Would you like to experience a day in the footsteps of Pino Lella, the brave, young hero whose incredible story is narrated in Beneath a Scarlet Sky, by Mark Sullivan?


A day in the footsteps of Pino Lella
Duomo’s rooftop after the bombings

Like everybody, we have loved this riveting book. A boy of 17 in 1943, Pino was catapulted to the Alps where he helped smuggling Jew and political refugees to Switzerland, escaping the Fascist regime. Then, once he was back to Milan, he became a spy for the partisans, providing critical information for the fight against the Nazis.

Probably, it sounds like the script of a war movie. Yet, it is all true.

Pino’s adventures took our breath away, made us cry, and conquered our hearts. As a result, once we had closed the book, we instinctively strolled around Milan stopping at the places where the key moments of his story happened. How strange it was to stand in front of his very house! Let alone the infamous Regina Hotel, the Monumental Cemetery, the disturbing Platform 21 inside the Railway Central Station.



As a result, we are happy to announce the birth of a new Bella Milano guided walking tour: Beneath the Scarlet Sky of Milan – A day in the footsteps of Pino Lella. We will take you on a tour back in time to the terrible days when Milan was devastated by bombings, a third of the city’s population was homeless, the Nazis were struggling to resist the increasing pressure of the American army, and a young, tall, generous Italian boy was risking his life for a higher purpose.

Nowadays Milan looks beautiful and shining, a world’s capital of fashion bustling with life. Yet its past is still here.

A day in the footsteps of Pino Lella
Train to Auschwitz

We will visit the Cathedral and stop in front of the body of Cardinal Schuster, a key figure in Pino’s life. We will walk through the Sforza Castle, where Anna, Pino’s love, found a terrible death. Also, we will visit the Memorial of Shoah, a place of memory and gathering, and climb on the original livestock cars into which the prisoners were packed. Under inhuman conditions, they traveled for days to their final destination in death or concentration camps. Furthermore, we will walk along the same gallery of the Monumental Cemetery where Pino went looking for the corpses of his cousin and of Anna.

Finally, we will celebrate, like Pino did, at the elegant Diana Hotel.

It is a tour full of contrasts. The breathtaking beauty of Duomo vs the desperation of prisoners tortured inside Regina Hotel. The style and refinement of the Quadrilater of Fashion, where Pino lived, vs the calm sadness of Monumental Cemetery.

It is challenging, but we are sure you will find it enjoyable and enlightening.

Mirella & Valeria