Milan’s hidden courtyards: at Cortina Arte


My husband currently has 2 exhibitions at Cortina Arte in Milan and in nearby Busto Arsizio at Galleria Palmieri. Yesterday was the finissage of the exhibition at Cortina Arte and since a friend asked if I would be going, I decided to stop by with our daughter.

One thing I can say about Milan is that there are little surprises around every corner. Cortina Arte is located in a hidden courtyard, covered with uva fragola that makes an incredibly fragrant canopy in the summer. When visiting for the first time, most people are shocked to find such a location in the middle of “industrial” Milan. Ok, so Milan is an “industrial” business city, but you can turn a corner almost anywhere and find a Medieval church, signs of WWII bomb shelters and so much more. Milan, although much smaller, is like London; you can live here and go out every day, but it would still take years to explore the city and discover all her secrets.

The subject of my husband’s cycle of works exhibited this year is the city he was born in and has lived in his whole life: Milan. He has taken elements of the long gone Milan of his and his parents childhoods, parts that have been brought back to life again like the newly reopened La Darsena as well as the new skyline of Porta Garibaldi (La Nuova Babilonia, 2015, seen above in the first photo), in an exploration of Milan from the past to the present.

For me, beyond the paintings housed in the gallery (sorry, Giovanni, I see them so much, I have them memorised!) and the other small businesses and sculptor’s studio in the courtyard, this little location is “my” little enchanted garden. I’d love to live in this space. It reminds me of my time in England and of the fantasy I had that Italy was much more a richer darker green… oh, how mistaken I was. Of course having a space like this means also knowing how to be a real gardener, but my green thumb has a lot of learning to do first.


Vendemmia in about 3 months for those of you interested in some sweet grapes…

Am I the only one who chooses to live in the city, but dreams about an enchanted green sanctuary?


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