This morning my multi-lingual, 20-something, French, German and American friends and I took a historical tour of Milano. Tramming it in the rain (which I explained is a welcome weather scenario for a South African) our tour guide peppered us with fascinating information about the Duomo (the 7th largest cathedral in the world – the biggest in the world is in Africa on the Ivory Coast which made my American friends high-five me as the sole representative of the whole of the African continent here in Milano). We then visited the Castello Sforzesco, home to numerous museums featuring everything from paintings to jewellery.
We hot-footed it back to Piazza Duomo to join the ever-present queue outside Luini to indulge in their renowned panzerotti. The girls and I decided, after our rainy morning walk across the city and attentive historical education, that we needed both savoury AND sweet panzerotti which meant we ordered pomodoro e mozzarella (tomato and cheese) as well as fragola e cioccolato (strawberry and chocolate) panzerotti. We swallowed these whole to the sound of Italian electric guitar playing in the piazza under the gothic luminance of the Duomo.
I then caught the tram back to Bocconi in time to catch the Chinese and Australian student contingents heading off to Villa Necchi. This villa was built during the 1930s as a ‘country home’ for a family comprising a woman from the famous Necchi sewing machine empire, her husband and her younger sister. The house is fully preserved in a city that suffered tragic bombings during WW2 and is home to the first ever swimming pool installed in Milano. The architecture of the winter garden room, the walnut panelled staircase and the art nouveau black marble and ceramic bathrooms (I counted five) are like film set mock-ups or the live representation of a 1930’s copy of Visi magazine. The picture accompanying this post is of the closet of the younger Necchi sister…complete with original vintage Dior and Gucci.