When you’re young you think the magic comes from cartoons you see on television, the figurines of your sports idols that you carefully look to stick “board on board”, by paying attention that your hero fits perfectly in the square drawn in the album.
Speaking like a perfect Inter Milan FC supporter born in the 80s, my idols were three plus one. Matthaeus, Klinsmann, Brehme. And the spider man, the lord of goalkeeper Walter Zenga. Needless to say that I had his gloves of Umbro.
Everything else was a corollary, an artifice. Pure distraction.
Sure, it happened that instead of eating at home as all my school mates did, I had to take the “50” in order to get to Terraggio Street, a short walk from the Basilica of St. Ambrose and the Basilica of S. Maria delle Grazie, where Leonardo painted one of his most popular works of art, The Last Supper.
But when you are 10-11 years old you think that the Romanesque basilicas are just red bricks, St. Ambrose was a gentleman with a very strange name, Leonardo was probably just a clever guy, and the Last Supper is a “paint” that you do not explain how it can withstand millennia.
That’s why in Terraggio Street for me there was not just the Osteria La Carbonella, but mom and dad, my little table near the cash waiting for me and some good hot muffins with chocolate.
I was sitting at my table as usual. And I saw a lot of people come in and ask for a seat. They did not know if they would be lucky enough to sit and enjoy the fantastic Fiorentina steak. The best in Milan.
I can not deny that I felt important.
It’s been more than twenty years and today I know perfectly well that the Romanesque basilicas are not just “red bricks”, but magic places containing priceless cultural treasures. Saint Ambrose is one of the most important patrons of Milan, of Italy, and of Christianity in the world. Leonardo Da Vinci is an extraordinary example of genius, creativity and imagination. The Last Supper is not just a draw, but the expression of a symbolic banquet where we find a mix of virtues and human weaknesses.
That’s why the restaurant Osteria La Carbonella today is not just a restaurant but something magical. A meeting place that still lives in the delicacy of its specialties and the smiles of those who attended.
Nowadays a lot of people ask me what is the secret of Osteria La Carbonella.
My answer is LOVE.