Sunday, May 4, 2008

consorcio makes a difference

thursday was a national holiday in italy and we didn't have access to our rehearsal space, so while gaby and laura worked on the translation of a film synopsis (what turned out to be the first of three times due to technical "saving" issues), javi and i wandered through the streets of milano; our first expedition.

matteo dropped us off at the historical san ambrogio church.

he is the patron saint of milano. (san ambrogio is the patron saint, not matteo.) of course, wedding preparations were going on. it seems that every church i explore with javi has a wedding going on. it's a beautiful church, with lots of nooks and crannies to explore.

high on a wall

a jolly pope

at first, i thought, "how nice, it's God and a bird friend." then i realized that the bird must be the Holy Spirit, even though it looks more like a giant pigeon than a dove to me.

a side chapel. seeing this Jesus in person makes a difference. it looked like He was coming at me.

another side chapel, but this one charged an entrance fee. i didn't give any money to the bald man.

Jesus with blonde hair and a forked goatee

on the side of a confessional

eventually, javi hurries up to me to say that he found dead bodies underneath the altar. the crypts hold the bodies of san ambrogio and two others, although we could only see two of the three.

there's a little chapel that faces the bodies and it feels like thousands of prayerful have been there. the wooden pews are worn smooth and even the marble floor has dips in it where so many people have walked before. i tried out one of the unpadded kneelers, but i wasn't penitent enough to stay in that painful position.

in the crypt chapel -- javier levitates.

back out on the streets of milano, we see all sorts of things, like a flyer for someone's lost leopard. i showed this photo to matteo later and he determined that it's a fake.

i'm right here.

a different head for every window.

an ordinary wall, except for the winged lion.

"immigrants, please don't leave us alone with the italians!"

the duomo

a statue in front of the duomo

a galleria next to the duomo. this is the italian version of a covered shopping and dining area.

pretty much like your standard american mall.

la scala. it's much simpler than i expected.

javi scans for performance times.

old stuff is everywhere.

some of it is covered with newer stuff.

a large woman

javi is a good navigator

there really are a lot of scooters in italy.

this is javi's favorite place in milano and we've been told that a lot of junkies hang out there. a lot of non-junkies hang out there too.


javi watches a woman smoke hash.

Jesus is everywhere.

that wouldn't be bad place to come home to.

we eventually found our way back to laura and matteo's, and the ladies were still working hard on the translation. javi and i went with matteo to the only supermarket that was open for the holiday and witnessed an interesting thing. matteo wanted a certain brand of tuna called consorcio because he said it's the best. there were so many different brands of tuna in that grocery store, i've never seen so many, but consorcio wasn't on the shelf. matteo had to go to the customer service desk where they handed him two cans from a stash behind the counter.
apparently, that particular tuna is in such demand that people steal it if it's kept out on the shelf with the other tunas. amazing.

then we went back to their apartment and matteo made a fantastic pasta dish from sardinia. it was a combination of pesto, tomatoes, and the precious tuna, amongst other things, and the pasta itself was one i'd never seen before. it was honestly one of the best pasta meals i've ever had. and i've had plenty.

weighing the pasta to make sure we all get enough. matteo knows our hunger.

the pasta is added to boiling water while the sauce simmers.

one of the appetizers was peppers stuffed with tuna.

another appetizer looked like thinly cut bacon fat and matteo showed us how to put it on hot focaccia so that the lardo melted.

that's right, "lardo" as in lard. it was sinfully delicious.

and then the main course. it was so good, it brought a tear to my eye.

when we were at the grocery store, matteo asked if we wanted to taste some good wine. what a silly question! this was it:

and it deserved a toast.

five spoons and a tub of gelati. every day should end like this.

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