Saturday, May 26, 2018

A Few Last Minute Blue Storms Game Details and a GREAT Dinner!

Friday, 25 May, 2018

First, this breaking story about Italian nonnas is definitely NOT fake news . . .

I found this to be true for the
first time in Enna, Sicily in 2008

Although all of our physical preparation for Saturday night's big game against the 7-0, #3 ranked, Group C Champion Busto Arsizio Blue Storms ended with Thursday night's practice, I still had several organizational details to attend to today.

I also had to continue my daily battle with the weeds laying siege to the Villa Skorpion, read a bit and then journey to the Esselunga Super Market for provisions.

By late afternoon we decided that we needed to go out for a proper Friday night dinner date, but where?  

Enna is our
Venegono Superiore Librarian
The last time we went to the local public library to check out a couple of DVDs and donate some English language titles to their collection, we had asked her for a recommendation of a good place to dine fine food and adult beverages in the area.

Enna did not bat an eye as she instantly responded, "Che SpettaColo di Sapori in the village of Morazzone on Via Europa."

So we we decided to follow her lead and drive the 15 minutes to Morazzone.

Enza was dead on point! 

This ristorante offered us an amazing array of sauces to go with the fresh ingredients of the meal.

The plate that you see here is the smallest of four seafood antipasto plates that was brought to us over a 15 minute period.

We thought that we were done and had misinterpreted the menu as to what our main dishes were.

No, we were told, these are all just part of our antipasto order.

We were in trouble.

 Out came my pasta al nero


It was incredibly good and brought back many fine dining memories from our two seasons coaching the Catania Elephants in Sicily in 2008 and 2009.

 Laurie loved her artichoke-seafood
pasta as well

As for the matching adult beverage . . .

 . . . it was indeed Prosecco Time

Life in Italy is

On another note about the local international American football scene . . .

Italy's Division I leading
Milan Seamen will host
an International Tournament
Championship Game in June

The Seamen, coached by Europe Warriors DC Mike Wood, will play the winner of the Calanda Broncos (Switzerland) at Potsdam Royals (Germany) game being contested this coming Sunday.

We will be playing our Wild Card playoff game either on the 9th or 10th of June at a sight and against an opponent to be named on Monday.

If you can not make it to our game, then I highly recommend going to see he Seamen's game.

Friday, May 25, 2018

A Final Tune-up Before the Big Game

Thursday, 24 May, 2018

After a busy Wednesday, we laid low for the most part today reading and continuing to wage war on the weeds trying to lay siege to the Villa Skorpion.

Congratulations are in order for our old club in the South of Spain, the Murcia Cobras.

 They are in the Spanish DI
Championship Game on June 2nd for 
the first time in their long history

The undefeated Cobras (10-0) were seeded #1 and play the #2 seeded, two time defending champion and perennial Spanish powerhouse Badalona Dracs (8-0) in the northern coastal city of Gijón.

While the Cobras have had to battle to win their two playoff games against Mallorca Voltors (35-14) and the Las Rozas Black Demons (35-28), the Dracs have been cruising to the title game with easy victories over the Gijón Mariners (78-12) and the Osos Rivas (48-0).

All I can say is . . .

Go Cobras GO!

Meanwhile, back at Skorpion Field . . .

We had a GREAT U13 turnout!

U15 HC Enzo Petrillo going
over a new concept . . .

. . . working the new concept vs. air . . .

. . . and then vs. the U17s in their
weekly scrimmage

Before the Flag practices, we held our best attended U19 practice to date and introduced some WR screen concepts that were well received, no pun intended.

The Senior team practice also was well attended as it was our last one before facing the best team on our schedule, the #3 ranked, 7-0 Busto Arsizio Blue Storms Saturday night on the road.

While the individual effort was good, the team consistency was still a bit lacking.

Nevertheless, we will show up for the 8:30 p.m. kickoff as scheduled.

Thursday, May 24, 2018

A Trip to Torino Turns Into an AMAZING Plan B at the Duomo in Milan

Wednesday, 23 May, 2018

Our plan for the day was simple enough, coffee at the bar next to the Venegono Inferiore train station, catch the 7:35 a.m. train to Milan, board the Green Metro line to Milan's Centrale train station and then board another train heading West to Torino, a.k.a., Turin.

A day trip to the main city in the Piedmont region just sounded good to us both.

Everything was going well until we got to the Metro station. We submerged into the Metro tunnel to find both a jam packed Green line Metro at the platform and a jam packed platform with commuters now having to wait for the next Metro a few minutes later. This was business as usual at rush hour but what happened next wasn't.

The doors of the Metrclosed and then opened again and again and again. After abouthe tenth attempt, the lights on the Metro went dark and it was announced thaeveryone needed to geoff as the Metro had broken down.

We all knew thathat meantrouble since one just can'push the Metro off to the side.

We decided quickly that we needed a Plan B as we did not want to deal with finding the correct Tram line to Milan Centrale. We have not been able to find any kind of a tram map in all of our Milan travels so you just have to find a tram stop and see where the trams on this particular stops head.

Madcap I know, but that is life in the North sometimes.

Our Plan B today was a visit to Milan's Duomo.

All of Milan's Duomo, i.e., outside, inside, underneath and atop.

It would turn out to be
a GREAT Plan B

But first we needed another cappuccino and a brioche at one of our favorite and diet dangerous spots in Milan, the Pasticceria Marchesi.

 See whaI mean about . . . 

 . . . dangerous!

A new, random church for us

It was Greek Orthodox style inside. That was different.

 San Carlos Borromeo


Laurie was in need of a restroom break, so we ducked into the fabulous Peck eatery to use their free facility.

I posed as a shopper to give her cover.  



And DOUBLE Yikes!

The fruit topped one in the middle on the left looks really healthy to me.

Just saying.

Peck has teas, lots of teas

On to Plan B . . .

Protecting the piazza in front of . . .

. . . Milan's Duomo

St. Andrew with his X shaped cross

 Show off

Getting in line to enter the Duomo after buying our 16 Euros per person ducats afforded us some different, close up views of the Duomo.

It is tall

It is ornate

 It is interesting

The Piazza Duomo

Laurie loves grapes

Especially after fermentation.

A veiled face on the right

 You two,

So much artwork!

The Duomo was constructed between 1386 and 1810 with final touches added as late as 1965.

The dukes of Milan wanted to impress their peers to the North in France and Germany and gain the respect of the Vatican to the South.

Mission Accomplished!  

Incredible main entry door

Stop flashing the crowd!


 We were finally inside
one of Christendom's greatest
Gothic Cathedrals

We had visited this wondrous church when there was no entry fee back in 2008 and again in 2009.

It was more amazing inside than we both remembered.

 How did they do this?

My sign is Cancer

Laurie's is Taurus

Of course there are astrological signs in a Catholic Cathedral.

Laurie overwhelmed by
a Duomo pillar . . .

. . . An extremely BIG pillar

Different Holy Water Font

What am I taking a picture of  ask?

The chronological list of all of the 144
Archbishops/Cardinals of the Duomo

 #140 would become Pope Paul VI

A Confessional

"In this Sign Conquer"

 Mary over the Duomo's Façade

Jesus is BIG in the Duomo

So is Mary

So is the Medici family

Ornate Cross

San Bartolomeo

This 16th-century statue of this 1st-century Apostle and martyr who was skinned alive by those wacky, fun loving Romans may be my favorite piece of art in all of Europe.

It was carved by one of Leonardo di Vinci's students. What makes it appealing to me is that it gave the young artist a chance to show off the skills he had learned about human anatomy after studying cadavers which the Catholic Church prohibited in those times.

Thus he displayed the inner anatomically correct San Bartolomeo draped with his robe-like skin.

What a rascal. 

San Bartolomeo was not
fearful of Leg Day it appears

 Collapsed foot skin


 A smaller but no less intricate pillar

 I was getting a little tired too

Jesus and a couple of angels


After touring the interior of the Duomo, we went under it to . . .

. . . the remains of a church
that pre-dates the Duomo
at this site

In Roman times the streets here were about ten feet lower than they are today.

Sforza crested pottery was
on display with the ruins

One last look before heading
out the doors . . .

. . . and oh what doors INDEED!

A Blessing

What is going on in the lower panel?

So much talent . . .

The Tower of Babel?

Our final Duomo destination was its roof via elevator for the most part.

We had never been up there before and we were in for a great surprise.


Two great views,
Laurie and Milan


What do you think you
Northern Kings?

Who does not love
a beautiful buttress?

LOTS of beautiful buttresses

 Laurie insisted

How could I say no?

 The Vatican just had to be impressed!

 Old spires in the foreground,
a new one in the distance

 Even at rooftop levels, the detailed
artwork continued

Laurie with spires and
the Galleria behind her

 Framing Milan

 Standing on the Duomo's roof


 Laurie liked this face

 I liked these boxers

These two also

What are modern day boxers doing on top of the Duomo you ask?

Simple really, you see an Italian boxer by the name of Primo Carnera reigned as the World Heavyweight Champion after beating Jack Sharkey at Madison Square Garden in June of 1933.

Il Duce, Benito Mussolini, knew a good PR situation when he saw it and made Carnera into a sort of poster boy for Fascist propaganda.

This would include adding these boxing images to the Duomo's rooftop.

By the way, these boxing statues were listed as the #7 thing to see in my book 111 Places in Milan That You Must Not Miss.

A bit more traditional

The view of the Piazza Duomo
before we started our descent

Still loving the buttresses

Cherubs always seem to
do the heavy lifting

One last artsy foto of an
extremely artsy building

The Sun was out, Laurie wanted to shop while I wanted to browse the Galleria's two book shops.

Meet you by the Leonardo di Vinci
statue on the Piazza La Scala

Let's roam a bit before eating lunch.

Interesting building

Sunny window grate

 Bottle glass windows

All of these details made for quite he edifice!

 Fortunately, this was a
Sumo Wrestling free zone

 Milan's Centrale Station

We made it not for a train to Torino as planned but only for Laurie to see and have lunch in one of their many bistros.

Only one more train for us today and that was home to the Villa Skorpion via the Cadorna to Venegono Inferiore train stations.

A fat cat on a blissful
Italian train ride home

It was such a BEAUTIFUL day, why were we not practicing American football?