate your
100th year of existence

The end?

The 2013/14 season was the last one described in the museum's time room, I guess not much has happened in the last six seasons of AC Milan history.

Actually, there was really no more space in this room for more seasons to be added over time. A bit of poor planning in an otherwise excellent museum.

A listing of the many championship
trophies that AC Milan has won

Let's check out a few of them.

1993 Italian League Super Cup

1951 Latin Cup

2004/04 Italian League Champions

1968/69 European Champion Clubs' Cup

A futuristic design fit right
in with the city of Milan's vibe

The Pallonne d'Oro is awarded
annually to the World's Best Player

I was enjoying my visit

Interesting old school cleats

A bit closer to today's cleats

AC Milan's impish mascot

I was pleased with today's museum experience but it was time to move on.

In front of Milano's
Cadorna Train Station

Given Milano's long standing leadership in the world of fashion, this huge needle and thread statue makes a lot of sense.

I opted to walk over to the nearby Sforza Castle to see if it was still standing.

This side wall still looked
solid to me

This entrance is the closest
one to the train station

The inside of the castle
looked serene as usual

Looking out through
the castle's main entrance

The Sforza Castle's entry tower

The Sforza Castle looked great
on this beautiful day

Via Dante is the main street
leading away from the Sforza Castle's
main entrance

I just had to stop in to
see if there was a new book
that I needed to purchase

There was, it was a good day.

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

A Good Lunch and a GREAT Practice

Tuesday, 21 January, 2020

One of the great things about the last 12 years being involved in EuroBall has been the many wonderful people that I've met while coaching American football in Italy, Sweden, Switzerland, France, Spain, Austria and Mexico.

One of these dear people is a young man from the Czech Republic named Honza Rauš who has been a key part of the dominant Prague Black Panthers program.  I first had the pleasure of coaching Honza, an outstanding offensive lineman, during a Europe Warriors game in Chihuahua, Mexico in the Summer of 2018.

In the late Fall of 2019, I teamed up with Honza twice again through the Europe Warriors program as we coached together, first in a U18 game in Vienna and then in a Women's game in Mexico City.

Honza made the conscious and solid decision to spread his wings a bit in 2020 and joined one of France's premier teams, the Thonon Black Panthers, as a player.

Apparently, Honza is a big fan of black panthers in general.

This week his new Black Panthers squad had some sort of media event and I was happy to see that Honza opted to look his best for the assembled reporters.

"Every woman's crazy
'bout a sharp dressed man!"
ZZ Top

Cool bow tie!

Europe Warriors Athletic Director
Bart Iaccarino's reaction to Honza's
photo captured all of our thoughts on
first seeing the "new" Honza

Meanwhile, back in Varese . . .

I had to wonder, as I strolled through Varese's downtown, if William Shakespeare had used Varese instead of Verona for his acclaimed play Romeo and Juliet, which of these two would have he chosen for the famous balcony scene?

I like the simpler
colors of this one . . .

. . . over the more elegant patterns
of this one

Agree or disagree?

We really need a vastly improved
address number above our doorway
in Camarillo

A good example of the Liberty style
architecture that is so prevalent
throughout Lombardia

I had received a message from Skorpions Board Member Enzo Petrillo earlier in the morning to meet him for lunch today at 1:00 p.m. to discuss some team related issues.

How could I possibly refuse?

Enzo drove me out to a new place for me to dine, the Ristorante Olona "Da Venanzio" which first opened in 1922.

Enzo said that this spot served
great risotto with quails legs

So we each ordered a serving. 

Enzo knows his food!

This is an amazing ristorante that did not disappoint us at all.

What's all this?

The large blue bowl was full of cherries in a syrupy sauce.

The small plate on the right had a large jar of thick, rich chocolate with three smaller jars of cinnamon powder, chocolate powder and a third powder that I don't recall.

They were fixings for this home made
vanilla ice cream that they we shared
for dessert

Now, THIS is the way to serve
a chocolate sundae with style

Oh my!

That did it, I was done eating for the day.

That is no small feat for a fine ristorante like this one to humble me so thoroughly.

Mentioned in the
Michelin Guide in 2017

The "Da Venanzio" will be mentioned in all future Contreras Guides to be sure!

In the evening, I struggled to get my fully sated off the couch to attend our Skorpions Prima Squadra workout.

We had 45 passionate players
at tonight's practice

One-on-ones went well with
lots of spirited competition

During team time, our Offensive Line
showed good improvement

The consistency that we need to win games is still not there but we are heading in the right direction.

I liked our Defense's relentless
pursuit to the ball tonight

I love our attitude and effort, we got better tonight.