Sant'Ambrogio

A XIX century’s secret Courtyard

Today, we try something different. From Navigli we take Via Cesare Correnti, heading north, to Duomo. I am particularly fond of Via Cesare Correnti: it is full of old shops and boutiques. Its unusualness stands in comparison with more fashionable and crowded streets nowadays. Here, shopwindows are old and dark. Store signs are gloomy. This street reminds me of old pictures of Milan from the ’90s, or the ’80s perhaps.

Cesare Correnti was an Italian revolutionary, pamphleteer, journalist and politician who earned its living working as an employee of the public administration, during the Austrians invasion of Milan. He was such a well trained economist that immediately intuited the opportunities to oppose the Austrian regime by unconventional forms of resistance. For example, in 1848, he proposed the general abstention of the Milanese from smoking, which caused the Austrian authorities to lose the taxation imposed on it. Its pamphlets suffragating civil disobedience lead the Milanese population to the famous Five Days revolt, during which he served as an activist and general secretary of the provisional cesare_correnti_anzianogovernment. Unfortunately, after few days, the Austrian troop re-established the order and the revolt leaders were declared out-of-laws and bound to flee. Cesare Correnti found refuge in Piemonte, where he started a carrier as a journalist and continued its active political leadership, which finally brought him to the parliament and to the ministry of education during the years of the Italian independence and re-unification.

He died in Rome, aged 73, after an adventurous life as an activist and politician, leaving a substantial body of works and inspiration.

From via Cesare Correnti we turn into via Torchio. Here we can find beautiful buildings and old courtyards from the XIXth century. It happened to me that the courtyard of Carlo Bezzi High School was opened. I peeped inside and took some good pictures.

The courtyard is wide and clean, with a murmuring fountain and a couple of tall magnolia trees, shimmering and dark. On the sides of the courtyard a door opens into the hall of the Istituto Industriale Edile Carlo Bezzi (an Italian High School for students majoring into the construction business). It is quite unusual, today, to find a school like this one. It helped me fancying something far from my daily life and gave me the opportunity to take a good look at this wonderful courtyard, in the purest XIX century Milanese architectural tradition.

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