I arrived in Milan late afternoon Thursday after an easy journey. Inge and I flew together to Amsterdam, had coffee at the airport, then wished each other a good pilgrimage (buen camino in Spanish) as she got on a train for Deventer to spend a week with family and friends before setting off on the Camino Francés, and I checked in for my flight to Milan. We have traveled apart before, but never at the same time. It was awkward parting.
My image of Italy is stereotyped: fun-loving and fashionable, good food, but also corrupt, inefficient and downright lazy. It is easy to forget how big the cultural differences are in such a small country. Milan is fashion, design, industry and business. The strengths of the north. The city is clean, safe and efficient. The public transit is wonderful. The food is good. You can feel energy in the air from the people in fashion, industrial design and tech. Like the best of Toronto and Montreal with the plus of good transit and more history.
But Milan was a little dull.
I came to Bologna yesterday, only an hour on a high-speed train. This is the Italy I came for. Lovely, old, full of bookshops and university students, small enough to be entirely walkable, industry to give good jobs (home of Ducati).
I’m here for a week. The weather was awful today. The forecast is good.
Here are a few photos of Milan. I’ll post some of Bologna soon.
(Gallery refresher: click or tap a photo to see the caption, click or tap again to open full size in a slideshow. Manually advance the slideshow by clicking or swiping.)