Ricordando Milano (Remembering Milan)

It seems like ages ago since we were there but we’re just back.

Our days in Milano were so busy we didn’t have a chance to write about it – as you can see in our previous blog posts, we were out and about – eating a lot and yes, Mummy did some shopping. It was difficult not to since our hotel was across the street from via Monte Napoleone!

We set off on Monday, after our vet appointment – to walk to the Navigli, the area of the canals, the neighbourhood where Mummy once lived.

But first of all, we had to have an Italian breakfast, as Mummy calls it – “breakfast on the run.” The Italians often go inside a cafe, pays for their order ta the till and takes the receipt to the counter and ask for their espresso or cappuccino – usually accompanied by a “cornetto” –We walked along Corso Vittorio Emmanuelle – the pedestrian street towards the Duomo. Of course we had to stop for a photo opportunity.Passers-by were amused and were photographing us as well, one even took a photo with George!Happy to oblige!

We walked on – along the route that Mummy took when she used to work at Livraghi, Ogilvy & Mather. It wasn’t that far but it was a hot day and she tried to keep us in the shade.But there are lots of grills on the streets and George didn’t like them. A lot of coaxing and Mummy realised that when she walked on them, George would come along but to the side. He eventually learnt to walk around them, and sometimes even walked across them. Progress. Funnily, that was what I used to do the first time I was there. Now, I still not so sure about them but not afraid.

Finally we see the canals, we have arrived at the Navigli – and made our way to Ripa di Porta Ticinese. Things have changed, Mummy said. So many more cafe and shops along the canals. Mummy looked for the guy who used to sell her salami in his little provision store, but he was no longer there.  And the man from whom she used to go and bargain for his antique gilded frames is now a restaurant. We stopped in one of the bars and Mummy asked for water for us. Certo! They said, and provided us with a bowl of water.

Well, hello Pom-Pom!  She sat there majestically looking at us.

In the days when Mummy lived there, sometimes they drained the canals – so it was never for sure you could take a pretty picture. But it was the World Expo at Milano last year, and that made a difference.

We walked further on, along the cobbled stone street to the end of the canal and saw the building where Mummy used to live. It didn’t look like anyone was home.

Mummy felt a little sad, and decided it was time to move on. The many happier memories will still live on in the artefacts around our living room to remind her of days gone by. She decided we were done there – literally and figuratively, and probably the last time she will need to return.  We took the tram rather than walk …There were no issues at all about us on public transportation.  We were going to meet Manuela for lunch at The Galleria Vittorio Emmanuelle – to see something new – the Marchesi Patisserie above the men’s Prada shop – supposedly the talk of the town.The decor was very pretty and we had a lovely lunch with Manuela.Places may change but good friends don’t.

After lunch both Mummy and Manuela put their heel on the balls of the bull mosaic in the Galleria and turned around three times – for good luck! George and I went round and round with Mummy! LOL! Though we weren’t quite sure what we were doing going round in circles.

We checked out the cary large Prada women’s store inside The Galleria. When we were talking to the staff helping us – and he learnt we were from the UK, he told us the news that the new Royal Baby had arrived that morning! It was a boy, he told us. LOL! We didn’t even know.

When they learnt that it was Mummy’s birthday – they brought her champagne! Wasn’t that nice?

As for us, we had the best time getting all the attention.They loved us there – and even suggested we have some Champagne!!!

They told Mummy to let us run around, and we did! 🙂 George scampering around happily, the staff were chasing after him with their iPhones and even the other shoppers were saying hello to him.

We were tired from all that walking in the heat – we went back to the hotel for a rest and caught up on the news about the Royal Baby.Mummy was really looking forward to catching up with her ex-Italian teacher and friend, Stefania for dinner at her favourite restaurant, Trattoria Milanese. Mummy was Stefania’s worst student ever!!! Again, we walked past the Duomo and Mummy was in search of the perfect picture – as in no crowds.But that is almost impossible unless you were up very early – which was not going to happen. The light was beautiful at that time of day.

Trattoria Milanese has always been Mummy’s favourite restaurant – and disappointingly, they were very odd about dogs in the restaurant. They had some strange rule about one dog per room. But our friend, Lorenzo at the hotel had called them and made our booking – with dogs. And we made it. There has never been a problem with any of the restaurants we’ve been to – in Milan and Venice.  So at the end, Mummy wasn’t so enamoured. Maybe it is time to move on from the past, and find new pastures.

Still in search of that perfect, iconic photo, she tried again – in a different light – we again, we were show-stoppers!  What do you think George? Shall we smile or run?

The Galleria looked all pretty in the night. The next day we ventured into more shops – but nearby. We had breakfast at Cova. Mummy wasn’t in the mood to do an eat and run, we sat down at Cova for a proper espresso and cornetto. A nice leisurely breakfast till this dog appeared!Every shop we went into, they were delighted to see us.

At Max Mara – At Dolce & GabbanaThey even had our own hashtag! #DGFamily!!!At Miu Miu At Missoni, and etc, etc, etc.I think the Italians approved of us!

And at the end of each outing, we were always happy to go back to our hotel room at Palazzo Matteoti.

The hotel had been tremendous in taking care of our needs. When the lights in the room were too bright, they made sure I had some eye shades!When we ran out of food, nothing was too much trouble.Lorenzo helped out Mummy when we had an early morning departure by walking us.And he made sure we got onto the train before he left us.One very dog friendly hotel – and very centrally and dangerously located close to the shops!!! LOL!

On the last night, we had dinner at a new place where Mummy had never been – it was right next to the Duomo – and this was a goodbye visit with Victoria and her brother, Sebastiano.Still no perfect shot, but never mind. We got up close to the Duomo.And had a chance to look at the hundreds of statues all around the building. What an amazing feat!And maybe this was the best photo of me and the Duomo –

May’s comment: A lovely trip down memory lane but felt maybe this would be the last time I need to revisit all the places I used to frequent when I lived there in the late 80’s. So many memories – so many “amores” in Italy. But being at all the familiar places this time, made me realise things have moved on, and so should I. My taking Darcy back to all the places I’ve ever been to was a way to re-create new memories. That I don’t only associate whether it was Venice, Paris, Milan, Dusseldorf, etc, etc, with old loves, some happy, some painful memories – but to recreate new ones with Darcy and George – in this current stage of my life.

Regardless, Milano will always have a special place in my life – and now I share memories of it with Darcy and George.



  1. Margaret Danks

    I think this is one of my most favourite blogs May. I love that little Georgie- Bobo, HWHNN, street urchin, is making all these beautiful memories with you and Darcy. From starving little scruff ball to little Prince, he has come so far and makes friends everywhere he goes. 🐾❤️

  2. Simon Savery

    How lovely. Rekindling old memories and making new with Darcy and George, a lifetime of love.

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