Milano Domenica

Milano Domenica

Sunday! Sunday! Sunday!

July 30, 2017

After a nice easy day mostly spent at “home,” we decided that Sunday would be our tourist day. Rita had her designs on the Pinocoteca di Brera with some of the biggest names in the history of art on display. Milan is built around the Duomo in the center of the city, and all the cool historical stuff is within walking distance from the cathedral, so we decided to take the subway from Wagner station a few blocks away to the Duomo station.

In April, I went to New York City, and I remember climbing out of the subways being amazed each and every time. The view at Central Park right under Trump tower was just incredible… but this? Climbing the stairs to be greeted by this incredible… astounding… amazing… beyond compare gothic cathedral? I was overcome by emotion—such glorious beauty, and I’m not even Catholic. I wonder what it is like for true pilgrims who come here for the first time? You can almost hear angels singing in a chorus as the marble is revealed. I wish I knew the name of all the little decorations that cover the Duomo, but they say photos are worth a thousand words.

Duomo Milano

The Galleria


And right next to the cathedral is one of the worlds most impressive shopping malls, The Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II. It is over 100 years old, and make our malls look childish in comparison. You feel like you are in some kind of palace and spending $25 on two cups of coffee served by a pretentious Italian waiter feels like a bargain! Thank you!

We didn’t do much shopping, but Rita was kind enough to lead me to the Ferrari store. Who knew that they were so much more than cars? They had a mock-up of the current F1 car and some pieces and parts from real races including the crashed nose from Abu Grab. That was cool! They also have a basement with simulators allowing patrons to experience “realistic” F1 driving on “real” simulated F1 tracks. Perfume, watches, clothes, everything Ferrari! I didn’t buy anything, but it was neat to be there. Coincidentally, I think we were in the store just as Ferrari was scoring a 1, 2 lock out victory in Hungary. 

Then, as we pondered the Duomo some more, I found myself leaning on a building with an advertisement for “New York, New York.” It just happened to be the Museo del Novecento (Museum of the 20th Century). Rita had just mentioned how much she loved modern art, so I pointed it out to her, and it was all she needed to say, “Yes, please.”

The Ramp

I was intrigued by the spiral ramp that led up to the 2nd floor where the maze of art began. They surely knew how to welcome visitors… for only 10 Euros apiece, we were greeted by Picasso, Matisse, and Modigliani. I thoroughly enjoyed Boccioni, and got a kick out of saying all the names with a most impressive Italian accent.


New York, New York

The current exhibit focuses on New York… Italian artists who created works based on the city… a sort of marriage of the old world and the new world. This is interesting, of course, because it sort of feels like what I’m on a mission to do. An American in the Old Country, seeking something that he isn’t even certain of.


One thing about good art galleries is that they can wear a person out. There is something incredibly moving emotionally that can cause a complete loss of physical functions. At least that was my excuse for lying down outside the bookstore while Rita shopped only to be yelled at by an Italian guard, “It is not possible! Not possible!”

See the bottom of the post for a full gallery of the Modern Art Collection. Feel free to comment and share! (I’m talking to Edgar Jerins here.)

The Artist

Lemon ice cream and artist

After that, we meandered around the city neither of us really feeling like we could take on another gallery. So we got lost, found the Brera gallery, but decided that it was too much. Instead, we sat at a little cafe and had some drinks, snacks, and a lovely lemon dessert. Entertainment was provided by the British artist pictured in the background of the lemon.

His last name is Dean. He gave me his full name and instagram account so I could add him, but my wifi doesn’t work… ever… anywhere I go. So neither Rita and I could remember his first name or instagram account… something Dean6254, we think.

Anyway… he deserved his own little story. Rita struck up a conversation with him, and he responded in a drawling British accent. Deep, rich, and ironic… maybe even a bit sardonic. Everything landing with the flatness of a low C on an old piano. “Where are you from?” he asked. I said, “Nebraska.” He replied, “I’m sorry.”

I then asked, “If you had just one day to spend in Milan, where would you go?”

“The airport.”

He said that whenever people ask him what to in Milan, he says, “Leave. Immediately.”

Dean continued to explain that he was an artist who lived in New York, then he got kicked out, so he went to Hollywood and met a photographer named James Bond before he wasn’t welcome there anymore. So he is in Milan, as an artist, and he doesn’t really like it there at all.

He showed us photos of two works he said he sold to Donald Trump. They were collage type piece of postmodern art… the kind which I think Edgar would despise. I just want to find out who he was… so far all of my searching has been fruitless. He left us laughing, and I want to thank him for it.

I asked what he liked about America, and he said our drugs. We, apparently, have very good drugs. The conversation ended with him explaining how he had stem cells injected into his damaged knee. When it was all said and done, I couldn’t decide if it was all bullshit, or if this guy was for real.

Oh, and that lemon dessert? Highly recommend if you can find it. I also had a daiquiri and a blue bitter drink called a “Miami.” Rita drank wine.

The Rest of the Day

St. Mark’s and Porsche

Without any real plan, we just kind of walked here and there and everywhere. We stumbled into another church, St. Mark’s recommended by Dean.

We wandered down a leaf-littered path.

Leaves on Walk

My watch stopped, so we were window shopping for watches, but anything near the Duomo was out of my price range, so we continued.


Stopping for some espresso at a Moleskine cafe (yes, the same Moleskine), I asked the waiter for directions, and I swear he pointed the way we went, but it was completely wrong. However, at the end of Girabaldi plaza, I found a Casio store and bought a new watch in my price range. Rita’s running joke for the rest of the trip was, “Excuse me sir, but what time is it? Exactly?” Never gets old.

After checking the map again, I made the executive decision that it was too late and too far to walk, so we grabbed a taxi and headed back to Wagner station just a few blocks from our Elba home. It started to rain, so we ducked into a Sushi shop for a quick bite and shelter. The sushi was good, as it usually is, but the locale was more of a take-out place, and not really suitable for a relaxing meal.


After the rain stopped, we meandered home, losing our way again on the winding streets of Milan, doing some window shopping and enjoy the coolness of the evening. Rita couldn’t resist a few photos of the rain-touched roses.


Galleria 20th Century

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