Dismissive: that's what my attitude towards Milan had been for years.
On my very sporadic visits, I had always kept to the reason I was there for – a conference, a work meeting – and otherwise spent no time exploring. I was somehow convinced that the city was unworthy of attention. I thought, without really knowing why – without knowing anything about it – that it was grey, sad, polluted, overworked, joyless.
I was eventually proven wrong. All it took was giving it the benefit of the doubt. As soon as I gave Milan a chance, Milan opened up to me. And, as it so often happens, I fell head over heels for it. I fell for its muted colours, its quaint grandeur, its no-so-subtle lavishness. I fell for its trying so hard to stay abreast of time; for its kaleidoscope of lives, its parade of characters ––well-dressed and badly dressed, old money and new money and no money, students and businessmen, starlets and nobodies and wannabe famous;–– for its art and its food and its fashion.
On a crisp December day, draped in Christmas lights and festoons, sparkling in the bright midday sunlight, Milan resembled a bejewelled sciura ready for a night at La Scala: charming, elegant, and movingly insecure.
Even the tram wires, which I always thought looked messy, seemed, all of a sudden, to create a rational, elegant pattern above my head.
I just wished I had more time. Time to wander and to collect impressions of lines and hues and moods, which, I discovered, resonate with my disposition towards the rational and the muted, but had, at times ––at the right time, like a dramatic climax–– a surprising spark of virtuoso.
More time will have to be made.
A BRIEF LIST OF FOOD FAVOURITES
Drinks - Dry
Ramen - Casa Ramen
Breakfast - Pavé
Sushi - Iyo
Traditional - Antica Trattoria La Pesa
Modern - Ratanà
All-Rounder ( + WE Brunch) - Taglio
Historical Café - Giacomo
Pastries - Marchesi
Food Shopping - Peck
Sandwiches - PaninoLab
Pizza - Berberé
Farm-to-Table - Un Posto a Milano