The Old Fogies go to the San Siro Stadium in Milan

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When we went racing at the San Siro Ippodromo, Mr Curmudgeon couldn’t resist a visit the San Siro Stadium could he, even though it was over 30 degrees in the sun, we took the relatively short walk to the stadium to have a look see, although as you can imagine I was not too keen.

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The stadium is set in a large concrete area and stands four square and proud in the middle of the concrete plain.  To me the stadium itself looked very industrial, it was originally designed by architect Ulisse Stacchini and engineer Alberto Cugini in the 1920s but has been renovated a few times since. Mr Curmudgeon, guidebook in hand enlightened me by relating that the Chairman of A.C. Milan at the time Piero Pirelli, promoted the construction of the football stadium and the horserace course next to it. Although it is known around the world as the ‘San Siro’, the stadium is actually called the Giuseppe Meazza stadium, it was renamed in the 1980s after Giuseppe Meazza, one of the most famous Milan players.  

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The stadium is rectangular in shape, different from the modern British stadium which tend to be oval and bowl like, the San Siro has four corners and a large number of circular walkways that lead to different levels of seating.  Mr Curmudgeon described these to me as tyres (tyres, Pirelli, there is a connection), I could see his point.

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Mr Curmudgeon wanted to walk all round the stadium, I have already said it was over 30 degrees, he is obviously going a bit senile, but walk it we did and I was extremely pleased that we had.  At gate number 9 you can walk up and pay for a tour, cost of which was only Adults €17, Seniors and children (6-14) €12, Children under 6 are free, which is really reasonable.  We did not have time for the tour because of the horse racing, but the tours run every hour and allows you full access to the dressing rooms, pitch and hospitality.

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The other place it allows access to is the shop, however, at gate 14 you can enter the shop, unlike British stadium the shop is inside the gate, so when we arrive at gate 14 we went in.  The stadium is home for both Milanese teams, AC Milan and Internationale and the shop is split into 2 distinct areas for each of the teams, the black and red of AC and the blue and black for Internationale, but the real joy of the shop is there is a window onto the pitch.  Mr Curmudgeon immediately got his camera out and started taking pictures of the pitch, covered for a concert at the time we visited, and the seating, which goes up an awful long way.  I am not sure you would get a good view of the match at the top unless you were using binoculars though.

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Having exited the shop, we continued around the stadium, finally reaching the point where we started, it had took quite a long time to traverse the stadium but it was worth it in the end.  Mr Curmudgeon forehead, which goes a long way back these days was bright red, I was feeling pretty smug because I had my trusty race day hat on.

Old Fogies Travels are the adventures of two elderly Londoners (The Old Fogies) as they explore their home town and travel around the world looking out for the strange, unusual and absurd.

Our articles are published on our blog but also listed on the website of our friends at Visiting London Guide.com here.

Spinning on a Bull’s Testicles in the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II in Milan

Most visitors to Milan gravitate to the Doumo and why not, it is very impressive and the fifth largest cathedral in the world.  Standing nearby is the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II which is considered one of the world’s first shopping malls and now populated by some of the most luxurious brands and restaurants.

The Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II is named after Victor Emmanuel II, the first king of the Kingdom of Italy and was built by architect Giuseppe Mengoni between 1865 and 1867.

Unfortunately Giuseppe Mengoni fell to his death from the heights of the glass dome, just days before it was to be officially opened.

The Galleria is often nicknamed ‘Milan’s drawing room’ due to its importance as a Milanese meeting and dining place. The popular Biffi Caffè, the Motta restaurant and the Camparino are just some of the old traditional meeting places.

The building is a remarkable structure and is considered the prototype for large shopping arcades or Galleria all over Europe. The central octagonal space is topped with a glass dome which lights up the ground below which has four mosaics portraying the coat of arms of the three capitals of the Kingdom of Italy (Turin, Florence and Rome) plus Milan’s.

Tradition says that if a person spins around three times with a heel on the testicles of the bull from Turin coat of arms this will bring good luck.

We watched a married couple and entourage including photographer crowding around one of the mosaics in the centre of the Galleria. The groom and bride then spun around to the applause of the wedding party and watching tourists.

Of course, Mrs Nice had to have a go and managed a couple of turns before nearly falling over. I began to laugh until she came over and said ‘be careful or I will be stamping on your testicles’.

The Galleria is generally very busy because it connects Piazza del Duomo to Piazza della Scala and is great for people watching. Just before we moved on, a demonstration with flags and brass band marched through the Galleria to the bemusement of thousands of tourists.

Old Fogies Travels are the adventures of two elderly Londoners (The Old Fogies) as they explore their home town and travel around the world looking out for the strange, unusual and absurd.

Our articles are published on our blog but also listed on the website of our friends at Visiting London Guide.com here.