Dr. Hoffer's Travel WebSite This site was last updated 07/21/13
ITALY00 #2 Arese and Milano
ASIDE: This is a traumatic time for me because I have been using a Palm PDA device (below left) since June 1996 and have used it extensively over these 17 years to keep track of what we did and where we went on all these EU trips. I could easily export the data, edit it in MSWord and copy/paste it into a Diario page to become the skeleton to start from.
When it became a telephone, I used it for all my contacts and as my main means of contact. I skipped all the 5 generations of iPhone hysteria because I just didn't want the Apple world controlling me. Two weeks ago I finally made the big jump to the Samsung Galaxy S4 Android Smartphone (on right) and it has been traumatic. My contacts went to the new phone easily but getting all my Memos over was a challenge that took adding an app called PalmNotes and a lot of maneuvers to get them all on the S4. My last hurdle is to get the two calendars from the Palm to the S4. Thanks to CompuLink, I succeeded in getting both of them to the Google Calendar but they will not go on the S4. Every new event I add now synchs with the phone flawlessly. I have two calendars because during the Paris Trip in 2010, the first calendar (1996-2010) maxed out at 55,000 events and stopped functioning. I bought a new Palm and started a second calendar (2010-2013.) There is a fellow in the UK (Neil) who is trying to see if he can figure out why my Google calendars will not transfer to the S4. We discovered if I make any simple edit (like adding a period) to any single event, it will immediately transfer to the S4. That would take some time doing that for each event over the many trips. If this is ultimately successful, I will be a very happy man. The new S4 is quite incredible, however.
ASIDE: This is the 150th Anniversary of the formation of the modern state of Italy in 1863 by Garibaldi and they are having celebrations all year long. Below is a fly-over of the "Tricolore" (green, white and red of their flag) over the Piazza Venezia in Rome.
March 28-31, 2000
Tuesday, March 28, 2000
I uncharacteristically woke up at 5:30 AM and I was UP! Up for good. I decided it best to go out and do my run early because we had to go into the city to do Rudy's surgery. So at 9:00, I repeated my run as I did yesterday. Dimitrii then drove us to his surgery center in downtown Milano in the neighborhood called San Babila which is a short walk from the Duomo. We went in and changed into scrub clothes. Steve Kalinich had already brought Rudy to the center and he was being prepped for surgery by the staff.
At 11:00 we started surgery. Dimitrii first did a PRL implantation on a Polish patient I had referred to him and then Rudy was brought in. First he did the right eye and made an incision so he could slide out the ICL that Dr. Roberto Zaldavar had implanted (see Diario #1.) Then he inserted the PRL without a problem. He is a superb surgeon. He then repeated the same procedure on the left eye. This is a rare time in these Diarios where I show a peak into my world of eye surgery. I had my camera and I got a few shots of the surgery.
Below left is the lens he is implanting in his eye.
Dima was assisted in surgery by Dr. Paolo Maruchi and aided by Dr. Antonio D'Amico (left in above right photo.) Steve took Rudy, with both his eyes patched, back to their hotel room so he could relax and recuperate. After the surgery, I had a few espressos in the clinic while Dima finished other surgeries and saw patients in the clinic. We then left the clinic and headed to a place to meet with Jake Feldman.
At 6:30 PM he and I went to the nearby Starhotel Ritz [Via Lazzaro Spallanzani 40, +39-022-0551] to meet with Jake Feldman, the President of International Vision Incorporated (ICI,) the manufacturer of the PRLs we had just implanted in Rudy. We had a nice long chat.
This is the hotel where Dima and I put on our 2nd International PRL Course with 20 American eye surgeons. See Diarios in UK 1999 (stock photos below.)
Then at 9:00 PM, the three of us went to dinner at Osteria La Risacca 2 [Viale Regina Giovanna 14, +39-022-953-1801] and were joined by Dima's colleagues Antonio and Paolo. Then Marcia, Tania and their daughter Anastasia (my Goddaughter) arrived (stock photos below.)
I only remember having a salad of polpo (octopus) and patate (potatoes) which is the first time I had eaten octopus and I enjoyed it. After a wonderful Italian dinner, we all drove back to Dima's house in Arese and it was a very romantic evening sitting outside in the nice weather. We got to bed after midnight.
Wednesday, March 29, 2000
I again woke early and at 8:15 AM I repeated my run in Arese but this time I had to do it in the rain. After getting back, showering and changing Dima drove us back to his clinic in Milano and at 10:00 AM we saw Rudy for his first postoperative visit. He was certainly happy to get the patches off and see again. Below right he is testing the pressure in his eye with a TonoPen.
Everything looked good in both eyes and Dima wrote a prescription for glasses for him and we all went over to the optician (above right, below) to help him get his new glasses. Though born and raised in Venice, Italy, Rudy was having difficulty understanding him. It was funny watching them interact.
He wasn't all that ecstatic with the new glasses but we decided to show Steve and Rudy a little of Milano. We first went over to the Via Montenapoleone fashion district to show them the fancy shops. We then went by a guitar player near the Galleria Vittorio Emmanuele II. He was the first King of Italy and his statue is in front.
It was built in 1865 and is the world's oldest shopping mall. Then we walked over to the famous (Teatro) La Scala Opera House (below left) which first opened in 1778. Then we went by the nearby statue to Leonardo Da Vinci outside the Galleria (below right.)
Of course we got all the mandatory shots in front of the remarkable Milano Duomo which was constructed from 1386 to completion in 1965 - six centuries! It is the fifth largest cathedral in the world.
Above the main door of the Duomo was a large white banner (see above) proclaiming the 2000 Jubilaeum which Rudy had a hard time seeing in the glare of the sun.
Steve and Rudy went back to their hotel so Rudy could rest and Dima took us out to lunch with his two assistants, Antonio D'Amico MD (below left) and Paolo Marucchi, MD (below center with Dima) and Tania and Anastasia (right) joined us.
They told me the fresh seafood (below left) was good, since I only had a cappuccino. After lunch, Dima and Jake (below right) relaxed and had a little meeting regarding the PRL lens in the US.
We went back to Arese and then at 9:00 PM we went back downtown to dinner at Alle Cucina delle Langhe [Corso Como 6, +39-02-655-4279] with Dima, Jake and Natasha. I only remember that the anchovy chowder I had was terrible and I wasn't about to eat the lardo they wanted me to try. Lardo is just pure pork fat like bacon but without any meat in it. Below are stock photos of the place.
They first ordered the lardo and Natasha and Jake had a good time trying to get me to try some. As you can see, I was persistent and stuck with a piece of bread.
Here is what it looks like and I tried to show my distain for it. Italians love it.
Then they brought bowls of vegetable and foccacio (left) and Dima had artichokes (carciofi) (center.) Some had this bowl called "bagno caldo" (right) meaning "hot bath." It is a garlic-anchovy-sardine spread to put on bread.
For Primi they ordered risotto with asparagus (left,) a very nice penne dish (center) and spaghetti Bolognese which is what I had.
For Secondi they ordered various meat preparations ...
... and Jake had a veal steak.
When we were finished we again went back home to Arese and got to bed at a reasonable hour.
Thursday, March 30, 2000
I woke at 5:00 AM and couldn't believe it so I went back to sleep. I woke again at 7:00 and decided to stay up. This jetlag is driving me crazy. At 10:00 I repeated my run in the Arese community and then changed so Dima could take me to the Trony [Via Capuana, +39-023-676-3170] in the nearby town of Rho. Trony is an Italian electronics mega-store where I could purchase a Palm charger, since mine had not been working properly. This place was huge and very tempting to shop but I got my charger and we left.
After that, at 1:00 PM, he took us to the Cerruti men's clothing outlet and I bought three really nice sports jackets for a very cheap price. We got back to Arese at 2:00 PM and I had a cappuccino at Il Gran Café [Einaudi 21, +39-02-938-3793] with Dima. Stock photos below.
At 3:00 Marcia joined us and she had her lunch there. We went back to the house and Marcia did some reading while Dima made some pizza in the oven. At 7:00 we had dinner here at the house.
He had laid out quite a spread for us ...
... with foccacio bread, salad, cheeses, octopus (polpo) and leg of lamb that he cooked himself.
We enjoyed a very wonderful home-cooked meal and then chatted a while with a little wine and went to bed, again earlier than I would usually do.
Friday March 31, 2000
Today I woke a little later, at 8:00 AM, and went out and did my run at 8:30. We went back to the clinic to see Rudy for the final time at 10:00. He was given his instructions for using eye drops and an OK to fly home. At 11:00, I had a cappuccino at Bar Firenze and then when he was finished at 12:30 I went with him to join Jake for lunch at Ristorante Le Pietre Cavate [Via Castelvetro Lodovico 14, +39-0-234-4704] with Steve and Rudy (stock photos below.) This was our chance to say good-bye before their flight home.
We then went back to Arese because at 7:30 PM Dima had to fly to Rio de Janiero to give some lectures. After he left for the airport, at 9:00 PM, Tania took us to dinner at a place called La Torretta which was very nice and we got back home and in bed early.
KJH Go To -> NEXT DIARIO #3
Kenneth J. Hoffer, MD
Return to Top of Page
If you enjoyed these travels or wish to add comments on the places we visited
Please Leave Me a Message by clicking the spinning @ sign.
Click Here To: