Monday, December 17, 2007

A DAY IN MILANO: Hints of Christmas Spirit.

Milan Christmas City Park.
Scattered all over the centre of Milan, 101 stylized Christmas trees, created in recyclable plastic and decorated by artists, designers, stylist and creative people. The initiative is called Christmas City Park and adheres to the United Nations Environment Program (UREP), Plants for the Planet, a global campaign aimed at planting at least a billion trees all over the world. When the event closes on January 6 there will be a silent auction, which aims to collect funds for environmental support and sustainable urban development. Seen here Elio Fiorucci’s In Love with Santa Claus, which was appropriately placed on the Galleria Passarella, where in 1967 he opened the first Fiorucci department store. You can see Piazza San Babila in the background.

Via della Spiga by night.
I must say that the fashionable Via della Spiga home to the worlds luxury boutiques looked very discreet dressed in white lights.

The Christmas tree at the top of Via della Spiga on the corner of Corso Venezia. Though the Town Hall made an effort to decorate Milan for the holidays, the Italians have never really felt the holiday spirit.

Another of my favorite places in Milan for coffee and gourmand shopping is Cova on the trendy Via Montenaopleone. They also make the best Panettone, Italian Christmas cake. The pastry shop and tearoom was founded in 1817. Seen in the window, one of the many panettoni covered in marzipan, this one depicting a Father Christmas on a see saw with an “unusual” type of dog or animal

Red Christmas flowers - Aspesi.
Aspesi on the Via Montenapoleone is one of a few boutiques that sells fresh flowers. Another unusual spot where you can buy fresh flowers is in the Fioraio Bianchi Caffe on the Piazza Mirabella in Brera.

In Aspesi, you can also buy amusing objects or toys, like these old fashioned snow globes.

White Christmas flowers.
I bought this bunch of white hyacinths in Piazza San Babila. I loved they way the “florist” put them together with magnolia leaves. A very unusual and chic composition.

Here is the detail of the window of Lula Cioccolato, it is my all time favorite chocolate shop. The panettone in the window is a hollow chocolate panettone, the inside “walls” are covered in just the right ratio of chocolate and whole hazelnuts to make it irresistible. There is also a silver surprise gift inside and it comes in an elegant white square box tied with a red ribbon and a porte bonheur. Another seasonal chocolate gift is the Christmas tree box, which can be filed with the most delicious, and unusual chocolates.

Detail. This product is nicknamed “Overdose” and it’s a 2.5 Kilo jar of Crema Gianduia, or hazelnut chocolate cream, it is to be eaten by the spoonful. It’s wicked!
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