Tag:

Milan

Estonia and Russia Pavilions at Expo Milano 2015

Milan (Italy). I finally had the opportunity of visiting Expo Milano 2015, the Universal Exhibition hosted in Milan from May 1 to October 31, 2015.

Unfortunately, as expected, the queues were too long and it was impossible to visit more than five or six pavilions in a day. The waiting time to see Brasil, Japan or Italy was more than three hours, and I found it very frustrating.

Therefore, I decided to take some photos: I brought my Leica with me and it was a nice exercise. Some pavilions (Russia and Germany, for example) have a terrace which offers a decent view over the exposition area.

Here are some samples: all my photos of Expo are tagged with “Expo Milan 2015” and can be seen clicking here.

This is the Estonia Pavilion from the terrace of Russia Pavilion.

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Fuorisalone 2016 (Milan Design Week) at Università La Statale di Milano

Milan (Italy). In these days, Milan seems “the place to be” – and not only for architecture lovers, trendy designers and unmissable hipsters. For sure, like every year around this period, the city attracts an incredible amount of people coming here to discover the latest tendencies in the sectors of furniture, lighting, decoration and home appliances.

I cannot miss the opportunity of keeping my eye (and my camera) on this interesting world of course, and I like to share what I’m seeing here in my photoblog (isn’t it its purposes?). What’s really impressive, for those people living here all the year, is assisting to a true and deep change in the city’s spirit: let me try to better express myself. Although I consider Milan as probably the most living, enjoyable, innovative and “sparkling” city in Italy (for sure, one of the best life quality), during the so called “design week” the “routine” goes through an authentic transformation, which means pulling out a completely new soul made not only of parties, events, vernissage, opening ceremonies and installations (these things are pretty normal – let me say) but made of a sense of general “discovery”. Yes, during the Fuorisalone’s week, Milan’s people (re)discover their city made of hidden courtyards, beautiful buildings (some of them exceptionally open to public), street decorations and so on. In other words, it looks like a sort of “inspirational wave” floods the city’s districts (not only the fashionable Brera or 5 Vie, but also Lambrate, Tortona etc.) to demonstrate that the urban environment can react to the daily routine, and transform the ordinary into something of extraordinary.

Of course there are critics: why it can’t be all the year? Why the next week – once the design events will be over – Milan will return to hide its beauty? I’m not in a position to answer; but as long as I see that this creative magma is still boiling under the city’s asphalt, the enthusiasm’s eruption of the design week is very, very welcome!

A visit at the Università Statale di Milano is another must of each Fuorisalone: not only because in the last years this place has hosted very interesting exhibitions and installations, but also because the building itself – also known as “Ca’ Granda”, designed by the Florentine architecture Filarete and built in the 15th Century – is very beautiful and is worth a walk around.

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Bibilioteca Braidense (Library)

Milan (Italy). The Braidense Library is a magic destination: I have been desiring to visit it for long time, and I admit I feel guilty for not having done it before. But since in the weekends it’s open only on Saturday morning, I’m partially justified.

Anyhow, last Saturday I finally could visit and photograph it, and it has been really an amazing experience. The Braidense Library was founded in 1786 by Maria Theresa Archduchess of Austria opening to everyone the private library of Carlo Pertusati, and it is hosted in the seventeenth-century Brera building. Before, the only public library in Milan was the Biblioteca Ambrosiana, which was rich of manuscripts but not of printed books. In the years, through several donations and acquisitions, the Biblioteca Braidense arrived to have 1,500,000 volumes and still today is a place where for consultation, reading and studying (since that some in some rooms taking photos is allowed).

I think I will come back to visit this unique place soon. Libraries – and especially the Braidense one – have a very peculiar appeal: they are able to merge history with culture, technique with knowledge organization, and in a time like the current one, in which everything is at “mouse’s length” and with a string on Google it is possible to find every kind of information, thinking about how were the research and the cataloging is rather exciting. And just the fact that a place which has been arranged for the culture, can be thought not only to be functional, but also to be aesthetically beautiful, I think it’s something of extraordinary.

Probably, today’s generations – the so called Generation Z, but probably also Millennials – never opened an encyclopedia, made a bibliographic research or borrowed a book from a library. Today there’s Wikipedia, there are search engines, there are e-readers like Kindle (which I’m a big fan of, to be clear). However, I remember when I was at school and used to go to the library for my researches: at those times I was already so fascinated by all that knowledge so concentrated in such a small space, that I was at the same time enthusiast and unsuitable. Yes, this is the key! A physical perception of knowledge: internet does not give this possibility. A library does! And tomorrow, I’m sure of it, there will be tools to access to knowledge even faster and smarter than Google or Wikipedia; but there will still be also someone – like me – that on Saturday morning will decide to go and take photos at a marvelous place such as the Braidense Library


Milano. La Biblioteca Braidense è un posto magico: desideravo vederla da tempo, e riconosco la mia colpa per non averlo fatto prima. Ma dal momento che nel fine settimana è aperta solo il sabato mattina, mi ritengo parzialmente giustificato.

Ad ogni modo, sabato scorso sono finalmente riuscito a visitarla e a fotografarla, ed è stata veramente un’esperienza emozionante. La Biblioteca Braidense deve la sua apertura a Maria Teresa d’Austria la quale, nel 1786, aprì al pubblico la biblioteca privata del conte Carlo Pertusati all’interno del seicentesco palazzo di Brera, nell’omonimo quartiere nel cuore di Milano. Sino ad allora, l’unica biblioteca pubblica era la Biblioteca Ambrosiana, che però era ricca di manoscritti ma non di libri stampati. Negli anni, attraverso una serie di lasciti e di acquisizioni, la Biblioteca Braidense è arrivata ad ospitare 1,500,000 volumi e ancora oggi è un luogo di consultazione, di lettura e di studio (tanto che non tutte le sue sale sono fotografabili).

Credo che ci tornerò presto e spesso in questo posto unico. Le biblioteche – e la Braidense in particolare – hanno un fascino tutto loro: sono luoghi che fondono la storia e la cultura, la tecnica e l’organizzazione del sapere. In un’epoca come quella attuale, in cui tutto è a portata di mouse e basta una stringa di Google per trovare ogni sorta di informazione possibile, pensare a come era una volta la ricerca e la catalogazione delle informazioni è emozionante. E il solo fatto che un luogo predisposto alla cultura possa essere concepito non solo per essere funzionale, ma anche per essere esteticamente bello, secondo me è un qualcosa di straordinario.

Forse le generazioni di oggi – in primis la cosiddetta Generazione Z, ma probabilmente gli stessi Millennials – non hanno mai sfogliato un’enciclopedia, fatto una ricerca bibliografica o preso un libro in prestito. Oggi c’è Wikipedia, ci sono i motori di ricerca, ci sono gli e-readers come Kindle (di cui io stesso – intendiamoci – sono un grande sostenitore). Eppure ricordo quando ero al liceo e facevo le mie ricerche andando in biblioteca: già all’epoca ero così affascinato da tutto quel sapere concentrato in un unico posto, che mi sentivo al tempo stesso entusiasta e inadeguato. Ecco, forse è questa la chiave di tutto: la concentrazione del sapere e la sua percezione “fisica e sensoriale”: internet non trasmette questa percezione, inuttile illudersi. Una biblioteca si. E un domani, ne sono certo, ci saranno strumenti di accesso al sapere ancora più completi e rapidi di Google o Wikipedia; ma ci sarà anche sempre qualcuno che – come me – il sabato mattina deciderà di andare a fotografare un posto meraviglioso come la Biblioteca Braidense.

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Fuorisalone 2016 (Milan Design Week) – Time is Time by Citizen at Superstudio Più 

Milan (Italy). In these days, Milan seems “the place to be” – and not only for architecture lovers, trendy designers and unmissable hipsters. For sure, like every year around this period, the city attracts an incredible amount of people coming here to discover the latest tendencies in the sectors of furniture, lighting, decoration and home appliances.

I cannot miss the opportunity of keeping my eye (and my camera) on this interesting world of course, and I like to share what I’m seeing here in my photoblog (isn’t it its purposes?). What’s really impressive, for those people living here all the year, is assisting to a true and deep change in the city’s spirit: let me try to better express myself. Although I consider Milan as probably the most living, enjoyable, innovative and “sparkling” city in Italy (for sure, one of the best life quality), during the so called “design week” the “routine” goes through an authentic transformation, which means pulling out a completely new soul made not only of parties, events, vernissage, opening ceremonies and installations (these things are pretty normal – let me say) but made of a sense of general “discovery”. Yes, during the Fuorisalone’s week, Milan’s people (re)discover their city made of hidden courtyards, beautiful buildings (some of them exceptionally open to public), street decorations and so on. In other words, it looks like a sort of “inspirational wave” floods the city’s districts (not only the fashionable Brera or 5 Vie, but also Lambrate, Tortona etc.) to demonstrate that the urban environment can react to the daily routine, and transform the ordinary into something of extraordinary.

Of course there are critics: why it can’t be all the year? Why the next week – once the design events will be over – Milan will return to hide its beauty? I’m not in a position to answer; but as long as I see that this creative magma is still boiling under the city’s asphalt, the enthusiasm’s eruption of the design week is very, very welcome!

This photograph posted here shows probably the most beautiful thing I have seen at this Fuorisalone 2016. Or, more precisely, I should say “this photograph tries to show”, since it cannot fully represent the vortex of sensorial emotions this place was able to transmit to me. I captured it at the Citizen pavilion located in the Superstudio Più area. The title was simple (and probably not so appealing): “Time is TIME”. But once entered, the visitor was projected into another dimension, made of 120,000 watch plates geometrically disposed along thin invisible strings and illuminated to create an unique environment.

Time contains many individual moments, including one we call “Now”. It is impossible to make time stand still. It always keeps moving, keeps changing. This is an immutable, eternal truth. This ever changing flow of individual moments is what we know as “TIME”. “Time is TIME” is an experimental and experiential installation exploring the idea of time. By using 120,000 main plates, we have created two primary spaces (…) where visitors will have completely new time experience. 15 years have passed since we entered the 21st Century. Our society has become much smarter and fast-paced as a result of globalization. In this milieu, we have a chance to pursue the true meanings of both the individual moments we experience as “time” and “TIME”, the collective passage of these moments. In the “time” that is “Now”, all of us on Earth are equally connected to the same “TIME”. “Time is TIME” is our challenge in the 21st Century to introduce a new vision of “TIME”.

The above statement was written in the flyer given at the entrance. As said, “Time is TIME” was a 360 degrees experience: intense, touching, at a certain extent shocking and even disturbing: probably the most beautiful installation seen (lived) this year at Fuorisalone 2016 (together with the “50 Manga Chairs by Oky Sato Nendo at San Simpliciano”)

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Palazzo Dugnani a Milano (dal Parco di Via Palestro)

Milan (Italy). The wonderful seventeenth (the initial body) and eighteenth (the expansion) century Palazzo Dugnani photographed from the Via Palestro Park, today named after Indro Montanelli. Hidden corners of Milan – a city that is never known enough – that are worth being contemplated.


Milano. Il bellissimo secentesco (di base, ma settecentesco come sviluppo) Palazzo Dugani fotografato dai Giardini di Via Palestro, oggi conosciuti anche con il nome di Giardini Pubblici Indro Montanelli. Angoli nascosti di Milano – mai abbastanza conosciuta – che meritano di essere contremplati.

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Bar Luce by Wes Anderson (Fondazione Prada)

Milan (Italy). The Bar Luce is a cool place, for many reasons. First, because its designer is a certain Wes Anderson, one of my favorite movie directors (he’s the author of unforgettable movies such as “The Royal Tenenbaums”, “Fantastic Mr. Fox”, “Moonrise Kingdom” and “The Gran Budapest Hotel”). Second, because this place is inside the Prada Foundation, today one of the most interesting place for contemporary art in Milan.Third, because thanks to its interior design, its floor and to elements such as two old pinball machines and a jukebox, walking into the Bar Luce seems like going back to 1960s.

I recommend coming here early in the morning (they serve brioches coming from the Pasticceria Marchesi, the same one located in Corso Magenta and Galleria Vittorio Emanuele), better avoiding weekends. If you are allergic to hipsters, new normal and radical chic, get ready.

However I repeat, the Bar Luce inside the Fondazione Prada is a cool place…


Milano. Il Bar Luce è un posto figo, per diversi motivi. Per prima cosa, perchè il suo progettista è un certo Wes Anderson, uno dei miei registi preferiti (sono suoi film memorabili come “I Tenenbaum”, “Fantastic Mr. Fox”, “Moonrise Kingdom” e “Gran Budapest Hotel”). Secondo, perchè la location è all’interno della Fondazione Prada, uno degli spazi contemporanei più belli a Milano oggi. Terzo, perchè grazie agli arredi, ai pavimenti e ad accessori come due vecchi flipper e un juke-box, entrando al Bar Luce sembra di andare indietro nel tempo agli anni ’60.

Consiglio di andarci la mattina presto (le brioches vengono dalla Pasticceria Marchesi, la stessa di Corso Magenta e della Galleria Vittorio Emanuele) meglio ancora evitando il fine settimana. Se siete allergici a hipster, new normal e radical chic di vario genere, è bene che vi prepariate.

Comunque ripeto, il Bar Luce dentro la Fondazione Prada è un posto figo…

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Milan (Italy). Cenaconme (literally translated into “dinner with me”) is an yearly event in Milan: people get together to a place (the name is disclosed few hours before the event itself) with the rule of bringing with them a table, chairs, food, beverages and the total white dress code.

The event happened today in Piazza Castello, a very central square in front of Sforza Castle. I went there with the double intention of assisting to a unique event, but also to test my new Leica Q camera. This few photos have been selected to document the event…

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