Sunday, 30 September 2012

Staring at the ceiling again.

So yeah, Milan, in my super whirlwind tour. Milan seems to be shaped like a spider's web, with pretty much everything radiating out from the centre. There is little of the feeling of organic city growth outside of the immediate centre, unlike somewhere like London. It actually makes it more confusing, I think, as there are these long boulevards of sometimes monolithic greyish buildings radiating out in all directions. Milan apparently got smushed in the war, so there is a lot of post war drek, but also some really gorgeous stuff in the centre, like the Duomo, which is like a big incense and Jesus filled wedding cake. No dour Reformation church that! If I were going to describe what I saw of a Sunday in Milan in one word, it would be languid. Not torpor or the land of manana, but rather, gliding through the day with grace and in style, which I guess kinda makes sense. The morning was extremely quiet, but as the day wore on, the streets grew more and more crowded, until by evening the streets were jammed with people going, well, pretty much nowhere, at least not by car, though there was surprisingly little honking. Walking through the public gardens, I was struck by how, in everywhere I've been in northern Europe, people in parks, while they are certainly aware of your presence, make a pointed effort to look like they are interested in something else. Not here. Everyone sat on benches or was strolling, and they watched, not pointedly, but with at least passive interest. No siesta though, very much unlike Sicily. I do definitely feel more at home in northern Europe. I seem to somehow lack the inherent coolness to really fit in a place like this. Plus I look ridiculous in large sunglasses. ;-) Saw Fabrizio for a bit and had an ice cream. I do wish he still lived in London. We do get on so well together, I think... Sigh. One more reason to visit again... Dinner tonight was at a pizza place (of course). I did seem to be the only non Italian there, which was good but also made for a slightly awkward experience. I had the joy of sitting next to a children's birthday party, which got a bit out of hand and was tolerated, I think to a much larger degree than it would have been in the UK. I also made the mistake of ordering a focaccia starter, which turned out to be basically pizza crust, so, in essence, I ate two pizzas. Ugh. Oh well, live and learn. Right. Time to get my laundry out of the sink and hang in strategic places around the room, and then, tomorrow, hit the road!

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