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27 August 2011

Photogenic Milan

This summer has been very proficient in terms of trips, hey! We keep dreaming and planning because there's so much we want to see. Travelling is the ultimate joy for me. I don't care if we don't buy expensive clothes or gourmet food as long as we can afford exploring new places. Some trips come unexpected, too, like the recent one we took to Milan. 

The terrible heat wave that is obsessing Italy these days didn't stop us from moving around the city, which was desert and reasonably walkable. Milanese were out vacationing and the streets belonged to obstinate tourists like us and to bored shop assistants and waitrers. 

Being back was cool. The fact I lived there for a year when I worked in Bocconi University in 2000 makes me familiar with all the places and I know how to move around. I noticed 2 main things. One is all the renovations they are doing in view of the Expo 2015 that is going to be held there. And two, a reinforced and fully working system of bike-sharing. There are not enough cycling paths yet, but I saw a concrete plan of building more. Pisapia's team is working well. Yahoos!

We used our 2 days there to re-visit all the major attractions. The Sforzesco Castle with its surrounding Sempione Park, the magnificient Duomo, via Dante and its medieval palaces, Brera area with all its vivid night life and then, of course, the Gallery. 

What caused more interest in me this time was the Fashion District. I always snobbed it somewhere, always found ridiculous to go posh-watching around a pretentious area that is outrageously offensive towards all the people who earn standard salaries. But my passion for photography makes those nosense items irresistible now. Luxury is utterly photogenic. Sigh-sigh! 

It was straight after sunset, quiet, perfect for browsing around armed with a camera and a noisy child. At least, now I know these items are truly insane. I mean, who is going to go out and about dressed like Lady Gaga? It's something I don't even dream daring in my next adventurous life.

And prices are pure folly, ca va sans dire. 11000 euros for an Armani coat, just to name something. No, thank you! I prefer 2 cultural trips around the globe for that sum. Show me more brands that are making a difference in this world to help the poor, like Louis Vuitton seems to be doing, and I'll start looking at them with a less skeptical negative approach. 

Food was a visual feast for the eyes (and for the palate). Now, that's what I prefer above shopping :)

Octopus in tomato sauce
Spaghetti with clams and mussels
Panino with mozzarella and tomato
Ice-cream, of course!

Fortunately I don't have to go back all the way to Milan to enjoy these, Italian food is excellent everywhere. Nutritious, delicious, tasty healthy food we have here. At least! LOL

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