Monday, February 27, 2012

Then & Now…Pasticceria Marchesi on Corso Magenta, Milano

A while ago I bought a book titled Milano: Fotografie (1965-1915).   I love that book.  We all know so much about the basic history of London, New York and Paris, but Milan’s history is still a mystery to most everyone outside of Milan.


Did you know that Milan used to have lots of canals circling the city??


Anyway, I was looking at this old photo in the book of the Pasticceria Marchesi on Corso Magenta.  I knew I had photographed someone in front of the Marchesi a few years ago, so I went searching for the shot.  After about an hour I finally I found it.

This is where it gets funny.


From where this modern day gentleman is standing (below), the sun would throw his shadow basically in the exact same spot as the shadow in the old photo!  Even the hats are similar!


I have a few other Milan then and now shots– they’re not as shocking this one, but still very cool.


Close comment

Detach comments


  1. RIM

    February 27, 2012 at 8:10 pm

    I’m crazy about these old dresses! They also remind me Anna Hathawey’s green dress in the devil wears Prada, when she is in Paris at the end of the movie. I love it too :p
    All of them are crazy fashion victims… Sad ^^

  2. RIM

    February 27, 2012 at 8:11 pm

    noo! I mean all of us ^^ sorry!!

  3. CBC

    February 27, 2012 at 8:16 pm

    OMG a Satorialist in 1915……before Chanel modernized women……It’s crazy but RHNJ Teresa G……dresses her 4 daughters the same way….

  4. ADJ

    February 27, 2012 at 8:34 pm

    I really appreciate these two images because they provide incredible contrast. It is not often that one gets to see the same place mirrored in two different time periods. It gives such a sense of perspective.

  5. Natalie

    February 27, 2012 at 8:47 pm

    Very cool :)

    Visit the new blog & let me know what you think…

  6. Izzy D

    February 27, 2012 at 8:48 pm

    Ohh..lovely story. That gave me chills!

  7. D

    February 27, 2012 at 8:55 pm

    Wow, that is quite amazing. Funny how things work like that.

  8. monkeyshines

    February 27, 2012 at 8:56 pm

    beautiful vintage touch!


  9. mish

    February 27, 2012 at 8:57 pm

    Both photos are so lovely Scott.
    I hope ‘milan then and milan now’ will be a feature of your next book. I’d really love to see them!

  10. Simonetta Degano

    February 27, 2012 at 9:13 pm

    I live next to the Pasticceria Marchesi…and these photos are really fascinating…

    thank you!


  11. Megan

    February 27, 2012 at 9:27 pm

    The little girls’ hats are bigger than they are! So cute…

  12. The Curious Camera Girl

    February 27, 2012 at 9:35 pm

    Very interesting – I love seeing vintage photographs lined up to their modern-day counterparts. I recently discovered this blog, Shorpy, that features vintage photographs – it’s really cool and worth a visit:

  13. Steph C.

    February 27, 2012 at 10:29 pm

    wow! great association there!
    God i love the way people used to dress


  14. nathalia

    February 27, 2012 at 11:28 pm

    how cool!!! I used to live there in corso magenta … it feels so nice ti se a vintage picture of that era
    Viaggio Della Farfalla
    The Key Item

  15. Yukiko

    February 28, 2012 at 12:05 am

    Love the vintage photographs!
    and I love the hats!

  16. Giulio

    February 28, 2012 at 1:48 am

    wow (for then) and wow (for now)

  17. Johnny

    February 28, 2012 at 2:02 am

    Really like the contrast that the two pictures create!

  18. Sunny Side

    February 28, 2012 at 2:22 am

    Women’s hats look like Marc Jacobs ‘s hat !

  19. Jane Alisa

    February 28, 2012 at 2:49 am

    Amazing coincidental picture, Milan is such a wonderful place.

  20. Céline

    February 28, 2012 at 2:49 am

    Actually, there are still canals in Milan (I’ve seen 2 of them last august).
    It’s very charming. It makes me think of Canal Saint Martin in Paris.
    Have a nice day !

  21. Serdane

    February 28, 2012 at 3:29 am

    It is so funny when you do this ” découverte ” ! And it is so stunning how much some details never change.

  22. Irene's Closet

    February 28, 2012 at 3:44 am

  23. FashionUm

    February 28, 2012 at 3:47 am

    as i said before – this vintage photo looks like it was taken by You Scott ;)
    Show Your Outfit

  24. Aurélie & Angelo

    February 28, 2012 at 4:05 am

    Wow, what a great story, a real treat!


    February 28, 2012 at 4:08 am

    wow this is freaky :) love c0incidents like that! cheers from Switzerland :)

  26. irene

    February 28, 2012 at 4:13 am

    oh i am from Milan and well,
    i love this pasticceria! :)

  27. Stephanie

    February 28, 2012 at 4:16 am

    Love the first picture…. the dresses in this time were just wonderfull !!!!

  28. bonnie, clyde and marni

    February 28, 2012 at 4:21 am

    both photos are amazing!!

  29. Emanuel I.

    February 28, 2012 at 4:26 am

    Great idea mister with the “Then & Now”…
    The first picture is full of elegance, history and the “Now” pictures is also representative.
    Thanks & congrats!

  30. macfer

    February 28, 2012 at 4:31 am

  31. Joshua

    February 28, 2012 at 5:00 am


    Great shot. Do you know what kind of bike that is?

  32. La Vie Quotidienne by Sartorialist

    February 28, 2012 at 5:09 am

    GREATTTTTTTTTTT IDEAAAA…..Super KLASEEEEEE pics, congrats Team Sartorialist.

    XOXO from Munichh my dear.

    La Vie Quotidienne

  33. Becky Bedbug

    February 28, 2012 at 5:18 am

    If the pink building behind that gentleman is the same as the building behind the family, I’m not sure the shadows are in the same place. The gentleman’s shadow is to his left whereas the family’s shadows are directly behind them.

    They are beautiful photos. I love the dresses in the first one and it’s fascinating seeing how places have changed over the years.


  34. giulia

    February 28, 2012 at 5:33 am

    these pics are really amazing!
    you’re a genius!

  35. Mildi

    February 28, 2012 at 5:38 am

    Is is impossible to don’t fall in love with Italy. Specially past culture.
    You have create wonderful blog. Simple idea. Impressive images. Thank you for sharing. Bets wishes from Venice.

  36. Leonor

    February 28, 2012 at 6:16 am

    just love the contrast!! so cool :))


  37. Patricia Iglesias

    February 28, 2012 at 6:35 am

    I find it funny that the man in the secodn picture could perfectly be also in picture one. His face is so “past century” style!!!

  38. Haley

    February 28, 2012 at 7:06 am

    Wow that is crazy. I love it when stuff like that works out…

  39. Grey Fox

    February 28, 2012 at 8:02 am

    Amazing coincidence in the two photographs!

    The shot of the gent with the bike is one of my favourites – how to look stylish in middle age and with a bike!

    Grey Fox – a man looking for style in middle age.

  40. michelle

    February 28, 2012 at 8:20 am

  41. Mildi

    February 28, 2012 at 8:33 am

    it is impossible to do not fall in love with Italy.
    My best compliments to you for great blog.

  42. melissa

    February 28, 2012 at 8:43 am

    Love the fact that you have curiosity on what the Milan of the past looked like and even how street fashion looked then…


  43. blue roses

    February 28, 2012 at 8:54 am

    the sun, stagnant and proud, watches as history revolves around her; leaders, politics, economies, styles, change, evolve, and she shines, shines.

  44. Tess

    February 28, 2012 at 9:38 am

    I noticed that right away! I was thinking I was crazy until I read your post below. Great minds* ;)

  45. Giulia

    February 28, 2012 at 10:28 am

    In my blog I described you as a modern bionic hero completely merged with your camera..but I forgot to mention your database brain I guess..!

  46. J. Ericson

    February 28, 2012 at 11:03 am

    Fantastic photos! Luckily the photo of the gentleman was exactly that, a photo of a man of dignity and style. It could have been a jeans-wearing teenager. I’m pleased with the result.

  47. Chiara

    February 28, 2012 at 11:24 am

    Fantastico!! bellissime foto e correlazione interessante
    ..I miss Milan sometimes :)

  48. Just an Observation

    February 28, 2012 at 12:49 pm

    I DO know about the canals that RUN underneath many of the streets….as that was how the Milanese moved about the city couple of hundred years ago…..and it also explains why to many streets are SO narrow…..VIA SPIGA, I believe is an example of such…..until next time CIAO! CIAO!

  49. Marcel Da Chump

    February 28, 2012 at 1:34 pm

    A time-warp serendipity! The present-day literally casting a shadow on the past. This a great example for the Sartorialist Photo Juxtaposition Project.

  50. eugene

    February 28, 2012 at 1:51 pm

    the sidewalks are cleaner these days

  51. The Fashington Press

    February 28, 2012 at 1:56 pm

    ha! What a finding!! I can imagine looking through your archives!

  52. Eva

    February 28, 2012 at 3:00 pm

    Both amazing pictures! Love the dresses and hats on the first one so much!

  53. Audrey

    February 28, 2012 at 5:57 pm

  54. koolphoto

    February 28, 2012 at 6:03 pm

    I love these vintage photos…And I love Milan too…

  55. Boxer's Adventures

    February 28, 2012 at 8:22 pm

    Aww, Corso Magenta! That’s where I used to live!
    International Blog and Shop

  56. Katie

    February 28, 2012 at 8:44 pm

    That’s a book I would buy….fashion before and after, vintage photographs next to modern ones taken in the same place.

  57. swingkids

    February 29, 2012 at 12:01 am

    the hat gives me a giggle. i love it. i love as if the two pictures are from the same movie and the director knows how to smooth one into another. i mean if there is a god, why shouldn’t he do the same thing. this is great!

  58. Joyce

    February 29, 2012 at 8:15 am

    Really cool!

  59. Mr Kane

    February 29, 2012 at 8:47 am

    Great shoot!
    Loving the then Pic!

    Jk ||

  60. Giovanni

    February 29, 2012 at 9:45 am

    lots of canals in italian “navigli”.

  61. Gus

    March 1, 2012 at 6:41 am

    Next time you’re in Milan don’t forget to visit the gorgeous Museo Poldi Pezzoli, it has en extensive collection of paintings, ceramics, glassworks, weaponry and watches in what used to be a private house of an important upper class family. Also, the Museo del Castello Sforzesco is great and admission is free.

  62. antique engagement rings

    March 1, 2012 at 12:50 pm

    I love your vintage photos!

  63. Stefanie Grace

    March 1, 2012 at 3:32 pm

    Wow! That is such a coincidence! How funny!

  64. David

    March 1, 2012 at 10:44 pm

    What a fun story! However, I love most the mustache on the modern man!

  65. ellytheowl

    March 1, 2012 at 11:51 pm

    i wasn’t sure what you were saying until i really looked into the first photo. it creeps me out! in a good way though. :D

  66. Megan mary

    March 3, 2012 at 3:08 pm

    This post is a great example of a picture says a thousand words: How much has changed vs. how much hasn’t really changed ? It is just a perfect example of how much history runs through every alley and canal of Italy.

  67. Lee

    April 8, 2012 at 12:28 am


  68. gerry

    July 8, 2012 at 12:20 am

    amazing perspective ;)

  69. Julia

    June 8, 2015 at 11:45 am


Leave a comment

Related posts