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the beauty of Milan and the Milanese

What a treat – we stepped out this morning, right into a local market on the street outside our front door. Much fun, food and clothing – bought little but looked a lot. Here’s some Italian guy in a tuque buying fruit. (click to enlarge)

We were off to a special exhibit of the work of Antonello da Massina, a Sicilian painter I didn’t know who’s one of Bruce’s favourites – a master of the late 1400’s. Very little of his work remains, but what there is is stunning.

He specialized, besides virgins and crucifixions of course, in portraits of men with very interesting faces. This guy reminds me of Kevin Spacey.

His most famous work – the annunciation, the virgin receiving the news, with no angels in sight – just her serene, resigned demeanour, though the hand tells a different story. Wait – really? Are you sure? ME? Just like THAT?

The library of the Gallerie d’Italia, a sumptuous room.

 We had lunch – fish soup, superb – and went to the Pinacoteca di Brera, packed with masterpieces, though these huge museums are easy when you’re with Bruce, he says, You don’t need to look at these – here’s a Titian, look at this. A Veronese, a Bellini, a Van Dyck, especially a – the – Caravaggio. No wasting time with the lesser guys. I feel for them; at any other time and place they’d be adored as geniuses, but with the MAJOR Renaissance geniuses around, these guys are left in the dust, just not quite comme il faut.

We walked home – it was sunny at last – and I love these buildings, many painted lovely buttery yellow with grey shutters and lots of greenery.

A gorgeous apartment building – a vertical park. I guess to live there, you have to guarantee you’ll water your trees and shrubs. We strolled along the via Solferino to the Corso Como, both high end shopping streets, where I was tempted by nothing, could not even imagine buying something. But the Italians are so chic, more so even than the French, with the cut of their clothes, the coats and shoes and bags – and the men too, naturally – not as lovely as the paintings, but lovely nonetheless. And as usual, even the very old are chic. Many people riding gorgeous upright bicycles with chic baskets and without unchic helmets, of course.

And so, as yesterday, home at 4 so Bruce can nap and I can blog, and this time, sit in the sun on our balcony. Supper planned for tonight at the same place as yesterday. No disasters from home today, except that Sam came over to help removed the soaked carpet from the basement and reported back that it’s ruined. Otherwise, we’re good to go. For today.

So much beauty.



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About Beth

I began keeping a journal at the age of nine. Nearly fifty years later, I started this online journal, sharing reflections, reviews, updates, and the occasional secret.

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