I have been always convinced that the essence of a city could not be hidden behind cold walls of museums. If one is eager to know how a place tastes like, they need to spend more time walking in the market streets and hanging out on the main squares, like locals.
So once we moved to Milan last autumn, I have been indulging myself with luxurious coffee experiences on the piazza and friendly language practicing chats with street vendors, until the city exploration has started narrowing to the backstreets and unveiling tantalising urban landscapes.
This is how I discovered the beautiful Villa Necchi Campiglio hidden in the real centre of Milan. The palazzo build in the 1930s as a summer house for the bourgeois family of the sisters Gigina and Nedda Necchi and the husband of Gigina – Antonio Campiglio is a beautiful example of a Rationalism architecture situated in a peaceful garden with a swimming pool and a tennis court.
Today the building is a home of a huge Modern Art collection and on a nice summer day anyone could spend some relaxing time in book reading under the old trees in the backyard or enjoying a cup of coffee in the cafeteria.
This week I had a new opportunity to cross the threshold of a building, designed by the Piero Portaluppi. Definitely, more difficult to encounter, Casa Museo Boschi di Stefano came up to be a spectacular immense apartment on the second floor in Via Giorgio Jan 15, whose walls are all covered with more than 200 works of Italian artists from the Twentieth century.
The collection used to belong to the married couple Marieda di Stefano and Antonio Boschi, which they donated to the city of Milan in the 1970s.
The house of Boschi di Stefano was into a gallery in 1998 and thanks to the volunteers of Touring Club Italiano today is open for public for free.
But the cosy feeling of intimacy was what made my visit in the gallery house this remarkable. Soon after I have been admitted in the entrance I already had the feeling of starting a tour in a house of a friend. Being let in the dining room, designed by Mario Sironi, in the bedroom and even in the bathroom, which is also an exposition area displaced the typical uneasiness when entering a huge gallery and made me enjoy works of Manzoni, Casorati, de Chirico, Morandi and admire pieces of furniture, among which a tavolino also designed by Portaluppi and impressive chandeliers.
Although Casa Museo Boschi di Stefano does not belong to the list of main sights in Milan, I am inclined to believe that an hour and an half journey among the artworks of the collection would contribute to the experience Milanese of any visito