Thursday, February 22, 2018

111 Places in Milan That You Must Not Miss . . . Getting Started

Wednesday, 21 February, 2018

I just flat out needed t0 get out of the Villa Skorpion today . . .

 It was cold when I woke
up but it would turn out to
be a nice winter day in Milan

 I thought that I would
start to attack this list

First off, I realized that  had already seen eight of the sights in the book, namely . . .

#15 Cattelan's L.O.V.E.
The rude gesture

#17 Cimitero Monumentale
A walk among Milan's most
renowned families

#34 Gallerie d'Italia
In the vaults of the bank

#78 San Maurizio al Monastero
The "Sistine Chapel" of Milan

#87 Sforza Castle
A breathtaking view from the battlements

#88 The Steam Factory
A cultural center for the arts

#91 The Talisman at the Galleria
That bull's got lucky balls

#94 Toti
A submarine in the heart of the city

So I headed to . . .

#24 The Devil's Column
The mysteries of the Basilica of Saint Ambrogio

Located outside of the consecrated grounds of the Basilica, I had noticed it on my previous trip to the Basilica of Saint Ambrogio but took no special note of it.

Now I know, the rest of the story . . .

The column dates back to the 2nd-century and is Corinthian in style.

Legend has it that St. Ambrogio, the Bishop of Milan, defeated the devil incarnate on this very spot.

The legend further states that Satan unwittingly rammed the column with his horns during the skirmish with Milan's beloved Bishop.

Satan's Horns punched these
two holes in the aptly named
Devil's Column!

The devil has a narrow head methinks

Placing your fingers in these two holes is said to be good luck. We have our season opener this coming Saturday night, so sure I took a shot!

The Milanese attribute magical powers to this column, saying it can also cure reptile bites.

Besides luck on Game Day, I'm hoping that touching the two holes is some kind of insurance against a future rattlesnake bite while revisiting California's Calico Ghost Town someday.

The Basilica's Courtyard
with a bevy of art students
studying the architecture

This column inside the Basilica
is the Devil's Column's sister column

Another legend has it that the snake atop this column was forged by Moses himself during his 40 years wandering the desert refusing to ask anyone for directions.

We Catholics are full of fun stories like these!

An ancient cross in the
Basilica's Courtyard

Near the Basilica, the backside of
the Monument to Milan's War Dead

Same Monument, Front Side

It was closed the last time I walked by here but the gates were open today so I entered.

Saint Ambrogio
Patron Saint of Milan
watching over the city's fallen

An Eternal Flame

With Carlo Colombo
Today's Honor Guard at the
Monument to Milan's War Dead

Quite the hat Carlo was sporting!

Carlo is 76 years young and full of enthusiasm!

He gave me a quick rundown about the history of the Monument in a mix of about 25% English to 75% Italian.

We communicated well as it turned out.

It was closing time as I entered the Monument but Carlo said not to worry, he would close the gate but stay until I was done.

His story about visiting New York on Columbus Day years ago when people found out about his last name was a good one.

Good on his word, he gates were closed and he was waiting for me. We visited for about ten minutes before I finally left the Monument.

Carlo is a great guy but that hat of his might be greater!

Speaking of Men's Headgear . . .

On to another sight . . .

#64 Palazzo Imperiale
When Milan was capital of the Roman Empire

From 286 to 404 A.D., Milan was the capital of the Western Roman Empire.  

Not much is left of the old capital

Most of the old buildings were recycled by the Christians to build their churches in later years. 

A random tower near
the Palazzo Imperiale

 As I was in the neighborhood,
I had to revisit #15 Cattelan's L.O.V.E.

A one finger salute to Milan's Stock Exchange Building or Borsa.

Near the Borsa

Also near the Borsa

I was getting hungry, so I decided to kill two birds with one stone . . . 

But not here

Why did I have to stumble upon this delicious Parisian establishment?

Because it was right across the street from . . .

#68 Peck
The "impeckable" deli owner

Noted for its traditional Italian recipes, Peck is the pride of Lombard gastronomy.

Francesco Peck, a merchant from Prague, opened a small deli in the city in 1883 that bore his name.

While many Milanese were skeptical then of this new deli, today it is an institution in the city.

Let's take a look . . .

Looks . . .

. . . Good!

Looks . . .

. . . GREATER!

All sorts of herbal teas on sale

Colorful produce is a must

A Vintage 1930
meat slicing machine

A ate a pricey but excellent lasagna for lunch at Peck, good times indeed!

Keep Laurie away from this spot
at ALL costs

Four unhappy men

Attacking Sforza Castle?

The Pope runs a ristorante and
pizzeria joint on the side?

#34 Gallerie d'Italia

The old bank building turned into a fascinating art museum that I visited last week.

That reminds me, I have to buy
a digital scale soon

Vixens at play

Sounds on the old #1 Tram

Walter Mitty would love the constant " . . . ta pocketa, pocketa . . ." sounds.

I know I did.

#11 The Cannocchiale
A view through the arches

Local refer to this view as the Cannocchiale or telescope.

It is the telescoping view from the Peace Arch through Parco Sempione to Sforza Castle.

The yellow tram was an added bonus.

The Peace Arch up close

#93 Torre Branca
The Fernet terrace

Known originally as the Torre Littoria, it was built in 1933 in only 68 days but its design was way ahead of its time. 

In 2002 the Branca family of Fernet liquor fame financed the tower's restoration. The top floor has a terrace perfect for sipping a glass of Fernet I am told.

Boules? Pétanque? Bocce?

I'm guessing this game in Italy is called bocce, similar to the games I've seen all over Europe under different names.

Fun to watch but I've never played a game on the Continent.

Lots of arguing is an Italian
must in any social endeavor

WATCH OUT for that heavy metal bocce ball incoming high and to our left!

You should have aimed it over here!

It was another good day in
northern Italy for some exercise


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