guided walking tours / 3 posts found

Carolina Kostner

Leonardo da Vinci at the World Figure Skating Championship

Leonardo da Vinci at the World Figure Skating Championship

Our beloved Leonardo da Vinci will be protagonist tonight at the opening ceremony of the World Figure Skating Championship, which this year is being hosted by our city, Milan.

Leonardo is a constant presence in Bella Milano guided walking tours and in this blog; after all, he lived here 25 years of his life, the longest period of time that he  spent in just one place. And he dearly loved Milan, the city where he could follow all his many interests, where his versatility was truly appreciated, and his genius could blossom freely.

For tonight’s ceremony, the renowned choreographer Corrado Giordani, art director of the event, has focused on three key elements.

Vitruvian Man

Vitruvian Man

The one that everybody will recognize is the Vitruvian Man. The most famous of Leonardo’s drawings, it depicts a man in two superimposed positions with his arms and legs apart and inscribed in a circle and square. An iconic picture, so widespread that it can be found even on Nasa spacesuits, the Vitruvian Man represents the ideal proportions of the human body and its relationship with nature: the close adherence between man and the world, microcosm and macrocosm. What is better proportioned than the elegant athletes that will skate in Milan’s Assago Forum?

The second key element will be the snowflake, a symbol of nature’s ingenuity in creating something that Leonardo considered superior to any human design.

Finally, tonight’s coreography will focus on the flying man, the dream of Leonardo, who dedicated a great deal of his genius and time to the invention of a flying machine.
Milan houses two splendid exhibits of Leonardo’s inventions. A gallery of wooden models of some of his most famous projects is in Museo della Scienza e della Tecnologia, the Science and Tecnology Museum (which is by the way named after Leonardo!).
A truly fascinating exhibition is The World of Leonardo, where real life size flying machines (thoroughly explained by videos and interactive screens) allow to understand the struggle and the successes of Leonardo in trying to turn the dream of flying into reality.

The logo

The logo

From tonight until the end of the week, we will have the pleasure of watching amazing skaters fly on ice with elegance and harmony. Leonardo would have greatly appreciated.

P.S. Look carefully at the logo of this year’s World Figure Skating Championship: can you spot a knot? Well, that is another decorative motif connected to Leonardo. Follow us on a guided walking tour of Milan and we will tell you more!

March 21, 2018

"The Fourth Estate"

Things to do in Milan this week – February 1-7

Things to do in Milan this week – February 1-7

The best things to do in Milan this week, including Music, Art, Museums, Shopping and Restaurants, chosen by Bella Milano Tours.

Olio Officina Festival

Olio Officina Festival

OIL CULTURE – From Thursday 1 to Saturday 3, visit the seventh edition of Olio Officina Festival, with tastings, lectures, and events about extra vergin oil. Producers from all over the world will be there, for a sensory feast open to anybody. Vinegar, a usual companion to oil, will be co-protagonist. At Palazzo delle Stelline, corso Magenta 61. Free admission on Thursday, from 7 pm. Friday and Saturday, ticket 15 euro.

MUSIC – Concert rehearsals are always fascinating, with the conductor instructing the orchestra according to his own interpretation of the music. When La Scala Opera House is the venue, the event gets more juicy. Myung-Whun Chung will be on the podium on Sunday 4 at 10.30 am, rehearsing Brahms’ Concert for violin and orchestra op. 77. On Monday evening, the actual concert will be at 8 pm.

AUGMENTED REALITY – “The Fourth Estate” is an iconic painting by Giuseppe Pellizza da Volpedo, hanging in the central Museo del Novecento, just in Duomo square. It shows striking workers (members of the fourth estate) marching. Pellizza da Volpedo used a very peculiar technique, divisionism, in order to obtain the maximus possible luminosity. From Friday 2 to Sunday 4 you will be able to download an app which allows you to explore the painting in an extraordinary way, and to learn the stories of some of the men depicted. You may even take a picture of yourself together with the “man with the hat”. Free admission.

Cascina Cuccagna

Cascina Cuccagna

PHOTOGRAPHS – The photo album of Corporal Antonio R. born in 1913, accidentally found in a drawer after his Death, is on display at Cascina Cuccagna, a farmhouse magically surviving in Milan. Stop at the farmer’s market, have a snack or a proper meal at the restaurant, or simply enjoy a cup of tea at the café. In via Cuccagna 2.

MUST DO – A guided walking tour in Milan with us! :-)



Maurizio Cattelan

Who is Maurizio Cattelan?

Who is Maurizio Cattelan, and what does he have to do with Milan and our guided walking tours?

"The Ninth Hour"

“The Ninth Hour”

Cattelan, an Italian contemporary artist, has recently hit the news for a rather funny dispute involving the Guggenheim Museum in New York, Mr. Donald Trump and a very peculiar sculpture: an 18-karat, fully functioning, solid gold toilet — an interactive work titled “America” that critics have described as pointed satire aimed at the excess of wealth in this country. The whole story is rather funny, and that is no surprise when Cattelan is involved. Cattelan’s work , which have sold for millions of dollars, are often satirical and provocative, such as  a sculpture depicting Pope John Paul II lying on the ground after being hit by a meteorite.

He co-founded the magazine Toilet Paper (long before the Guggenheim’s “America”!) and in 2011 a retrospective exhibition of his works, “All”, was organized at the Guggenheim Museum, where all his works were hung up  like laundry to dry.
But Cattelan is also one of the protagonist of our guided tours, the creator of a sculpture that we admire at one of the stops in the Highlights and Beyond tour and an increasingly beloved highlight of our city. It is named “L.O.V.E.”, it proudly stands in front of the building where the Italian Stock Exchange is located, right in the middle of the financial district, and it represents… well,  an 11-metre white marble middle finger sticking straight up from an otherwise fingerless hand.



Sheer vulgarity? Pointless provocation? Easy satire? Not at all, or maybe yes, in part, but that is not the whole story. Cattelan has always resisted interpreting his work, telling interviewers he would leave that to his audience. As it always is the case with art, multiple interpretations are possible.

Join us on a guided tour of our city, and we will reveal you the hidden messages of the naughty boy of the art world.