Tuesday, 5 August 2014

Are we in Paris?

Although we've been living in Milan for over a year, our weekend adventures around this city still delight us.  A few weeks ago, on a warm Saturday afternoon, we finally caught the famous Number 1 tram.  Many of Milan's tram routes were closed when the underground metro was built in 1964, but there is still a network of tram routes which wind their way through the city.
The  lovely old tram, Number 1,  is recommended in many guidebooks as a relaxing way to tour some of Milan's main attractions like Castello Sforzesco, Teatro La Scala and Parco Sempione.  Our plan for taking the tram was slightly different.
Last year I blogged about a wine bar where the first glass of wine is almost free.  After a little research, I learned that this bar is only a short walk from Corso Sempione where the Number 1 tram runs. At last we had an excuse to catch this beautiful wooden tram and enjoy the views from its antique interior.
Just outside the main entrance to Castello Sforzesco we jumped on board. As we rattled past, we caught a glimpse of the new temporary gates promoting World EXPO opening here in May next year.
Then on we went passing the Needle and Thread sculptures in front of Cadorna metro station. Until I studied this photo, I'd always thought that these modern sculptures were strands of coloured spaghetti, but now I see the thread looping through the needle. Quirky!
The old tram seemed to insulate us from the modern world outside.  And when it reached a wide roundabout at the end of Parco Sempione, we thought we had entered another country.
Suddenly the streets of Milan looked very French.  In the outdoor cafes, patrons sipped wine under shady umbrellas while gazing dreamily onto Arco della Pace.
  Corso Sempione stretched before us resembling a majestic tree-lined boulevard.
No wonder we thought we'd left Milan.  Arco della Pace and Corso Sempione were built during Napoleon's reign.  Construction commenced in 1807, a signal of Napoleon's expansive empire and a direct connection between Paris and Milan.  
So feeling romantic after our brief flirtation with Paris, we continued on down Corso Sempione till we reached via Biondi.
  From there it was just a short stroll to Wineria where we tested their special of the night.
 A thoroughly romantic end to a gentle summer afternoon in Paris, oops, Milan.
Baci Stefano!
Paris isn't the only city of romance.

L'estate notti a Milano sono caldo.  

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Piazza Carlo Caneva 4
20154 Milano


  1. Very Parisian indeed! We will have to visit Milan again.

  2. Indeed! Always more to discover, especially when the weather is so pleasant. A most unusually mild summer.

  3. Wow! You see a lot of Milan that I never knew existed! Whenever I go there I dont get past the duomo and galleria! :-(

  4. Thanks Cath, yes it's a bit of a hidden gem. Not easy to explore when you're quickly passing through, but we are luck to have the time here, so we're finding Milano charming in an understated sort of way.. Ciao J