You might remember awhile back we mentioned meeting another famous bicycle maker after our visit with Alberto Masi at the Vigorelli Velodrome. He's Celeste Milani, son of Natale, a racer and frame-building contemporary of Cino Cinelli among others. In this case, we were brought together by a love of good Italian food as well as bicycles, meeting Celeste and nephew Filippo at a Slowfood recommended osteria in their hometown, Gallarate. We were paying our bill when the woman asked what we were doing there. As we explained, she said we must meet another "bicycle person" dining there and rushed us over to the table where Celeste was dining! After a brief exchange of pleasantries, we left with a promise to meet again. Here you see Celeste holding an old handlebar made by his father in their shop/showroom in Gallarate.
These folks get it! Passion and history ooze from every pore - at Milani they live and breathe bicycles. Not to get rich, but to work every day at something they love with the hope of a reasonable living as a result. Here's a photo of the old forge used by Natale back-in-the-day.
An original frame jig used by Natale, who was a bit like Tullio Campagnolo as a pretty decent bike racer with a mechanical mind.
Above you can see Natale as bike racer as well as maker of fine racing bicycles.
The showroom/workshop is decorated with huge photos of Natale and his bike racing teammates. More details and photos in Part 2. Buon lavoro Celeste!!!