Back to Milano!

Colored Etching of the Corso Vittorio Emanuelle in Milano by Bela Sziklay (LEO Design)

Sadly, this year's travel plans have been supplanted with overdue home projects, including the hanging and cataloging of my personal collection of paintings and other artwork.  So this summer, in lieu of an overseas getaway, I could only gaze wistfully at framed pictures as I hung them—many of them reminding me of my favorite travel destinations (and vacations gone by).  Let me share a few of them with you.  Alas, this shall be the extent of my romantic journeys for Summer 2020.  On the whole, I have little to complain of.  In the meantime, I'll enjoy a few more "little journeys,' gazing at my pictures of my favorite places.

I haven't spent a lot of time in Milano.  Alas, I wish I knew the city much better than I do.  But I do have two great memories of my one visit to the Fashion Capital of the World.

My first memory is of going to Mass in the Duomo, Milano's Cathedral (which looms in the background of the etching, shown above).  It was 6:00 pm on a Sunday afternoon, the congregation was packed, and the Mass was being celebrated by Carlo Cardinal Martini, Archbishop of Milano.  My limited Italian language skills prevented me from understanding his homily (though I knew he spoke flawless English).  Nevertheless, I was very aware of the rapt attention the congregation paid to him.  As he processed in before Mass (and out afterwards), every eye in the cathedral was fixed on Martini's mitre—seemingly floating through the crowd.  There was a tremendous spiritual magnetism in Martini's presence.  Rumor has it that the progressive Jesuit was "on the short list" of papal candidates.  Personally, I would have loved to have seen him elected.

My second memory of Milano happened in the hours following Mass.  Hungry (and anticipating an early morning flight the next day) we bounced from restaurant to restaurant in a vain attempt to find one which was open.  Apparently, Milanese restaurants do not open until 8:00 pm—even on a Sunday.  But the hour of frustration came to a wonderful end: on this evening, I experienced my first risotto.  To call it "life-changing" might be hyperbolic.  But I was certainly enlightened—and a new convert to one of the world's great comfort foods!

Grazie, Milano!


Though our Greenwich Village store is now permanently closed, LEO Design is still alive and well!  Please visit our on-line store where we continue to sell Handsome Gifts (

We also can be found in Pittsburgh's historic "Strip District" at Mahla & Co. Antiques ( or in Canonsburg, Pennsylvania at The Antique Center of Strabane (

Or call to arrange to visit our Pittsburgh showroom (by private appointment only).  917-446-4248