My date with the city (of Milan)

After a week of working myself to the bone in Asti and Langa, and a successful and happy epilogue to Barbera Meeting 2010 (and all the many blogilicious waves we surfed there), my little gift to myself was an afternoon of book shopping and strolling in Milan on a beautiful, crisp but not too chilly afternoon. That’s Milan’s famous gothic cathedral, the Duomo of Milan, above.

A visit to the original Feltrinelli book shop on Via Manzoni revealed a Massimo Montarari (Italian food historian) title that was missing from my collection. And a visit to one of the flagship Feltrinelli megastores in the Galleria (above) delivered the toponymic dictionary I’d been looking for.

When you exit the subway at the Duomo station, the stairs are rigged with midi triggers that play acoustic piano samples. As you walk up the stairs, if you land on each “white key” step, you play the C major scale. The eerily beautiful cacophony created by commuters and tourists reminded me of an angular Antonioni film score.

My Milan will always be a black and white movie from the 1960s but Milan is also the capital of haute couture and high design. I love the glamour and color of Milanese window shopping.

But the best part was dinner of Piave cheese, perfectly sliced Lombard bresaola (above), and Friulian Cabernet Franc in the home of my super good friends Stefano (from Treviso, Veneto) and Anna (from Ischia, Campania). None of us could stop marveling at the wonderful, uncanny counterpoints and parallels of life. This adoptive padovano has been away from his adoptive ischitana for way too long. Thank goodness the next stop is Austin, Texas, U.S. of A.