Wednesday, December 8, 2010
Musings on Milan + highlights from the lakes
How could I have forgotten? Yesterday it was Sant Ambrose's, Milan's patron Saint and considering I have lived in Milan for 11 years that was something I should have recalled and do a little post on Milan. I feel strange about Milan because part of me detested living there, another part of me knew that the place offered a lot once you know how to adapt and accept some realities. What I am talking about?
Milan is huge and the transport is still undergoing improvement and enlargement. I had friends that I never visited because it would take me 3 hours to get to there and 3 to return. No kidding!
What a foreigner notices when living in Milan is that the Italians are very serious about sticking to their own lifestyle and mentality and that there is no such thing as true culture mix, people with different mentalities as you experience in NY or London. There's only one mentality running through the veins of Italian life. What happens is that knowingly or unknowingly, the Italians preserve their culture so well, in ways that are beyond comparison with other European countries. Italy is doing so well in exporting their products and way of life, vino (wine in Italian), tortellini, grappa, parmigiano, prosciutto etc. - but is rather slow in receiving from the countries to which it export. I truly admire them of the fact that in the USA they have latte (latte means milk, I guess in the USA is a kind of coffee? ..seen in the movies all the time!) but in Italy if you are from France or you are Canadian, or Greek or German, or you name it you will end up following When in Rome do what the Romans do to an extent that you feel that your identity is under the shade.
I think that this mentality is positive and helpful in a world where traditions fade away and local cultures tend to be swallowed by globalisation.
Anyway, overall I love Milan, I think I have left a piece of my heart there - I worked, commuted, suffered, cared etc. - seeing all this beauty surrounding it picks of which I am sharing with you.
Interesting places near Milan worth visiting:
Bergamo a medieval hilltop town divided into upper and lower town - Bergamo Alta - the hilltop medieval city - and Bergamo Bassa - the lower city. The city hosts the Orio al Serio airport which regularly welcomes many tourists who want to visit Milan and the surrounding area.
More on Bergamo here
A place I used to go for a stroll, a lovely l place, is Varenna on Lecco lake, shown here below:
Butt the place I love most is on Lake Como and it is Menaggio, it has this classy and solemn appeal, nothing like the extravagant San Tropez but lovely:
The cafe above is the place we used to go for a coffee and relaxing with a view to the lake.
Happy I could find that on internet.
About Milan website - very interesting, it has everything a tourist needs to know!
Lake Como overview here - detail, fantastic webpage