Milan, 1959. Brera quarter is the little Montparnasse of Lombardy�s �capital�. In that brilliant world gravitating around the Academy of Fine Arts, bars, restaurants and art galleries turn themselves into meeting places for artists, writers and painters, where they discuss, create, argue and write the pages of the Italian culture. Salvatore Quasimodo, in his two-roomed flat in Corso Garibaldi, receives the announcement of Nobel Prize. Senator Merlin makes licensed brothels move forever and Via Fiori Chiari loses its subtle charm of sin and its primacy for the best ‘girls’ in Milan.

On march 12th of that year, right in Via Fiori Chiari, the Tuscan Meacci family hangs �La Torre di Pisa� sign where the restaurant Trattoria da Omero used to be. Five big windows with country motif curtains, four small rooms smelling of stew, tripe, rissoles, sausages and beans, apple pie. A genuine and generous menu, massive tables and popular prices as one can read in 1962 list which is now kept behind a pane of glass. Around ten of fifteen covers, nearly all workers, called to heal the wounds that Brera still had since second world war, and small groups of office-workers from the nearby Academy. Luck arrives at midday without making a reservation: its name is Giancarlo Baghetti, a famous Formula One racer at that time. He eats and he likes it. He passes the word. The journalist Camilla Cederna, who lived in Piazzetta Brera, arrives. Then Maria Vittoria Mussolini, photoreporter. And then painters, stylists, industrialists, actors, intellectuals, models and great families� offspring, all electing this restaurant one of the places to live it up. It has been so for decades, a �sold out� that makes people long for a gastronomical break at La Torre di Pisa, where Milan�s elite keeps making appointments for the pleasure of the real Tuscan cuisine.

Because of its date of birth and the personalities that keep  patronizing it, in 2002 La Torre di Pisa received from the Chamber of Commerce of Milan a recognition after which it can be counted among the most ancient  public concerns in town.
Today this historic restaurant is owned by Alberto Cortesi, a trueborn Tuscan who has put his sign on many successful restaurants in Milan since the ‘60s and has been able to keep the spirit and the flavours of this small strip of Tuscan land in the heart of Brera.




In the picture: Brera�s Academy during the �70s. Above: Via Fiori Chiari at the beginning of the �60s (Civic Photographic Archives of Milan).