Vignettes from Tenaya’s weekend in Milan

Tenaya Hurst continues her journey in Italy.
I’ve always known Italians to say “Ciao” as they drive off in a stunning car, or as they tap the horn from their scooter.  These days in Italy, people still love their vehicles, but now they also say “Ciao” from skateboards, hover-boards, and even those ones that just have one wheel!  This weekend, I had to go to Milan to see what the metropolitan Italians are up to.  Many of them are wheeling around the cobblestones on these high-tech skateboards. 

Turns out my name, Tenaya, has a similar word in Italian.  Tenaglia.  This is the word for a kind of pliers!  Walking around Milan, I even found a street named after me…I mean the pliers!  Of course, that means it’s time for a selfie.

The best chocolate in all forms - Cioccolatitaliani.  I encountered this cafe while walking between an archaeological site and a museum.  The decor is so upscale, thoughtful, and artistic.  The baked goods look so enticing and the place settings use real cocoa pods to hold the silverware.  You can watch the chefs roasting chocolate right in the store, while you enjoy a cappuccino and chocolate croissant.  Whenever I go to Milan, I must stop at one of their many locations…but I also just realized that there is a cioccolatitaliani in Como too! 

My best meal in Milan came from the most unexpected place, Chinatown.  I had found my precious bubble tea, but I definitely needed a proper lunch too.  Then I noticed a sort of pop-up restaurant.  Turns out, this is part of an initiative to support street food in Milan.  Its name, “La Ravioleria Sarpi.”  Very clever to call this food item ravioli…because really, they are pot stickers!  The main item on the menu is a very tasty crepe, hand-made two at a time by the dedicated chefs.  The long line of customers waited patiently, and I soon found out why.  The crepe had the best texture, the contents all complementing each other as I took bite after bite!  The sauce, full of such flavor, though I’m not a “foodie,” I can certainly call this Chinese-Italian fusion!  Definitely, a great addition to my bubble tea lunch! 

The architecture in Milan always impresses me.  My last visit was in the summer of 2001, so I expected to see some changes!  The dramatic Duomo is the most well-known building in Milan, and of course, the famous Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II is still the most premiere shopping mall in all of Europe!  This visit I was pleased to find Triennale, an art museum with a theater and visiting exhibitions, at the western edge of Parco Sempione.  The UniCredit Tower is also a vast new complex of apartments, offices, a grocery store, movie theaters, clothing stores, car stores, and fountains.  What surprised me the most were two vertical garden apartment buildings.  Certainly new since my last visit, these are a wonder of design and completely embody my obsession with vertical farms, Arduino plant projects, and aquaponics.  I’m thrilled to be so close to Milan to continue to explore during my work in Europe with the Arduino team. 



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