14 CURIOSITIES OF MILAN
Milan has been the industrial and economic capital of Italy for the past centuries. The Lombard capital is a historic city. We tell you 14 curiosities of Milan so that you know it better.
1. The lucky bull
The Vittorio Emanuelle gallery has a thousand details to look at, so it is difficult to appreciate the mosaics on the floor. If you pay attention, you will see four shields representing the four Italian capitals. The red cross of Milan, the lily of Florence, the she-wolf of Rome and, finally, the bull of Turin. He stands on top of the latter and makes three turns resting his right heel on the bull's genitals with his eyes closed. We have not gone crazy, we are just trying to bring you good luck. Tradition says that if you are ashamed to do this you will return to Milan and, furthermore, luck will be on your side.
2. The pigeon plaza
In the central square of Milan, where the Duomo is, there are always a lot of pigeons. But if you look closely, there is a point where there is not a bird. It is the statue of King Vittorio Emanuele II , which is always well cleared. This is one of the tricks of Milan with a trick, since the statue is electrified to prevent anyone from perching on it.
3. Composer Giuseppe Verdi did not start on the right foot
Verdi arrived in Milan in 1833 ready to demonstrate his talent at the city's Conservatory. But when he did the tests to enter they told him that he did not have enough level. The motives? Lack of musical talent and a very low level of piano. One of the funniest curiosities in Milan is that now its conservatory is named after Verdi, whom they rejected.
4. Verdi took revenge
Once he started his career and became renowned, Verdi refused to have his plays performed at the Teatro alla Scala. It is a bit strange knowing that it is one of the most renowned operas in Europe. But Verdi was convinced that the orchestra was changing his compositions and he became very fond of the theater.
5. Cinderella's theater
Although Verdi's scores did not frequent the Teatro alla Scala, it has welcomed the works of other geniuses such as Rossini or Puccini . Of course, none of the representations can be extended beyond midnight. This curious tradition has been maintained since the opening of the theater. If necessary, the function starts earlier so that at 12 o'clock at night all the seats are empty.
6. A very controversial sculpture
If you pass through Piazza degli Afari, where the Milan Stock Exchange is, you will be struck by a hand raising the middle finger. The sculpture is titled LOVE and is by the controversial artist Maurizzio Cattelan. His goal is to criticize the horrors of the last century, as it represents that the hand is making the Nazi salute. That is why he has all the fingers cut except the one in charge of making the obscene gesture. Its location in front of the stock market in the midst of the economic crisis can be interpreted in other ways ...
7. A great cathedral that took its time
The Duomo of Milan is the fifth largest cathedral in the world, with capacity for more than 40,000 people, which is being said soon! But such vastness has taken five centuries to complete. The foundation stone was laid in 1386 and the cathedral was not completed until 1965.
8. You can adopt a gargoyle from the Duomo
If you are passionate about the Duomo and you have 100,000 euros left over, you can sponsor one of the gargoyles that decorate the Milanese cathedral. It is a campaign to raise funds to preserve the icon of Milan, which is constantly being restored.
9. Arco della Pace and France, a complicated relationship
The beautiful marble arch commemorating the peace of 1815 has a somewhat contradictory relationship with France. The horses pulling the chariot that symbolizes peace were turned 180 degrees by order of the Habsburgs to turn their backs on France. At the same time, Hemingway affirms in his work Paris was a party that the Milanese arch is aligned with the Arc de Triomphe in Paris.
10. You can park on the sidewalk
You may be surprised to see cars parked on the sidewalks in Milan. They do not risk paying any fine, since for lack of space it can be done as long as there is a blue or yellow line on the sidewalk and it is not exceeded.
11. Alfa Romeo winks at Milan
The logo of the Alfa Romeo car brand includes the flag of Milan. The red cross of Saint George on a white background and, in addition, the coat of arms of Casa Visconti. It represents a viper with a gold crown eating a man. Since 1450 the Sforza and Visconti houses have represented the city of Milan.
12. Milan was navigable
In the absence of cars, in the Modern Age one went by boat through the city. One of the historical curiosities of Milan is that it had several artificial channels devised by Leonardo da Vinci in the 15th century. The aim was to make a network so extensive that it would reach Lake Como. Today, a couple of canals can still be seen in the Navigli neighborhood.
13. Do you fancy a “bread from Spain”?
If you order a Pan di Spagna, they will bring you a cake. This name has a historical origin, since a Genoese chef brought a biscuit of a lifetime to the Genoa ambassador to Spain. The man was delighted with the recipe and, in honor of the country where he tried it, it is now called Pan di Spagna. There is also a version called Genoese pasta, which is prepared by mixing the ingredients in a bain-marie.
14. The streets are changing
The bicycle and car tracks change the streets of Milan every summer. The reason is that they are made of the same asphalt as roads, which softens in the heat. So if you look closely you will see traces of the vehicles that pass through the streets of Milan on the hottest days of the year.