It’s hard to believe it’s the final day of this fantastic whirlwind of a trip. This is the fourth day in Lake Como and was actually meant to be spent in Milan visiting the site where the World Expo will be taking place from May -Nov 2015. But, not wanting to delay the construction process by allowing visitors, instead of a hard hat tour of the site (I didn’t want to do that anyway), there would be a talk and film about the event at the pop up Expo building in the center of Milan in the afternoon. More about this later.
I spent the morning attempting to get on the internet so I could actually download photos and do some work but, after a couple of hours of trying I gave up.
Anyway, it was time for lunch and this was at a local pizza restaurant along the waterfront. The Don Lisander is located down a set of stairs where the dining room is decorated with huge oak barrels making up the seating area and lots of private areas for parties and or romantic soirees. While there are all kinds of Italian dishes, I was here for the pizza that is baked in a proper wood oven. I arrived to find 2 of my colleagues waiting for their very own pizza masterpieces they had just prepared. Since I had recently been in Positano and Rome where I made my own, I decided to leave mine up to the expert Pizza chef. The funghi (mushroom) pizza I had hit the spot and I washed it down with a big glass of sparkling rose.
The trip to Milan allowed me to rest and digest and arriving a bit early for the appointment, I was actually able to walk down one of the famous shopping streets and view the incredible Gothic Milan Cathedral. It’s a stunning structure that took centuries to build and is more than impressive from the outside, I can only imagine the inside.
But, no time for touring. Ok. So, what is this Expo after all? After listening to General Manager Piero Galli describe the event, there is too much information to write about here. But, in short, it’s a universal exposition with countries from all around the world centering around the theme of Feeding the Planet, Energy For Life. Visitors will be able to stop by different “countries” and sample foods and traditions from those various places. If this is unclear, it’s best to visit the website at http://www.expo2015.org
An hour later and it was back to Lake Como to prepare for the last supper and what a fantastic last supper it turned out to be. It was a very wet drive to Brianza and the eco friendly resort of “Il Corazziere” where 50% of energy is produced by the sun, wind and water. The resort’s restaurant is one of the most renowned in the region and was packed with locals having parties and celebrations. The meal was fantastic starting with a hand sliced carpaccio of beef with white truffles, yes, white truffles. Unbelievable! While this would have been enough for me, a huge dish of duck with homemade ravioli plus a dish of rissoto in beer was next.
Expecting coffee and dessert, I was surprised that instead owner Andrea Camesasca escorted us out of the restaurant and to the Old Mill on the grounds. He seemed excited and once I climbed the old wooden stairs I saw why. There in this barn like surroundings were a large group of men, women and children all lined up, dressed in old fashioned costumes with the men and some children holding pan flutes. This is a group called I Bej (beautiful) that was started in 1927 to commemorate the old traditions of the Brianza culture. The group first began with only men but soon women joined the group to dance and sing while the men played the instruments. They were there to welcome us and it was a real treat to experience this local tradition. We finished the evening with some moscato and delicious cakes while being entertained by these wonderful people.
It was a night to remember and a trip to never forget. I want to thank the Italian Tourist Board and especially, Marzia Bortolin for making this happen. And, most especially, the knowledgeable, professional and sweet Monica Neroni for her guidance, patience and time. Andiamo as Monica would say.
Grazie and All the best,