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ARTISAN MARKET – Cascina Cuccagna is a unique place: formerly a farm in the surroundings of Milan, it has been swallowed by the growing city and it is located now in a rather affluent residential district, close to the subway station Lodi. Sunday 27 the Carrousel Market, whose theme is going to be “Sales Mon Amour”, will welcome you with more than 50 stalls of artisans and fashion designers. January is traditionally the month of discounts. what better chance to find original handmade bargains in a special venue.
SHOAH MEMORIAL OF MILAN – The weekend will be full of initiatives to remember the persecution of the Jewish people. In Milan, victims of the racial laws introduced in 1938 were deported by trains leaving from Platform 21 in the Central Railway Station. And Platform 21 is now the Shoah Memorial of Milan. Friday 25 (9.30 am to 2 pm), Sunday 27 and Monday 28 (10 am to 7 pm) it will be open to visitors and it will be possible to follow free guided tours.
Merry Christmas from Bella Milan Tours
Mirella & Valeria – together with our four-legged family members – wish you all a very merry Christmas! Whether you are celebrating a secular or religious Christmas, your day is sure to be filled with happiness. You may be wondering what we do for Christmas in Italy. Actually, traditions and customs are quite different in the 20 Italian regions, so there is not just one answer to such question. But all through our country, food is going to be on the front stage during the Holiday Season. So, follow us on a little virtual food tour of Italy and discover what Mirella and I are going to do on Christmas Eve and Day.
In the South of Italy, Christmas Eve is the peak
Valeria’s husband Andrea is from the South of Italy, where Christmas Eve is the peak of season’s celebrations. We will gather at Andrea’s parents’ house and his mamma Iolanda will prepare for us all a so-called “cena di magro”, literally “meagre dinner”, that is meatless dinner. It is supposed to be a light dinner, as a token of respect for the imminent birth of Jesus. But, come on, we are in Italy, a light dinner is blasphemy! So our menu will include risotto with cuttlefish, codfish with bellpepper, and a dessert named “calzuncini”, sort of sweet ravioli stuffed with wine must and chocolate. Definitely, no meagre dinner here. Late in the evening we will go to church for the solemn midnight mass, and when we are back it is finally time to open our gifts.
In Piedmont, Christmas day is the day
Mirella is from Alessandria, in Piedmont, a Northern region with a spectacular food and wine tradition. In the North of Italy Christmas Day is the day, and Christmas lunch the crowning moment. The menu at Mirella’s parents’ always includes typical agnolotti del plin, made with small pieces of flattened pasta dough, folded over a filling of roasted meat or vegetables. A triumph of roasted meat will follow, as lavish and generous as on the table of Henry VIII. Panettone will be the dessert; as a matter of fact it is traditional of Milan, but nowadays it can be found on every Italian table on Christmas Day. And presents? Unwrapping time is in the morning, when the family reunites, after the hugs and kisses and laughter, while everybody is sipping a heart-warming glass of wine and getting prepared for the festive lunch that lies ahead.
This is how we celebrate family ties and show our gratitude for all the things we have. We wish everybody wonder and warmth and happiness and joy. Merry Christmas!
Our guided walking tours in Milan always include a visit to the rooftop of the cathedral. When we climb the last few steps and reach the upper terrace, the view of the tall spire holding the majestic golden statue of the Virgin Mary is a moment of pure awe.
But these days the “wow effect” is enhanced by the presence of weird masses of stone and metal scattered on the upper terrace of Duomo. The mistery is soon unveiled: it is a monographic exhibition of pieces by British artist Tony Cragg, whose “Paradox” is already housed inside the cathedral.
Cragg’s works weigh tonnes, and yet, balancing on small bases, they look weighless. Exactly like Milan’s Duomo, a solid mass of marble but at the same time a delicately yarned lace of statues, pinnacles and flowered crests.
It is a sort of dialogue between modern and gothic art, surrounded by one of the most fascinating view of the city. Add a sunny, warm April day, and magic is here.