Navigli

Darsena in the morning

I woke up at 5.30 on a Saturday morning. There was a compact body of silence flowing over the city of Milan. I moved to the window and looked outside: no one was around, no cars, no buses, and no trams. An airplane flying over filled the air with its buzz, its echo reverberating for minutes afterwards. Somebody was cycling, and the squeak of his bike was audible at great distance …

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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. Continue reading

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Duomo

Babel / Milan – Torre Velasca

Torre Velasca is a skyscraper built in 1956, in Milan. Its architects, Gian Luigi Banfi, Lodovico Barbiano di Belgioioso, Enrico Peressuti and Ernest Nathan Rogers, were the BBPR partners, a group of architects that designed many famous Italian post-modern buildings.

Torre Velasca is 106 meters high (348ft) and counts 26 floors. Its mushroom-like shape made the historians conjecture that BBPR partners aimed at reinterpreting the shape of a typical medieval house, the tower. I think they were pursuing a more ambitious plan, trying to break the limits of the most common architectural canon: the higher you go, the thinner your building. Continue reading

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Sant'Ambrogio

Entering the Medieval Town

Via Edmondo de Amicis defines the upper boundary of the Navigli area, in Milan. It is 1,5 Km far from Darsena and equally distant from Duomo. During the Medieval Age, this road flanked the walls of Milan and, in two different places connected the entrance gates to the city centre (Porta Ticinese and Pusterla di Sant’Ambrogio).

Pusterla di Sant’Ambrogio, despite being the minor entrance, is the most fascinating to me. Built during the XII century, the Spanish turned it into a prison in the 16th century. Gino Chierici restored the tower in 1939, rebuilding it after few ruins were left.

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Navigli

Corso San Gottardo and its Book shops

Corso San Gottardo still keeps connected the southern part of Milan and its monumental Piazza XXIV Maggio, close to the Darsena. It was built at the end of the XIX century and was named after San Gottardo, bishop of Hildesheim (960-1038).

I reached the end of Corso San Gottardo, heading south, to find something that profoundly disgusted me. There used to be a book shop here. More precisely, there used to be two. Continue reading

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