Milan – O Mia Bela Madunina che te Brilet de Luntan
When you think about great vacation destinations in Italy many different locations come to mind. The warm sea breezes and quaint settings of Porto Ercole or Monte Argentario, the Truffle fairs of Alba, the chocolate of Turin, the wines of Friuli, the agriturismo in the rolling hills of Tuscany, the prosciutto of San Daniele, or the Carnevale of Venice are all places we dream of. Milan is busy, millions of people working in the financial markets, industry, software and fashion. Milan is cold in the fall and Winter, surely it would be more fun to visit Praiano on the Costiera Amalfitana and maybe take a swim well into the month of November.
Milan, l’e’ un gran Milan! Milan is vibrant! Milan is shopping. Milan is great food and wine. It is said that Milan has the best fish in Italy even though it is more than two hours from the closest port. Milan is where the money is. Distributors indicate that the best quality and the freshest fish is already on the trucks to the Milan markets before they begin unloading for the local seaside markets. I do not know if this is true but the fish is good in Milan although I prefer to eat fish in Palermo.
Milan has long been known as the business and industrial capital of Italy. The Americans bombed Milan almost as completely as Dresden, Germany during World War II destroying most of the city and even risking the Leonardo da Vinci’s “Last Supper”. The elderly tell stories of how they, as children, lived this period. “The midday sky turned black for the number of American bombers over the city,” was the recurring theme. Many still had their tin cups, with the name of the company they worked at etched into the side, on the mantle to remember those times.
Milan has a rich and long history. The De Medici family called Milan home; the renaissance was partially financed by the riches of the Milanese. Milan has been attacked and defended vehemently. Milan is the first major fortification south of the Alps. The conqueror that controls Milan can, sooner or later, conquer the rest of the Italian peninsula. Castello Sforzesco is a testament to the military importance of Milan.
Milan has long been a center of culture. The Scala of Milan, the Galleria, and the Cenacolo testify to Milan’s attention to the arts. Milan is also one of the most important religious centers for the Papal state evidenced by the Duomo of Milan. The Duomo is considered the longest ongoing project of renaissance architecture.
Milan is the center of Italian business. One of the greatest worldwide hotels, the Principe di Savoia was constructed to serve the modern businessman. For our American readers, in the Italian timetable modern means the last 100 or so years.
Milan has marvelous dining opportunities. Whether it be the Acanto dining with Royalty, Al Capriccio for fish, in the tradition of Milan at Al Matarel, true Milanese at Gran San Bernardo or Dining on a Tram, Milan offers a wide variety of traditional and contemporary dining.
And do not forget the shopping in Milan. From Via della Spiga to Corso Buenos Aires there are opportunities for every lifestyle and pocketbook. Perhaps you will visit for business or simply in transit to another destination but take the time, see the city, visit the Duomo and discover this treasure hidden by its economic prowess.
Tags: Milan Lombardia Italian Culture Travel Italy