July 1st: music, bread & food, wine, nature and amazing people!
A walk in Monza
Visit the Royal Mansion and enjoy the green park
by Federica Cagnoni.
Milan is famous all over the world as a city of fashion, some kind of shopping kingdom, and its reputation often overshadows the near city of Monza. Maybe you heard about Monza because of the Italian F1 Grand Prix, that takes place every first weekend of September in the racetrack in the Park of the Royal Mansion.
The Royal Mansion has just been restored and reopened to the public. Whenever you may visit the surroundings, I think you shouldn’t miss it. It was built upon request of Maria Teresa from Austria, who wanted his son to have the summer house not too far from Milan and on the ancient axis that linked Milan and Wien. They used to spend everyday life in their Villa in the center of Milan (you are allowed to visit its garden only if you are accompanied by a child no older than 12 years old, you know!) and they moved towards North when it started to become too hot in the city. If you look at both these mansions you will find a lot of correspondences in architectures, dued to Piermarini.
The Royal Mansion of Monza dates back to the 18th century and it is characterized by a U shaped structure: you will be introduced in different apartments and you will discover the history of the first kings of Italy. It is very interesting to notice that most of our Made in Italy is still preserved in this house since Queen Margherita wanted to furnish the spaces with Italian masterpieces: porcelains, tiles, etc. (yes, Queen Margherita is the one who named Italian Pizza!). You will pass through Mickey Mouse’s room… was Walt Disney inspired by this? Visit and discover, you won’t be disappointed.
After visiting the Villa, you can enjoy a walk in the park, one of the largest in Europe, crossed by the river Lambro and by many lanes dotted with stables, farmhouses, little temples. Here you can ride horses, or reach the city centre cycling or walking.
Do you love shopping? You will be delighted by all the shops along Italia street and Vittorio Emanuele II street. Where these two streets cross, there is the old City Hall, called Arengario, that dates back to the 13th century and stands in the middle of the Market square. Walking along Vittorio Emanuele street, you will find the court on your left and you will walk over the Lions’ bridge crossing the Lambro river. Walking back along the river, you will meet the Dom square in gothic style, where you can visit Teodolinda’s chapel and the Serpero Museum. A place where most of the Longobardic treasures are preserved, for example the Iron Crown, bearing precious stones. According to tradition, it was wrought with a nail from Jesu’s Cross.
Monza has become one of Lombardy provinces, a good starting point for visiting the Brianza area, a land characterized by workers and furniture producers. Lords used to leave the city and restore themselves here on holiday, it is a place full of noble residences, sanctuaries and a lot of green spots, hard to find in the center of Milan… but not so far!
Ifyou visit Monza, you must eat Rice with Luganega…
Recipe of Rice with Luganega
Kg. 1 rice
gr. 150 butter
2 litres broth
1 glass Barbera wine
gr. 400 luganega (thin sausage from Monza)
Melt butter in a saucepan. Before it starts frying, add the chopped onion and the sausage that you have previously reduced into pieces. Pour the rice and let it roast. Simmer with the glass of wine. Once it has evaporated, stir in one ladle of broth. Add another one, once the previous has reduced and until rice is cooked (max 18 minutes).
Serve rice and enjoy it!
main pic courtesy of Flickr User Maurizio Albissola