Milano (aka Milan
) is one of the three big industrial town of Northern Italy
(the other two being Torino
It is also the capital of Italy's computer
industry and it hosts the SMAU
Milan was ruled by some of the most ruthless Renaissance
bastards ever, namely the Sforza
and the Visconti
. They were not quite as nasty as the Medici
, but not for want of trying.
Milan has an interesting structure: a medieval centre, full of twisty little streets
, reaching up to the Mura Spagnole
, a beginning of the century ring with some beautiful but underappreciated Art Nouveau
buildings, and a vast boomtown wasteland, full of Mordor
-like blocks of flats.
It has many beautiful churches, the Last Supper, a castle, the remarkable La Scala opera house, oodles of scared Japanese tourists, and a very nasty climate. Milan in August is Hell, believe me, I have been there. On the other hand, in winter it is frequently cold and miserable.
There are 5 universities in Milano:
- Universitá degli Studi di Milano: the state university, big, old (Renaissance times) and quite good. Sprinkled all over town, but with the central offices in Via Festa del Perdono, in a gorgeous Renaissance building. Another big chunk, mostly scientific, is in Cittá Studi. A smaller part has been exhiled to Bicocca, where the buffalo died of cold and the eagle was kidnapped by Albanian stockbrokers.
- Universitá cattolica: the Catholic one, it is good in humanities and bad in the rest, including user service. Home of the nastiest library in town.
- Politecnico: offers only Engineering and Architecture, and it is a good school.
- LUISS: somewhat posh, but good for languages.
- Bocconi: home of would-be tycoons, in reality an MBA factory. Bocconi boys sprout a tie, an attaché case and a suit on enrollment day, and it is all downhill from there.
Where to eat in Milan: if on the cheap, eat pizza
es in bar
s. If splurging, ask a Milanese but avoid the restaurants in the Galleria. They are traps. A brave visitor will try to have cassoeula
, but only in wintertime.
Ivano Fossati sings in his I treni a vapore
Delle cittá importanti io mi ricordo Milano,
Livida e sprofondata per sua stessa mano.
Among the important cities, I remember Milano
Livid and sunken by its own hand.
Milan is the center of Italy's fashion, business (the country's main stock exchange is here), publishing industry and computer industry. This probably happens because it got an early start with the Industrial Revolution - Milano also used to be a big iron/steel industry center.
When in Milano, don't go to Lambrate
: go to Cittá Studi
instead. Or to the Navigli