TRIP ALLA MILANESE / prima parte

I do not know about you, but my birthday is always at the same time. In the end of January, which is not the best time to travel, but when you live in northern Europe then any trip to the south is more than welcoming. So, I booked us a trip to Milan, Italy.

The warm sun and 11 degree temperature that we experienced that Sunday convinced me Milan was a good choice for a birthday destination. Btw. Debeli had no idea where we were going ‘til the very end (he found out at the airport).

Usualy when we go on a trip, I’m in charge of art and culture (boring), and Debelis main occupation is food (fun part). This time my part of the deal was (partially) ready, while Debeli was clueless about what and where we were going to eat. But we still had a good time. And some amazing food.

Already on our arrival we had a warm welcome from this capital of Lombardy. There are fast trains that run from Malpensa airport to the city center that costs 13 euro and a cheaper option like regional trains. I’m not going to nag about the fact that the lady at the counter sold me ticket for Malpensaexpress despite my request for regional train. That’s OK. I already had in mind this kind of situations. The problem occurred when our express train was first delayed and than completely removed from the display…and the train tracks. Replacement train was the regional one. Benvenuti in Italia!

On Monday we took a free walking tour around the city center that lasted about 3.5 hours with a short break. Our guide Maurizio was so interesting and enthusiastic that the time passed in a moment. First stop was the Palazzo dei Giureconsulti located on Piazza dei Mercanti. The palace was designed by Vincenzo Seregni in the 16th century, and it was first used as the seat for the Senate and Judicial Institute. Today it’s a place where Chamber of Economy is situated.

Palazzo is not as much interesting as a four-headed sculpture in the niche. But why four? Well, over the centuries on the Renaissance body, four “people” have been altered/have changed. The first statue represented a female figure of Justice and after that the role took over Spanish King Philip II as an allegory of prudency. Next was Marcus Iunius Brutus, one of Caesars assassins, who than was replaced by Saint Ambrosius, the patron of the city. The ancient Romans are well known for recycling the monuments, but I haven’t seen anything like this.

In the center of the square is a well from the 16th century, framed by two pillars set two centuries later. Once there was a big panel that was covering the well (pietra dei falliti/ broken panel). Upon that stone, the guilty ones of bancrupcy (hence the name) took of their clothes for their reckless moves.

On the left is the medieval Loggia degli Osii, which first served as an administrative headquarters and than as a prestigious high school, the Baroque Palazzo delle Scuole Palatine

Milan is considered to be an economic center of the Apennine Peninsula, and the symbol of Italian economy. All of the financial activities of Republic of Italy are at the Piazza degli Affari. The seat of the Milan Stock Exchange was founded at the beginning of the 19th century, and in 2010 a sculpture by contemporary artist Maurizio Cattelan was set up in front of the building. A hand with the four fingers cut off and a raised finger in the middle, as a warning to the bankers, was simply called L.O.V.E. It’s an acronym for Italian words libertà, odio, vendetta, eternità (freedom, hatred, vengeance, eternity). The sculpture was supposed to be there for two weeks only, but thanks to the former cultural adviser, architect, urbanist and a politician Stefano Boeri, the sculpture is still standing. With this economic situation in the world, I reckon the sculpture is going to have a successful and blessed future.

Ancient remains of Mediolanum, once important part of the Roman Empire

The tour led us near the Sforzesco Castle and Pinacoteca Brera, to which we returned two days later. Next stop was world-famous opera house Teatro alla Scala. The season begins every December the 7th, the day when the citys patron Saint Ambrosius is celebrated. All of the performances have to end before midnight so longer operas begin earlier in the evening.

Leonardo da Vinci looking at The Scala

La Scala was originally illuminated with 84 oil lamps mounted on the stage and another thousand in the rest of the theater. To prevent the risk of fire, several rooms were filled with hundreds of water buckets. In time, oil lamps were replaced by gas lamps and finally these were replaced by electric lights by the end of 19th century.

Palazzo Marino

One of the richest chandeliers in the main hall was long believed to be made out of crystal, but in fact it’s a plexiglass chandelier. This type of material is way cheaper and, most important, lighter, otherwise the ceiling would collapse on the audience.

Close to the theatre is Milanos second famous attraction: Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II. The first is, of course, Il Duomo (the cathedral). The Gallery is in fact one of the oldest shopping malls in the world.

Piazza del Duomo
Piazza del Duomo

Built in the middle of the 19th century, it houses some of the most famous fashion brands, three of them being real Milaneses. We’re talking about Prada, Armani and Versace. The Holy Trinity of the Italian high fashion.

Architecturally the Gallery, that was called after the first king of the Kingdom of Italy, is very similar to the octogon in Zagreb, Croatia that was built somewhat later. The structure consists of two glass-vaulted arcades intersecting in an octagon covering the street connecting Piazza del Duomo to Piazza della Scala.

The floor is covered with mosaics portraying the coat of arms of the three capitals of the Kingdom of Italy (Turin, Florence and Rome) plus Milan’s. Tradition says that if a person spins around three times with a heel on the testicles of the bull from the Turin coat of arms this will bring good luck. That’s legend, but the reality is a bit different. This practice causes great damage to the mosaic as there’s a huge hole now in the place of the bull’s genitals.

The Gallery is commonly known as the Milan’s lounge (il salotto di Milano) since this is a very popular shopping and dining place. No matter the restaurants in the Gallery serve pricy food, the Italians and the tourists comes for the pizza and so did we. Ended up hungry almost but everything worked fine in the end. What we did eat at the pizzeria on the fourth floor of the Gallery, you can read in a special text dedicated to the Milanese cuisine.

Fun fact is that some of the oldest restaurants are right here (Biffi Caffè from 1867, Ristorante Savini and Art Nouveau classic Camparino) but all of them, together with the shops, have to respect strict rules when it comes to representation. The names of all of the brands have to be written in black on gold surfaces. And that went even for McDonald’s that was there for 20 years before getting kicked out for not being sophisticated enough.

In front of the Gallery, in the Piazza del Duomo, you’ll find massive gothic cathedral as described by the Google maps 🙂 This six hundred years old church dedicated to St Mary of the Nativity (Santa Maria Nascente) is considered to be the biggest church in Italy and the third in the world. The church is built out of brick, and the façade is covered with white marble. The plan is a Latin cross with five naves divided by 40 columns.

The sculpture of the Virgin Mary that stands on top of the church together with its spear is the tallest statue in Milan. None of the other buildings in the city can be taller than 108 meters where Madonnina stands

Threethousands and four hundred sculptures and over seven hundred figures in high relief makes this cathedral very impressive both on the inside and the outside, but we didn’t bother going inside. There were some other interesting stuff that should be seen. Like this:

We all know that the Italians are great car makers, especially when it comes to the design. But, at the same time, their traffic is a nightmare. Milan is the Italy’s worst city considering traffic. It ranks tenth place in Europe for wasted time. Milanese drivers waste an average of 52 hours a year – nearly seven working days – locked into traffic-jams, twice as long as in Cagliari, Italy’s second most congested city, reveals the annual Imrex Score Card.

Even though you can use public transportation like underground, tram, bus and trolleybus, there are still way too much of personal cars and mopeds. There is no parking space in the evening and going across the green pedestrian light is like an insult to a car driver. It’s just crazy!

Even more crazy is Milan’s complicated metro system that no one understands, except the service people at ATM Milano (azienda trasporti milanesi) who are kind to give you the right ticket. If you ask them in Italian, of course. Note to others; since I speak Italian we didn’t test much of English while in Milan.

Anyways, while in Rome or Milan do as the Milanese do and hop onto some interurban traffic and go outside the city, just to feel the traffic vibe 🙂 You can go, as we did, for a visit to Alfa Romeo museum in Arese that is some 20 kilometers away from the city center of Milan.

La macchina del tempo – Museo Storico Alfa Romeo has been completely renovated and opened in 2015. The Alfa Romeo Museum spans over six floors where you can find out about past, present and future of this extraordinary brand, its vehicles, its technology and style.

The exhibition is split into three categories: the first being Timeline with 19 models that illustrate the development of the brand and show how Alfa Romeo became an Italian legend.

On the ground floor, you’ll find the great divas displayed under the title Beauty while in the basement the curators exhibited the models that capture Alfa’s racing history, which goes under the slogan of Speed.

1900 Super Sprint, 1954

We were mesmerized by each and every model of the car; being that the first A.L.F.A. from 1910 or some of the cars represented in cult movies. Definitely, a worthwhile visit:


MILANO / prvi dio

Ne znam za vas, ali moj rođendan pada svake godine u isto vrijeme. Početkom godine, u siječnju, koje nije baš najpovoljnije vrijeme za putovanje, ali kad živite na sjeveru Europe onda vam se bilo koje putovanje u južnije krajeve omili kao proljetno sunce. Uostalom, tako nam je i bilo četiri dana u Milanu. Sunce i temperatura od 11 stupnjeva, koji su nas dočekali tu siječanjsku nedjelju kad smo sletjeli, bili su i više nego dovoljni da me uvjere da sam odabrala dobru destinaciju za rođendansko putovanje. Btw. Debeli nije znao kud idemo sve do dolaska na aerodrom 🙂

Inače kad idemo na putovanja ja sam zadužena za umjetnost i kulturu (dosadno), a Debeli za hranu (zabavni dio). Ovaj put moj dio bio je (djelomično) spreman, dok se Debeli našao u nebranom grožđu. No, svejedno smo se dobro najeli…ovaj…proveli 🙂

Već na samom dolasku, ovaj glavni grad Lombardije, priredio nam je finu dobrodošlicu. Naime, s aerodroma Malpensa vozi brzi vlak (skuplji) i regionalni (jeftiniji). Neću ni spominjati da mi je teta na blagajni, usprkos mom zahtjevu za regionalnim vlakom, prodala karte za Malpensaexpress od 13 eura. No, dobro. Non c’è nessun problema, ionako sam u budžet uračunala ovakve greške u koracima, ali ono što me vratilo u stvarnost bio je brzi vlak koji je isprva kasnio, a onda su ga kompletno maknuli s displeja. I tračnica. Jer smo se do centra odvezli regionalnim vlakom. Benvenuti in Italia!

Via Pietro Calvi

Ponedjeljak je bio rezerviran za besplatnu turu i šetnju užim dijelom centra koja je trajala oko 3,5 sata s pauzom, no vodič Maurizio je bio tako zanimljiv i entuzijastičan da nam je vrijeme proletjelo u trenu, a usput smo saznali brdo interesantnih informacija. Prva postaja bila je smještena na Piazza dei Mercanti. Palaču je projektirao Vincenzo Seregni u 16. stoljeću, a ista je isprva služila kao sjedište instituta za senatore i suce da bi danas tu bilo smješteno središte Gospodarske komore.

Palača ko palača – toranj, sat, pročelje, kolonada, stubište, znate i sami, niš posebno. No zanimljiva je priča oko statue u niši od milja nazvane: skulptura s četiri glave. Zašto četiri? Zato što su se tijekom stoljeća na renesansnom tijelu izmijenile četiri ”osobe”/personifikacije. Prvo je statua predstavljala ženski lik Pravde da bi potom ulogu preuzeo španjolski kralj Filip II kao alegorija Razboritosti. Osoba C bila je Marcus Iunius Brutus, urotnik i jedan od ubojica diktatora Julija Cezara da bi na kraju uloga pripala Svetom Ambroziju, zaštitniku grada. Inače, stari Rimljani poznati su po reciklaži spomenika, ali ovdje je ta karakteristika došla do svog vrhunca.

U središtu trga nalazi se bunar iz 16. stoljeća, kojeg uokviruju dva stupa postavljena dva stoljeća kasnije. Na bunaru se nekad nalazio veliki kamen koji se nazivao ”pietra dei falliti” ili ”kamen bankrota” jer su se na njemu poduzetnici krivi za bankrot svlačili do gola zbog svojih nesmotrenih poteza. Zamislite našeg Konzum Ivicu tako. Bolje od spaljivanja Rade na pokladama 🙂

S lijeve strane je srednjovjekovna Loggia degli Osii koja je služila administrativno sjedište dok se na nju nastavlja, nekadašnja prestižna visoka škola, barokna Palazzo delle Scuole Palatine.

Milano se smatra ekonomskim središtem apeninskog poluotoka, a simbol cjelokupnih financijskih aktivnosti Italije nalazi se na Piazza degli Affari. Sjedište milanske burze utemeljeno je početkom 19. stoljeća, a 2010. godine ispred zgrade je postavljena skulptura suvremenog umjetnika Maurizia Cattelana. Ruka s odrezanim prstima i podignutim srednjakom kao opomena gramzivim bankarima nazvana je jednostavno L.O.V.E. (ljubav), ali se radi o akronimu za talijanske riječi libertà, odio, vendetta, eternità (sloboda, mržnja, osveta, vječnost). Skulptura je isprva trebala biti postavljena samo dva tjedna, ali zahvaljujući tadašnjem savjetniku za kulturu, arhitektu, urbanistu i političaru Stefanu Boeriju, skulptura se i dan danas nalazi na svom mjestu. S ovim stanjem u svijetu, predviđam joj uspješnu i blagoslovljenu budućnost.

Antički ostaci Mediolanuma, nekad važnog dijela Rimskog Carstva
Castello Sforzesco

Tura nas je potom provela pokraj utvrde Castello Sforzesco i Pinacotece Brera, kojima smo se mi vratili dva dana kasnije, da bi se zaustavili ispred svjetski poznate operne kuće Teatro alla scalla. Sezona u kazalištu počinje sedmog prosinca, na dan gradskog zaštitnika svetog Ambrozija, a sve izvedbe moraju završiti prije ponoći tako da dugačke operne predstave započinju ranije navečer. Scalu su, u početku, osvjetljavale i ukrašavale uljne lampe, a da bi se spriječio eventualni požar, nekoliko pokrajnjih soba bilo je krcato kantama vode. S vremenom uljne lampe su zamijenile plinske, a krajem 19. stoljeća u kazalište su konačno postavljena električna svjetla.

Leonardo da Vinci nadgleda Scalu

Jedan od vrijednijih lustera, šandolijera, za koji se dugo vremena vjerovalo da je rađen od kristala, zapravo je napravljen od pleksiglasa, koji je jefitiniji, ali i lakši, inače bi se strop srušio na publiku.

Palazzo del Duomo
Konjanička statua prvog talijanskog kralja

U neposrednoj blizini teatra nalazi se druga najpoznatija turistička atrakcija: Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II. Prva je, dakako, Il Duomo. Gallerija je zapravo jedan od najstarijih šoping centara na svijetu.

Sagrađena sredinom 19. stoljeća danas udomljuje neke od najpoznatijih modnih marki, od kojih su tri pravi starosjedioci. Govorimo, naime, o Pradi, Armaniju i Versaceu. Sveto trojstvo talijanske visoke mode.

Arhitektonski gledano, galerija podsjeća na zagrebački oktogon sagrađen nešto kasnije, ali po uzoru na milansku konstrukciju koja se sastoji od niza arkada koje se sjeku pod pravim kutem nad kojim se diže predivna staklena kupola.

Pod galerije

Pod galerije, nazvane po prvom kralju Kraljevine Italije, prekriven je mozaicima koji prikazuju grbove Milana, Rima, Torina i Firence. Legenda kaže da ako se osobi koja se tri puta zavrti oko svoje osi dok stoji na bikovim jajima smješi sreća. Stvarnost je ipak malo drugačija, a ona kaže da to donosi samo veliko oštećenje samom mozaiku. I bikovim jajima.

Galerija se, u žargonu, naziva milanskim salonom obzirom da se tu najčešće dolazi u šoping ili na klopu i to najčešće na pizzu. Mi smo ciljano došli na pizzu na četvrtom katu galerije iako je malo falilo da odemo gladni. Kako nam je bilo, tj što smo jeli pročitat ćete u posebnom tekstu posvećenom milanskoj hrani.

Ono što je zanimljivo, osim činjenice da se neki od najstarijih restorana nalaze upravo ovdje (Biffi Caffè iz 1867 te restorani Savini i Art Nouveau classic Camparino) jest da sve trgovine moraju poštovati stroga prezentacijska pravila koja nalaže Galerija. Tako se nazivi brendova pišu isključivo zlatnim slovima na crnoj podlozi što je morao učiniti i McDonaldsov restoran kad je unajmio prostor na jednom od četiri ugla u centru Galerije. Nakon punih 20 godina prodaje burgera u srcu zemlje pašte i pizze Miki D je dobio nogu. Jer nije dovoljno sofisticiran, a na njegovo mjesto došla je druga Pradina trgovina. Mislim da je to sasvim ok, zar ne?

Nasuprot Galerije na istoimenoj Piazzi uzdiže se veličanstvena milanska katedrala posvećena Uznesenju Marijinom. Ova, šesto godina stara, građevina prva je najveća crkva u Italiji i treća u svijetu. Katedrala je građena od opeke, a fasada je prekrivena bijelim mramorom. Osnova crkve je latinski križ s pet brodova koji su razdvojeni s 40 stupova.

Tri tisuće i četiri stotine skulptura te preko više od sedamsto figura rađenih u visokom reljefu, čine ovu katedralom veličanstvenom ne samo izvana nego i iznutra. Iako smo se četiri dana vrtili kao mačke oko vruće kaše, na kraju nismo ušli unutra. Trebalo je vidjeti i nešto drugo osim kulture i umjetnosti 🙂

Alfa Romeo C4

Svi znamo da su Talijani sjajni proizvođači automobila, ako ne u njihovoj kvaliteti, onda barem u dizajnu. Tu im nema premca. Kao što im nema premca ni u prometnom kaosu. Statistika kaže da prosječni stanovnik grada provede barem 52 sata godišnje u prometnoj gužvi, čak više nego u Cagliariju (glavni grad Sardinije), koji je drugi najnapučeniji grad na poluotoku. U Milanu se možete voziti podzemnom, tramvajem, autobusima, trolejbusima, osobnim automobilima ili mopedima. Nema čega nema. A parking mjesta navečer uopće nema. Običaj je da se auto parkira van brzine tako da se susjedni auto lakše isparkira; samo vas malo pogura i izmigolji s mjesta. Inteligencija, jel da? 🙂

A kad smo već kod inteligencije tu vam nema puno pomoći kad želite putovati malo izvan grada, kao što smo mi išli posjetiti Muzej Alfa Romeo koji se nalazi u Areseu, nekih dvadesetak kilometara od Milana.

Prazan i beskonačno dugi pothodnik metroa

La macchina del tempo – Museo Storico Alfa Romeo (Auto vremena – Alfa Romeo povijesni muzej) otvoren je 2015. godine nakon renovacije, a posvećen je stoljetnoj tradiciji brenda Alfa Romea čija proizvodnja uključuje automobile, lokomotive, traktore, autobuse, tramvaje, motore za brodove i avione.

Muzej se prostire na više od četiri tisuće kvadratnih metara, a šest katova je podijeljeno na četiri tematska dijela uključujući povijest tvrtke od prvih automobila iz 1910. do Bondovih auta iz snova.

Do samog muzeja nije komplicirano doći. Ako ste spremni na avanturu 🙂 Druga stvar je što vam baš nitko neće biti siguran koju prijevoznu kartu morate koristiti, osim stričeka u ATM Milano (azienda trasporti milanesi) u poslovnici na metro stanici Il Duomo. Oni tamo (gotovo) sve znaju, a pod sve mislim složenu strukturu milanskih urbanih i interurbanih prijevoznih zona koje uvjetuju cijenu karte.

Jednom kad prođete sve peripetije putovanja i promijenite metro i lokalni bus (zamislite da putujete iz Zagreba u Zaprešić s lokalnim busom koji staje na svakom raskrižju, ali ne i vašem). Na vašem križanju misteriozno skrene krivo, pa pješačite pol kilometara po cesti u nadi da vas ludi Talijan ne bu zgazil…ček ček jesmo li mi u Italiji ili Hrvatskoj? 🙂 Uglavnom, nakon avanture čeka vas La grande bellezza:

Giulietta Spider Prototipo, 1955

2600 Sprint, 1962 / Giulia 1962
Montreal, 1970
Prototipo 1965

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