PEr FYI

March 21, 2020

The Last Supper, Milan…one of art history’s greatest triumphs and biggest tragedies

The painting covers over 40 sq m of the wall of Convent of Santa Maria delle Grazie and many think it may be Leonardo da Vinci’s greatest painting. Because it was painted using an experimental oil-based medium it gave the painting subtle tonalities but the downside was that the paint surface quickly deteriorated. And so for centuries it was subjected to invasive restorations and heavy-handed retouchings.

Leonardo’s masterpiece depicts Christ revealing that one of his disciples will soon betray him; horror and disbelief are etched on every face but Jesus remains resigned. (spoiler alert: It was Judas, who da Vinci depicts as spilling salt on the table). Each figure is unique and memorable, down to the smallest details. There is no doubt that The Last Supper is one of the world’s most poignant and beautiful works of art.

The phenomenon now known as overtourism is frustrating everybody: People don’t just want to see The Last Supper: they want the picture for social media to prove it. Many don’t look at the painting at all; they focus on their smartphone screens. Some even turn their backs, beam their finest Mona Lisa smile, and take a selfie.

Only 30 people allowed in at a time, so it is a challenge to get a ticket if you don’t book well in advance.

Do not to take conspiracy theories and Dan Brown novels too seriously….there are no hidden symbols. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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January 26, 2020

Osteria dell’Acquabella, Milan…the ossobuco definitely floats my boat

Ossobuco – or rather slow-braised veal which would sound more appetising – is a dish that should be left to the Milanese. So said the great 19th-century writer, Artus. So, when you’re in Milan, forget about pizza and pasta although both  can be downright heavenly.

There is no debate here: Ossobuco Milanese (served with saffron risotto) at Osteria dell’Acquabella is absolutely delicious and soul-satisfying it’ll knock more than just your socks off. It is creamy, rich, silky smooth and vivid in both color and flavour with veal which is fall-off-the-bone tender.

A good sign is that Osteria dell’Acquabella is full of locals (including families) who know their stuff when it comes to food. This intimate and comfortable place is one of my most exciting discoveries. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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