aka Pilena between Riga and Paris

#kidsgazettetravel Milano


This was first time in many years I changed my travel destination… Milano instead of Paris. And I must say it was a good choice, because sometimes you have to step out of your comfort zone and have new challenges. I started planning my trip as soon as the plane tickets were in my pocket. Did you know I am a control freak and a crazy holiday planner?… my family members even call me a travel guide. Well I am fine with that as far as they are happy and enjoying.

So this post will be about MILANO, the places I visited and enjoyed. Some… very touristic ones, and “must visit” in every Milano city guide, but some – real treasures!


When I travel, first thing I do is look for great modern art and 20th century architecture and design, so… (I will not give you touristic or history info, as you can find it on google) Personal advice: when you are planning your visits pay attention to museum Opening hours and days, because they differ!


This was a real “wow” – I just couldn’t stop smiling and felt like I could live there forever! Celebrated architect and author of many interior design objects Portaluppi is a genius. One of the most beautiful villas I have ever visited!

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Interesting experience, though I can’t say this was my favorite. Nice building and view though.


Very beautiful and not polished botanical garden in the middle of Milano (Brera district). It is part of a large cultural compound housed in Brera Palace, which includes the Brera Pinacoteca, the Astronomical Observatory, the National Library and the Academy of Fine Arts. I suggest you don’t miss the library…

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This was one of the great moments I compared to how I feel after watching an impressive movie… Not a good one or bad one, but the one that makes you think. The building and architecture, every detail was something you have never seen before, even the WC’s were “cool”! And there was a Bar Luce designed by world famous film director Wes Anderson – it felt so freaky 50s. Though aftertaste was like the building complex was greater than the arts (of course there were the big names like Hirst, Man Ray, Cattelan, Hockney, Lichtenstein, Koons)… but I bet it is just the beginning as Mrs Prada is doing a great investment in the history of 21st century culture!

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There were some places I still missed, but wanted to see:

HANGAR BICOCCAContemporary art museum in former factory with monumental permanent installations & temporary shows.

WOW SPAZIO FUMETTO – if you like comics and is free of charge.


This is another important aspect when you are traveling, and is better (at least I think so) to eat like a local, so I always read reviews, scroll through instagram to find some good places. This was my choice for the trip:


In the district of Brera. It is a legendary place from 50s though established in 1911. According to local lore, Mussolini had an unpaid tab here when he became prime minister in 1922. In the 1950s Jamaica became a favoured hangout of journalists and artists (Giacometti included), and it started holding art and photography shows long before anybody else thought of combining the arts with alcohol. Google some pics of Jamaica and you will get the feeling.

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A real place to dine like a local, with just 9 tables, Papa in the kitchen and mama in the hall. Once a small dairy shop selling milk and eggs, this tiny latteria in the Porta Nuova neighborhood expanded its menu during the impoverished years that followed World War II to include old-school Milanese dishes. Owner and chef Arturo Maggi employs a little alchemy by cooking in solid silver pots and pans to “purify” the food and improve digestion. The food was great!


Great food and atmosphere, specially known for Milanese cutlet and risotto. If you don’t get a table in the restaurant, you can always have a place in the bistro just around the corner, having the same menu.


One of the oldest bars in Milano… since 1907. The place which according to legend started “aperitivo”. Nice interior decorations and a very tasty Tonno Tonnato.


You can find it near Milan Duomo. In 1867, Gaspare Campari set up his home, restaurant and wine shop at this location. Over the years, many notable people stopped here, including Giuseppe Verdi and Arturo Toscanini, who came after performances at nearby la Scala. It has amazing mosaics on the wall by Angelo d’Andrea. I suggest you stay at the bar and watch people pass by and bartenders at work. (The above pic Me standing at the bar shot there)


Didn’t go for dinner, just for a shot of limoncello, but if I had one more night to dine out this would be the place – very lively, young people, great interior.


The one I mentioned before done by Wes Andreson!

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Milano is THE place for shopping… now I am sure – both if you have a small budget or want to spend a fortune!


If you like design and arts combined, this place is a must visit. It has a magical garden, where every piece (table, cup, sculpture) can be yours for quite a high price and then you are guided through the shop inside by a competent assistant, being excited about every piece sold at the shop. Have chat and don’t be shy! It is located in the backyard and not so easily found.


For design and book lovers. The Italian version of Colette (Paris)…selling super stylish garments, shoes, perfumes, candles, jewellery. Then don’t miss a lunch or dinner at the restaurant or drink a cocktail at the bar! Loved it + it doesn’t change in many years, so you will get what you expect!

Photo: Nr 1/2/3/7/8/10/15 shot on film; Zenit camera by Bindemane & Mihelsons


“I was just on my way over to invite you to help me celebrate my birthday on Saturday,” said Anne.

“Your birthday? But your birthday was in March!”

“That wasn’t my fault,” laughed Anne. “If my parents had consulted me it would never have happened then. I should have chosen to be born in spring, of course. It must be delightful to come into the world with the mayflowers and violets. You would always feel that you were their foster sister. But since I didn’t, the next best thing is to celebrate my birthday in the spring. Priscilla is coming over Saturday and Jane will be home. We’ll all four start off to the woods and spend a golden day making the acquaintance of the spring. We none of us really know her yet, but we’ll meet her back there as we never can anywhere else. I want to explore all those fields and lonely places anyhow. I have a conviction that there are scores of beautiful nooks there that have never really been seen although they may have been looked at. We’ll make friends with wind and sky and sun, and bring home the spring in our hearts.” Continue reading

Just choose to be happy

I’m now sitting at my desk and in front of me I read “People wait all week for Friday, all year for summer and all life for happiness.” And then I realize – NOW! It’s happening exactly now… it is Friday, it is summer (ok, almost) and happiness is just a state of mind and soul – and I am choosing it! Continue reading

So, this is what I know


Well, this is gona be a very not serious, yet very personal post. I don’t really know how this came to my mind, but one late evening I decided to clean my phone from stuff that probably does not matter any more – many me, myself and I’s from camera roll, but that’s only the visual part, because here comes something more hidden “PERSONAL NOTES”. Do you guys take notes on the phone? I do it every day… whenever something comes to my mind – a song, a thing I have to do, but always forget until it’s written down, a quote from my kids dialogue, a love/life quote, address. So, today I screen shot some and decided to share them with you. Why? Continue reading

Happy 16th Birthday

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Have you ever thought of the many wonderful, funny, silly pics you capture with your kids on the phone? What happens with them? Ok! Facebook, Instagram. Hopefully you save them on your computer. But will they ever get them from you? I am not so sure, UNLESS…. Continue reading

A very personal story

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It’s been five months since we visited my grandma. I am just waiting for spring to come to get her some tulips and lilac – her favorite flowers. I think Dzintra (that’s her name) doesn’t mind that we haven’t been around for a while. On some colder nights, when I miss her more, I just put on her blouse and go to sleep. Sometimes I open her “jewellery” box – where I find her telephone book, a card with a prayer, her glasses, lipstick and Anais Anais perfume. She passed away almost 15 years ago, and since then I am a frequent guest in cemetery, though I can’t say I was not before. Continue reading