Having survived an imaginary crisis in Jordan hours earlier, I arrived in Milan in a less than ideal frame of mind. But this was Italy, and no one can be unhappy in Italy. It is too lovely and too delicious to have any room for unhappiness. I am convinced that the sunlight there has some sort of magical powers to melt away bad moods. And if that doesn’t do the trick, the handmade pastas and stracciatella gelato go a long way in restoring your sanity.
Driving into the city, I noticed a distinct lack of people on the streets. My hostel host later informed me that in fact, at the end of August, everyone and their mother packs up and heads for the coast to escape the heat of the city. The quiet of the city was surreal; it was as if I had the whole place to myself. Well, me and about thirty or forty other people, that is. But that’s okay. I can share the Duomo cathedral crowned with plentiful spires and statues, the gorgeous Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II shopping plaza lined with Prada, Louis Vuitton, and a distinctly out of place McDonald’s restaurant, dining space along the Canal with stone oven baked pizzas, and cooling off in the fountain by the Sforzesco Castello: