Italy Day 5 – Milan

For the past four days Kathy and I have mostly spent our time exploring Milan’s historic sites. Today we did the opposite, looking at modern day Milan, even taking a glimpse into the future.

We spent hours at the Trienalle Milano, described as Italy’s foremost institution for design and contemporary culture. I don’t know if it is truly the top museum in the country, but it is definitely cutting edge.

Milan is known as a global center of fashion and design, so the retrospective exhibition of the museum’s triennial exposition of contemporary Italian design seemed the right place to start. We saw furniture, technology, graphics and more. I became fascinated with chairs—looking at the evolution over the past fifty years.  Chair designs that we now take for granted were introduced not that long ago. I also loved the “futuristic” robot.

Lunch was in the museum’s garden café, a charming place to rest and recover. They’ve also got delicious food. There were more chairs in the garden, which we had to try. They were a lot more comfortable than they looked. There was also sculpture and an interactive play area that teaches about STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics).

“Unknown, Unknowns – an Introduction to Mysteries,” was the next exhibition we visited. It was a fascinating look at where the world is headed.  The exhibition, curated by curated by Ersilia Vaudo, an astrophysicist and Chief Diversity Officer of the European Space Agency, looked at everything from views of earth from space, to teaching bees to design, to mock-ups of lunar and Mars space stations to possible solutions to allow color blind humans to see colors. That only begins to touch the range of areas covered.

Though by that time we were saturated with innovative ideas and information, we couldn’t resist taking a peek at Mondo Reale (Real World). The work that most fascinated me there is by Sho Shibuya, a Brooklynite, who every day since January 2020 has painted the sky he sees out his window onto the cover of the New York Times. That is unless a news item catches his attention and he responds to that. Every day he has sent the museum a digital image of his painting, which they then print. I was riveted to the exhibit.

In the evening, following my friend Sue’s recommendation, we went for drinks and apertivo at a modern, upscale hotel—the Bulgari Milano. On the way there we did some window shopping at high-end boutiques and galleries. We followed that with dinner at a small local restaurant.

We’re now off to Sicily.