I love living the neighborhood life. Those who don’t live in Milan think that we don’t have it anymore. They believe that it is something that people experience only in small towns or villages. Back in the days I used to get mad about it, but now I find it funny how cliches have the power to shape people’s mind. I also find it funny how people think that Milan is just the Duomo, Corso Vittorio Emanuele, and Via Torino. Oh no, it is also about rainy days.
It took me a little bit to get to explore my neighborhood because it is not a specific neighborhood like Lambrate or Isola. It is located at the edges of Maggiolina, it is close to Isola, Martesana, and it is not far from Bicocca.
My neighborhood is just like Milan: if you don’t open your eyes and pay attention to it, it is just how people describe it. You need to be willing to explore it.
You all know about my love and passion for old small shops, old signs, and old stuff in general. That is why I created a new Instagram profile, The Nostalgic Traveller, where I publish photos of signs, shops, and people who have an interesting story to share.
A few months ago I photographed the shop La Drogheria La Casa Del Miele. Every time I walked by this place it really called my attention but for some weird reason I never walked in.
Then about a week ago I decided to do it and I found a whole universe between its doors. Actually, I found more than one universe.
I came back to Ponte Buriano, the native village of my grandparents, and I found a place halfway between a stationery shop and home decors. I couldn’t stop looking at the very tall fridge full of those ice creams that I used to love when I was a little kid.
Simona runs the Drogheria shop; she is a very educated and friendly lady who started her business in 2004.
La Casa del Miele was founded in 1934 by Mr Ghiringhelli, a man who would rather stay in his shop and use just the light of two candles instead of going to the shelter during the bombings.
Mr Curti had a black bike with a big basket to deliver goods to the houses nearby; years later a man called Giuseppe got the shop and the black bike, too. He added a few more products like washing powder, oil, coffe, and dried cod. Also Simona today uses a black bike to deliver goods, and she is very busy too.
La Casa del Miele is not just a grocery shop, it is a place where you can grab a bite – I loved the farm to table tofu and beans – or enjoy a slice of bread with some peanut butter on top, or even attend special events – the next one will be a tribute to Jean Claude Izzo featuring food, scents, and literature.
It is one of those places where you can go alone, write on a diary or even work a little bit, chat with Simona or whomever else is there.
A place where you can try to imagine its past and its future. And in the meantime you hope that a bank won’t come to take it away and put its sign at the front door.
No, it won’t happen.