Fonderie Milanesi comes alive at night, after about six. During the winter, when the city’s sky is clear and you can see the stars outside the windows, a beautiful song by Franco Battiato may come to mind: “Segnali di vita nei cortili / e nelle case all’imbrunire, / le luci fanno ricordare / le meccaniche celesti” (“Signs of life in the courtyards / and houses at dusk, / the lights remind us / of celestial mechanisms”).
Fonderie Milanesi is a small 19th-century tesserae in Milan’s mosaic, a fragment of countryside that has survived today’s voracious urban modernity. There are marks of a long-extinguished fire on the walls, upcycled furniture, a few old bicycles set against the wall, wicker and plastic chairs, vintage motorcycles on display, skylights in the wooden roof – letting the colors of the sunset “rain” in – and great Italian food.
All of this is in Milan, at nightfall. But it really seems like a different world.