Milanoinverticale? What is this strange name? It means vertically Milan. It’s the name of a blog tour I attended at the end of April in Milano. Why vertically? Well, that’s because we visited some panoramic places. But we also visited a couple of ancient crypts, so probably the name should have been Milan up and down.
An Island in Milano
For you to better understand Milanoinverticale I have to begin with a story. Once upon a time… there was Milan. And then there was a northern neighbourhood called Isola, Island. The name refers to the real condition of separation between the city and the Isola area, divided by the Garibaldi train station. Also the area around Garibaldi station was kind of abandoned. Until a new project was implemented.
In the recent years a great deal of effort has been put on making the whole area a better place. And not just better: modern and luxurious skyscrapers, owned by banks or inhabited by famous people, fancy shops and restaurants now stand on this area, attracting crowds of meddlers such as instagrammers or bloggers 😉 like us.
So, Milanoinverticale has been a great way to discover the story of this change, to see the photos of how the are looked like before it and how it look now. And it looks good. Very strange for us Italians, beacause in Italy we don’t have many skyscrapers.
The UniCredit Tower
So it was exciting to reach the 25th floor of the UniCredit Tower in 40 seconds of elevator ride and see the panorama. OK, Newyorkers, do not mock me for this! 😀 The tower is 230m high. The last 80m consist of the spire, its spiral tip. The spire is covered with leds, that lightens up when the sun goes down. 4000 people work there. In fact there are a lot of elevators. Half of them only reach to the 10th floor, in order to better sort the morning employees arrival. I imagine scenes like at the Ministry of Magic.
It was a great honour because the tower is rarely open to the public. In fact you can visit it only on October 7th during the FAI day (Italian National Trust).
Did you know that… In Milano, nothing can be on a higher level than the Madunina, the Madonna statue on top of the Cathedral. So, reproductions of the statue are been made to be kept some place in every new skyscraper to respect this tradition.
A Vertical Forest and a Trees Library
Probably the most beautiful palazzi there are the Vertical Forest, Bosco Verticale, two residential towers that host about 900 trees. The people who live there can not touch the plants. Only a specialised team can take care of them. According to the period of the year, the plants change: in Autumn you will see pink and red shades. In Spring green and yellow.
Right there, a new park is taking shape, called (lovely name) the trees library, la biblioteca degli alberi. It will be the third biggest urban park in Milano.
Corso Como 10
We then visited the famous Corso Como 10. Once a public housing along a street of ill repute, now an elegant, even if slightly decadent, palace in a fancy neighbourhood, hosting a café, an art gallery, a stylish bookshop and other cool stores plus a mini hotel. We headed to the terrace to admire the difference between the ancient Milanese palace and the new buildings all around.
To my utter pleasure the lunch break was offered by Délifrance. I confess I had never heard of it before. It is a company serving French bakery products in over 50 countries. In Milan they have their only bistrot. Hurrah! I love France. You can read this post about my Brittany tour. I love French food. An particularly viennoiseries. Everything they served was good.
But the mini croissant were absolutely fantastic! I’m already planning a blitz to have at least one pain au chocolat, which is my favourite viennoiserie. In particular, I took note of their Sunday brunch menu. It was huge and very affordable for Milano’s standard. 1 hot beverage, 1 orange fresh-squeezed juice, scrambled eggs with bacon or omelette, focaccia or croissant or quiche lorraine, 1 baguette with butter and jam, 3 mini viennoiseries, 1 pastry of your choosing, fruit salad: 19,90€. Why is this not in Padova? 🙁
Crypts and Roman relics
Then off we went to visit the Roman forum (which is a small room, do not compare it with the Roman Forum!), the crypt of San Sepolcro (very dear to Leonardo Da Vinci) and the one of San Giovanni in Conca. The latter was the one that I preferred. These were all precious fragments of the past, that we rediscovered not to forget our roots, even if the world is spinning and the future is already here.
We took the old yellow tram to get there. So cute!
Up the Highline
Finally, as a part of the ascent process (it was Milanoinverticale after all) we reached the so called Highline. It is a metal walkway over the Vittorio Emanuele Gallery (only on one side, not all around) in Piazza del Duomo. You can see the glass structure of the gallery vault, the pinnacles of the Cathedral, a glimpse of the square, the rooftops with some alley cats walking by and the skyscrapers in the distance. Probably more quaint at sunset. Warning: no credit cards accepted, only cash.
With the voucher below, you can have access to Highline Gallery+ San Sepolcro crypt+ Roman Forum at €12 instead of €22.
B&B Porta Ronca
And what about my accommodation? My friend Roberta and I stayed at a pretty B&B in Rho, 15 minutes by train away from the centre of Milan. At the ground floor of the palazzo there’s the Casa del Raviolo, a fresh pasta shop. Yummy! The train station is 8 minutes by foot away. It is called B&B Porta Ronca and it is kind of wine themed, because the owner has a farmstead in the Marche region. In fact and you can also buy her bottles of fine wine Lacrima di Morro d’Alba, red, and Verdicchio, white. Each room, different in décor, has the name of different method of wine cultivation: Pergola, Cordone Speronato, Casarsa, Guyot, Alberello. You can find shelves or night tables made by wine crates and decorations made of corks.
The managers, Isabella and Stefano, are more than kind and not intrusive. Stefano welcomed us in the first place but the day after was not there and do you know why? He was training for a triathlon competition. Help! I feel weary just thinking about it. Isabella, with a lovely Bolognese accent, told us that she bakes all the cookies, the cakes and the delicious bread you can find at breakfast. Strange for me to say (cause I love cakes) but the bread was the best part, absolutely delicious. Cereals, yoghurt, and fresh fruit completed the picture. I found my daily banana waiting for me 🙂 . Of course you can also have for some salty foods. Moreover you can access the breakfast room (or the terrace in summer) to enjoy an after hours tea whenever you want.
Regarding after hours, you can come and go at any hour, cause there’s a digit system to access the main entrance. So no need for keys or concierge. It is particularly convenient to visit the Rho Fair. For those who want to spend more days there’s a studio apartment.
Our room was nice, clean and spacious. Only flaw not that well-lighted. The bathroom was clean and there were not single dose showergel, soap and shampoo but the entire bottles. Mattress very comfortable and a super soft blanket. As you know I hate noises so I always travel with ear plugs. And I used them cause there were some street noises from time to time.
To sum up, I loved the B&B Porta Ronca and its warm and cosy atmosphere. The real plus for a blogger was the perfectly working Wi-Fi.
Milanoinverticale was a chance to meet other bloggers, to get to know a part of Milan I didn’t know, to fill my eyes with great views and to understand that:
No man is an island, no blogger is an island and also no city is an island… or nearly 😉