Posted by Exile on June 11, 2009
No, this is not another recipe review. My holiday starts today and I’m looking forward to a week off. It starts with a short break in Italy. Milan, to be exact. I don’t know a damn thing about Milan, apart from it’s location in the north of Italy. In fact, I don’t really know that much about Italy. OK, it’s shaped like a boot, predominantly catholic, once ruled an empire from Rome, the pope lives there and they eat spaghetti. Which they imported from China. I was last in Italy about thirty years ago in my military days and visited Venice on the R&R days. I drank loads of wine and the currency was Lira back then. I did not buy souvenirs.
This time I’m going with my dear lady wife who will doubtless drag me into every shoe shop in the town and I daresay I’ll be eating spaghetti at some point. I’ll probably also try the risotto and the osse bucco, along with more wine. Italy is not famous for its beer. I may just buy a new Italian pipe. I will visit the Duomo, pictured here. Not because I’m religious in any way. It’s just that it’s so bloody big, it warrants a look-see.
I will take pictures. No point being there if you can’t document the affair somehow.
I can’t help thinking of my father when I mention Italy. He was there in the last great European war. He landed at Anzio, was nearly killed at Monte Cassino and ended the war guarding trains that travelled north and south on endless replenishment runs. He saw Mussolini’s body, hung upside down, in Rome. He saw the entire country in the run of a year or so. From Calabria in the south to the very northernmost end of Italy in the Dolomite mountains. He saw Naples, Rome, Venice, Milan and Turin and all points in between. He even learned the language and, to my surprise, never forgot it. The war ended for him on a platform in Rome at the central station.
I won’t be doing anything like that. But I will raise a glass to his memory at some point while I’m there.
See you all in a couple of days.