Palazzo Invernizzi and Milan’s pink flamingos
The so-called Quadrangle of Silence is an area in Milan that revolves around Piazza Eleonora Duse. It is an urban oasis dating back to the Habsburg period, and blossomed in the 1800s with an Art Nouveau profile that makes its buildings beautiful and unique.
This is where, between Corso Venezia and Via dei Cappuccini, you’ll find Palazzo Invernizzi, whose garden has been home to a colony of pink flamingos for over thirty years.
The whimsical birds descend from Chilean and African specimens, which were brought to Lombardy by Romeo Invernizzi, a famous cheese tycoon who had moved to the area in the mid 1900s.
The Milanese entrepreneur successfully managed the family company, originally from a small town in Valsassina. He invested in advertisement, and thanks to his intuition Invernizzi products achieved great market success. His mascots are still cherished by the generation of Italians who were kids in the 1960s and 1970s: Mucca Carolina (Carolina the cow), Toro Annibale (Annibale the bull), Susanna “tutta panna” (all-cream Susanna), kittens Geo and Gea, and Camillo il Coccodrillo (Camillo the crocodile).
Invernizzi loved to observe his exotic birds from his home office’s large window. Walk by, and you’ll surely hear them croak, breaking for an instant the silence of their upper-class neighborhood. You might even catch a glimpse of them through the bars of the beautiful building’s gate.