I’m on diet, I want to loose 10 kgs and I know that part of them comes from great dinners at Ferdinando Botto Poala’s place. I met this guy when we where teenagers, utterly disliked him first and slowly turned him into a dear friend. He’s from my hometown, Biella, in Northern Italy, his family has been for decades in the top wool business, where he works too, but to me Nando is above all a chef and a genuine art lover.
I can still see myself in the back of my Mum’s Mini Cooper entering a petrol station. Each time it was a thrill I waited with impatience, as a little kid. Mum lowered the window, smiling to the guy: “Il pieno, per favore” (Fill up, please), she said, and I got ready for the excitement. I loved the smell of petrol, it was strong, it almost made me dizzy. I had to wait for the right moment in utmost concentration because it reached the inside of the car, all of a sudden.
You’ve got two chances to experience something amazing in Milano. If you are in town on Jan. 16th or 23rd, make sure you visit the Albergo Diurno in Porta Venezia. Being built between 1923 and 1925, the Albergo Diurno Metropolitano opened exactly 90 years ago underneath piazza Oberdan as deluxe public baths. Troiani, Cavacini and Masini signed the project, while the interiors were conceived by Piero Portaluppi, one of the most significant architects in Milano, at the beginning of the XX century. Forget about the uneasiness you may feel in public baths today. Visiting the Albergo Diurno is a great exercise for your imagination.