Published: April 19th 2012April 19th 2012
“So, what did you do last weekend?” “Oh… we were in Milan!” Sounds cool doesn’t it?! Well, it was cool! Literally – it rained every day for the whole time we were there! But it didn’t completely hijack our plans, we still got to do and see heaps of cool stuff in the beautiful buzzing city that is Milan.
We arrived on Friday the 13th
(ooooo – maybe that’s why it was cursed and rained the whole time??) and checked into our hotel. We went straight out for a special dinner that night in the Navigli district, the canal area in Milan. The canals were constructed around 1177 to 1257 for transporting goods into the city, including the marble that was used to build the Duomo. Lots of them were filled in and became freeways and streets, but those that remain are now the centre of the funky area, Navigli. It’s full of cool stores, boutiques, cafes, restaurants and artistic workshops. We had booked our dinner at El Brellin, which is a really nice restaurant set in an old 1700’s laundry. Nick was, quote ‘amazed by the exposed roof trusses’. In fact, he said at one point, “this
roof is worse than having a widescreen TV in here” as far as distractions go.
As for the dinner itself, this was FABULOUS. Our equal first favourite meal of the whole trip (the other first would have to be our special beach-side restaurant in Thiland). Our meal consisted of: Zucchini Flower, Pork (PWORK!), Proscutto, Pink Tagliatalle, Black Truffle, Duck, Vegetarian Lasagne, Chocolate Cake, Apple Cake, Custard, bottle of Red Wine, Gin and Tonic x 5, Baileys x 5, Shots x ?..... Nick very sick! We had a great time! We were literally the first guests there for dinner that night and were very literally the last to leave. What a great bunch of people we met there that night!!
The next day was painful! And turned out to be a very sad day. I had bought Nick tickets to the soccer at San Siro Stadium – AC Milan v Genoa. This was going to be a huge surprise… We were on our way there and couldn’t find the entrance to the stadium, then we were confused by lots of people seemingly walking in the opposite direction – away from the stadium. We stopped a
couple who explained to us in broken English that a player had just died on the field. Therefore the game was off. We were in shock and the mood in the neighbourhood was VERY sombre. It was raining and gloomy and everyone walked with their heads down. Turned out it was Piermario Morosini, a 25 year old Italian player, who was playing in a different city. It had happened only 30 minutes prior, therefore all Italian games that weekend were cancelled in his honor. Horrible. His funeral was today.
On Sunday 25th
we went to see Leondaro da Vinci’s Last Supper at the Cenacolo – which was once a monastery. The painting is on the end wall of the dining hall of the building. We were VERY lucky to get to see it – we got the LAST tickets to the LAST Supper for that whole weekend. It’s so popular that you only get to view it for 15 minutes, which is very strictly enforced! It was also special because they only finished its 20 year restoration in 1999. The restoration was conducted as an “emergency operation” when flakes of the painting started to fall off in
1977. Despite the restoration it was fascinating to see the wall still cracked and cracks actually showing right up the table cloth of the dinner table. Because the painting is on the wall of the building it has aged with the building. It depicts the moment when Jesus tells the 12 Disciples that one of them will betray him (but before they know who it is) and the looks on all their faces and hand gestures are quite different – some look scared, others shocked, others angry, others defensive… You can determine your own interpretations when you see it yourself, but it was very interesting.
After that we went to the Duomo, Milan’s Cathedral. It’s a gothic style cathedral that took nearly six centuries to complete. There are actually army men who screen you on the way in for security, and a book store/merchandise stand in the middle of the church (inside) – all this was going on whilst the Sunday morning service took place. We then went to the Galleria Vittoria Emanuelle II, which is a fancy pants Highpoint. Actually it’s a bit nicer that Highpoint – it was designed in 1861 and took 15 years
That Wretched Roof
Nick is THE most easily distracted person you could ever have dinner with. If there is a television in the room, you have to make sure his back is to it. This roof was WORSE than a TV - he was absolutely fascinated by it!
to complete. It is home to Prada, LV, Gucci, Swarskovski and…. McDonalds! That night we went to Blue Note Jazz Bar and heard a three piece improv band including keyboard. Some of their tracks we really enjoyed, and others reminded us of the earth being under attack and being invaded by aliens! (not in a good way)
On Monday morning, while most of you suckers went to work, we went to the Armani Café for cocktails hehehe… We then spent the afternoon wandering around the ‘Golden Quad’ – the four streets that make up the designer district of the city. All the big labels are there and there’s even a D&G Beauty FARM (which for the record, we did not visit). We went into some of the stores for a laugh and I almost tried on a leather jacket that would be worth as much as a new car, until the shop assistant ended up being as rude as I expected, so we left. They were not impressed by us wearing sneakers (and so OBVIOUSLY not in the market for a designer leather jacket). We wrapped up the weekend in Milan by visiting a Hammam for a
massage which was a surprise for Nick. The perfect way to end our busy weekend!
There are more photos below