Saturday Oct. 20: Como (Milano)
Food & lodging notes
We walked to the Duomo (about an hour) and took Milan’s new subway back. For a people good at design and fairly good at public signage, they had not succeeded in rendering the subway comprehensible. Part of the problem turned out to be the newness of the system — most of the “yellow line” was in square brackets: the only actual stops on it were the Duomo and the train station, with one between.
Our main errands were to pick up a white truffle (or two) to smuggle home swathed in laundry, and to dash through the Brera museum. The truffle monger that we had seen twelve days before was again in place, her cart set up a block from the Duomo. We chose two small white truffles. Alas, we had forgotten to bring the aboreo rice and plastic seal-tight box that we had bought in Padova for purposes of truffle transport. The truffle monger packed them for us in many layers of butcher paper.
Alice carried the package in her purse. While perusing paintings at the Brera gallery, an hour or two later, we couldn’t help but notice that the truffles were escaping. Their penetrating odor at any rate. Call it paranoia, but I would swear that we were getting strange looks from the other museum-goers. Now, do you know what a truffle smells like? Not to put too fine a point on it, it smells like a darkened room in Algiers in the afternoon with a slowly turning fan after three continuous days of sweaty sex.
That evening Alice emptied and aired her purse in front of an open window. We transferred the truffles to their bed of aboreo rice, and further swathed their plastic box in three separate plastic bags, each one sealed tight in turn with a twist-tie.
The Pinocoteca was to be open for another hour when we paid our admission fee. The galleries we entered first were devoted to modern Italian work of a very high caliber. There were many pictures by Georgio Morandi and sculpture by another Morandi — could be father or brother judging by the dates. Others of note:
Filippo de Pises (1896—1956) (Keith especially liked his work) Ottone Posai (1895—1957) Carlo Carra (1881—1966) From the twentieth century we passed immediately to the middle ages Some exquisite paintings here: Mantegna The Dead Christ Perugino Madonna of the Egg Raphael Marriage of the Virgin Mantegna Dead Christ with Mary and John Bronzino Andrea Doria in the Aspect of Neptune