Sunday, October 29, 2006

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.


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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi David. Lovely pics of Milan. I'm hoping that Milan will be my next destination in Italy. Thats of course if my memories of Sicily dont intervene!


11:39 PM

Blogger Tracie P. said...

i spent 30 hours there a few years ago, isn't that enough to be able to judge a city? HA. jk. i ate in a really bad restaurant too...we were NOT in good hands!

i must try again

12:52 AM

Blogger a.c.t. said...

It's always a joy to hear such beautuful words about my second city. I hadn't heard that about the fish being good in Milan so I don't think I've ever really eaten fish there. If it is supposed to be good, I'll try some next time.

3:58 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Beautiful pictures! Got here thru Renny's blog. I have been dreaming of travelling to Italy especially in Tuscany since I saw the movie Under The Tuscan Sun.

7:16 AM

Blogger Travel Italy said...

Dianne Sicily is bella they are completely different kinds of vacations but I think both worthwhile. I would not go to Milan to relax but I would go for shopping, the opera, and the shows. Sicily, sitting on the patio, drinking Johnny Walker Blue and watching the sunset before dinner at the Charleston... oh baby...

Tracie b. That is a good reason to read my blog! There is a new nightclub in Milan. It pairs english teachers with patrons. For 11 Euro you get 1 hour with a mother tongue english teacher and a drink!

ACT It may just be the Bauscia MIlanese but this is what I have heard and while I do not look for fish in Milan I have never been dissappointed.

Charles I love Renny's site and am seriously thinking about visiting Norway next summer. Thanks for stopping by. I hope I will see you often.

8:24 AM

Blogger a.c.t. said...

What!! Really? How much do the English teachers get paid? This is interesting.

7:57 AM

Blogger Travel Italy said...

ACT I do not know how much of the fee they get. I think the exposure to a new set of clients is the primary reason they do it but I have not talked to any of the teachers involved. I will write about this and other innovative night spots in Milan later in the month.

I guess you can tell I am kinda on a Milan kick right now!

8:11 AM


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