Views from the Roof of Milan’s Duomo – Keep Calm and Wander

Author: , July 11th, 2018

Milan's Duomo - Keep Calm and Wander

If standing on top of Milan Cathedral won’t take your breath away – you better check in yourself to a hospital. 😀 No, I’m not kidding. Milan Duomo is one of the very few man-made architectural wonder that blew my mind away. It’s one of those places you don’t only have to see but also experience it.

From its facade to its internal core, this architectural wonder will leave you with a lasting impression. And from its underground archaeological museum to its roof, the Duomo shows us a contrast of what Milan was like and what Milan is today.

Climb the stairs or use an elevator?

Here’s the deal: the former will cost you 8 euros and the latter is 10 euros. However, the lift doesn’t go all the way up to the roof but only on the last floor and then you have to climb the remaining steps.

By Alain – Full Story at Keep Calm and Wander

Milan Gay Travel Resources

Pieta Rondanini, Michelangelo’s Unfinished Statue – Keep Calm and Wander

Author: , July 9th, 2018

Pieta Rondanini - Keep Calm and WanderPieta Rondanini – Keep Calm and Wander

Pieta Rondanini is Michelangelo’s unfinished marble statue. Since 1952, Milan is a host to the master’s work. Today, you can find it at Museo Pieta Rondanini inside the Castello Sforzesco. When Michelangelo died in 1564, they found the sculpture at the artist’s workshop in Rome. Afterwards, the unfinished statue was missing for more than 200 years and reappeared in 1807 at Palazzo Rondanini.

And that’s how it gained its monicker: Pieta Rondanini.

As you can see, Mary is standing, supporting her son, Jesus, after he was taken down from the cross. The famed Pieta inside St. Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican has Mary sitting while looking down at his son bathed in blood.

By Alain – Full Story at Keep Calm and Wander

Florence Gay Travel Resources

The Duomo in Milan – Keep Calm and Wander

Author: , May 4th, 2018

The Duomo in Milan - Keep Calm and Wander

In Milan, all roads lead to the Duomo – a gigantic cathedral that is as old as the Roman empire itself. Any visitor who does not visit this place hasn’t been to Milan.

Why, oh why? …because I have seen this place and I must say that I was shaken to my core when I saw how delicate the finesse of architectural art is combined with the size of the building. It is, after all, the largest church in Italy and the third largest in the world, covering 109,641 sq. ft. area.

1. See all the 3,400 statues

Combining both the inner and the outer statues of the cathedral, they make up to 3,400 statues, 700 figures, and 135 gargoyles. All of these inclusions make the building the most decorated one on the planet!

By Alain – Full Story at Keep Calm and Wander

Milan Gay Travel Resources

Milan’s Top Attractions – Keep Calm and Wander

Author: , May 3rd, 2018

Galleria Vittorio Emmanuelle - Milan - Keep Calm and Wander

Milan had been a cultural and political hub of the Roman Empire in the past. Today, it still holds immense importance in terms of attracting tourists from around the world to its bustling modern-day shopping malls, old gothic cathedrals, Byzantine mosaics, and historical citadels.

Milan was my last Italian city before taking off a train to Geneva, Switzerland. After reaching Milan and visiting these 7 distinct tourist attractions mentioned below, I was dazzled by the mix of Milanese or Roman culture – the architecture influenced by it, and the modern Italian vibes mingled and entwined in all of them.

1. Milan Duomo and the Piazza del Duomo

Standing in the main city square and looking at the gothic cathedral of Milan that took centuries to build was indeed enchanting in its own way. I was suddenly surrounded by two of the most revered attractions of Milan as I turned my head towards the left and saw the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II. Walking inside the Duomo was easy. And when I got in, my eyes stood wide at the spectacle ahead. I absorbed the art and the ambiance slowly and after being done with silently praising the inner workings of the intricacy of the place, I took an elevator to the top roof.

The spires looked gothic from the Piazza, but as I wandered right beside them, they revealed their true grandeur. I was honored by the presence of Madonnina sitting atop the highest spire and looking down at the moving human race below.

By Alain – Full Story at Keep Calm and Wander

Milan Gay Travel Resources

Eating My Way Through Northern Italy

Author: , January 2nd, 2016

Dani Globetrotter Girls

One of the things I was most exciting about when I got on the train to Italy? The food, of course! I boarded the train in Germany in the morning knowing that I’d get off the train in Milan a few hours later, and all I could think about was what I’d be eating for my first meal in Italy. I love Italian food – the pastas, pizzas, breads and pastries, risotto and pretty much everything that I can eat as a vegetarian (I am always told I am missing out because the meat dishes and seafood are amazing, apparently).

So while I’m inviting you to join me on a culinary tour of Lombardy and Veneto, the regions I traveled to on my recent visit, be warned: this is only a small fraction of all the good food Northern Italy has to offer, and it is the meat free version.

When this decadent customs wasn’t feasible anymore because of rising gold prices, Lombardians still wanted their food to look as if gold was used, which is why the color yellow is omnipresent – in the most iconic dish of the region for example, Risotto Alla Milanese. The color comes from the saffron, which is the most expensive spice in the world – did you know that? In addition to saffron, lots of grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese and butter are used. As you can see in the picture below, ‘Alla Milanese’ can also be made with pasta, not just with risotto.milan spaghetti milanesaSpeaking of butter – Lombardians are not afraid to use butter and lard, especially in the polenta dishes. Polenta, a corn meal based dish is together with risotto the most common dish in the region, and is usually served with meat or vegetables.

By Dani – Full Story at Globetrotter Girls

Lombardy Gay Travel Resources

Why You Need To Visit Lombardy, In 20 Photos – Globetrotter Girls

Author: , December 20th, 2015

Dani - Lombardy

Had it really been four years? This question ran through my mind as I was watching the familiar sights of sprawling vineyards and tall cypress trees from the train. Yes, it had really been four years since I last went to Italy, a country that I list as one of my favorite countries in the world every time when asked to name my most beloved countries.

And yet, my travels didn’t bring me here for years before my last visit in 2011, and again it had taken me nearly half a decade to return, even though after my last visit, I had vouched to visit more often again. Because if I know one country well, it is Italy, with about a dozen visits under my belt. Thinking about it, it is probably the country I’ve visited more often than any other country.

The Amalfi Coast, Tuscany, Rome and Liguria – I know them all so well. And yet, even after so many visits, I still have many regions in Italy to see: Puglia, Emilia Romagna, Calabria, Abruzzo, Sicily and Sardinia, to name just a few, are all places I have yet to explore. And the north, which I passed through so many times when driving down from Germany – somehow I never stopped there, despite glorious tales of beautiful alpine mountain trails and famous lakes like Garda and Como.

By Dani – Full Story at Globetrotter Girls

Lombardy Gay Travel Resources

Other Gay Travel Events

My Weekend in Milan

Author: , May 8th, 2014

Milan, ItalyHead to spend Easter weekend in Milan, first stop the city to meet friends and explore and second stop to meet the new Italian family just an hour north of the city in the steeps of the mountains in a village called Veglio.

We flew EasyJet, 1.5 hours from gatwick to Milan linate which is smack in the middle of the city a 15 minute taxi ride just [euro]13. Here we stayed with a friend who was just four stops by underground from Duomo, and a simple 20 minute walk from the main high street. If you begin shopping Milan there wil be no turning back. Not only are there hundreds of shops in the city but the style is unique and incredible compared to major cities like London and Paris and Berlin, furthermore the prices are surprisingly affordable for this style.

If Milan is built for anything it is shopping, immerse yourself in the high street stores or head designer for the home of Prada and other amazing brands that dazzle the wealth of the city including D&G And Marc Jacobs.

By Ryan C. Haynes – Honest Omissions | Milan Gay Travel Resources

Oltrepo Pavese, The Tuscany of the North

Author: , December 18th, 2011
by Stef Smulders, B&B Villa i Due Padroni, Montecalvo Versiggia, Lombardy, Italy
Email Stef | Visit the B&B Villa i Due Padroni Website

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Oltrepo Pavese, Liguria, Italy

The Oltrepo Pavese is the largest wine producing area of Lombardy in the North of Italy, only 50 km from Italy’s Gay Capital Milan, but is also virtually unknown abroad. It is reminiscent of Tuscany, but without the tourist industry. The landscape is beautiful, the people are kind, the food is authentic and there are lots of possibilities for walking, hiking, cycling and sight-seeing.

The smooth hills are covered with vineyards, castles and medieval villages and this landscape reminds one of Tuscany. Pace of life is slow, food is traditional and wine can be tasted anywhere, in one of the over 100 independent cantines.

Oltrepo PaveseThough frequently called the Tuscany of the North of Italy, the Oltrepo Pavese in Lombardy is fairly unknown abroad. Tourists pass the area closely when travelling to the real Tuscany, to Umbria or further south. This is a pity as the Oltrepo really offers something worthwhile for almost every tourist, especially food and wine lovers.

The area offer several attractions: smooth hills, medieval villages and castles, panoramic views, authentic Italian food and local wines.

Oltrepo Pavese VineyardThe Oltrepo happens to be the largest wine producing area of Lombardy and one of the largest in Italy, especially of the Pinot Nero. The landscape is scattered with vineyards that are freely accessible for hikers or even mountain biking.

The Oltrepo Pavese is part of the province of Pavia, in the southern part of Lombardy. Oltrepo literally means “on the other side of the Po”. The Po river runs through the large plain in the North of Italy, the pianura padana, where the risotto rice is produced. In the south of Pavia province the terrain quickly gains height. The Oltrepo is situated at the foothills of the Ligurian Alpes and Apennines.

Oltrepo Pavese TowerThe Oltrepo region has several nature reserves and protected areas which can easily be reached by car from the villa within an hour, such as the nature reserve of the Ticino valley which runs from the point where the rivers Ticino and Po flow together (a few kilometers from Broni), to the Lago Maggiore further north, the protected area of Monte Alpe , the area around the small ski-resort of Brallo di Pregola.

A popular and lively meeting point (especially on sundays) is the Penice Pass on the road between Varzi and Bobbio. The city of Bobbio is known as the cultural center of the hills of the Piacentina region. Here you can visit the tomb of one of the early 7th century Irish missionaries: San Columbano, and in the river Trebbia you can swim near the medeival bridge.

Oltrepo Pavese and the AlpsThe Oltrepo Pavese offers peace and quiet, tranquility and the silence (while strolling in the vineyards for example) is often overwhelming. Life still has a slow pace here, as the locals are living the life in more or less the same way their ancestors did: growing wine is a labor that follows the seasons, year after year, generation after generation. Most of the wine farmer families have been living here since the Middle Ages.

Hardly any tourist business has developed here, which means, fortunately, that as the one of the few visitors from abroad, you are encountered with amazement and hospitality everywhere. People are enthusiastic to serve you their local traditional food and wine at all of the little family restaurants that populate the area.

The food that is served is the food that Italians want to eat out, it has to have “mama” quality! Prices are ridiculously low.

A few of the things to see are the monastery of San Alberto di Butrio (medieval frescoes), the medieval village of Varzi, the castle of Zavattarello, the alpine garden of Pietra Corva, the beautifully restored “borgo” of Fortunago, and Salice Terme, a traditional spa with medicinal waters.

Interesting cities such as Milan, Parma, Genova are close by as well as the Mediterranean with Portofino and the Cinque Terre.

Ultrepo PaveseParticular of the area are the local sparkling wines, the “vivace”, “frizzante” and also “spumante” wines. Reds and whites sparkle without being just sweet. The most famous local wine, the Bonarda is fruity but not sweet, in contrast to the Lambrusco e.g. A local, more classical wine is the Buttafuoco, the production of which is restricted to a small area in the North of the Oltrepo. A typical sweet red wine of the area is the Sangue di Giuda. The regional champagne-like spumantes have made it to the Italian DOCG category.

B&B Villa I Due Padroni

Regional dishes are simple but very effective. Using the seasonal ingredients like mushrooms and tartufi and the local meats of rabbit, wild boar and the likes, delicious dishes are prepared. One thing not to be missed is the typical Sunday “pranzo” or lunch in which all of the servings of the Italian menu (antipasti, primi, secondi, contorni, dolci) pass by, sometimes even twice. The Varzi salame is a protected product, like the Parmesan cheese.

B&B Villa I Due Padroni is located in this beautiful wine region. Situated on a panoramic position in the hills, with pool, private terrace andgarden. The luxurious apartment sleeps up to 6. It is gay owned and we are dog friendly. If you are interested we can organize a cooking class, a culinary arrangement and wine tastings.