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Published: November 5th 2007
Ciao tutti! Saluto della bella Italia.
After arriving at Malpensa airport I took a bus to Milano Centrale and then the train to Torino Porta Nuova. There I met Stefano and Fabio. They live in Lanzo Torinese and Germagnano (two small villages outside Turin, near the mountains...not very far from France...with 5000 and 1500 inhabitants). The family of Stefano were very very friendly, also his sisters (Margherita and Federica)....I can't complain! None of them speak English, but Stefano's father knows a lot of English words and he can say a few sentences. The parents are both retired and the father also makes very nice paintings, and he gave me a small one as a present when I left.
I also met almost all the friends of Stefano....he has a large group of friends who meet each other almost every weekend and they have a very close relationship with each other. The friends were all really nice people and simpathic. All the friends were interested in Curaçao and they ask a lot of it. I'm used to it because people always ask a lot since they've never heard about Curaçao. There was only one friend of Stefano who speaks English
(Fabio, another one...not the one I knew from Croatia), the rest speak only Italian. Speaking to all these people for a few days really improved my Italian. When asking Stefano if he would like to move and live somewhere else, he'd say "never" because he doesn't want to leave all his friends ("Non mi muovo di quà, me despiace lasciare agli amici!") . The meeting point is always Bar Andrea, where Sonia (Fabio's sister) works. They hang out a bit there, have some drinks meanwhile they decide where to go for the rest of the night. Stefano is called Steu by his friends...or sometimes Cozzi (his last name) because he has a friend called Stefano as well who they also call Steu. We went out two times with the group of friends (one time untill 5:30) and we had a dinner one evening in a house near the mountains. It's a house of Stefano's parents (the other Stefano)...everyone had to bring something. We stayed there untill 1:00 and then went out.
Stefano brought me also to Turin city where we visited the Egyptian museum a.o (it's supposed to be the 2nd largest after Cairo, or the 3rd largest after
Cairo and London)....it was really nice. Turin as a city is also nice but not very big....not so many monuments (more things to see than in Milan though, in my opinion). The Po River flows through the city and along the shore of the river there are many pubs and disco's....full of people at night. We didn't go out there though, as they told me that the place is not very safe during the night. The Via Roma and Via Garibaldi during the day were full of people: old, young, fat, thin....all walking around, shopping, enjoying the nice weather that day, drinking and eating on terraces...a very nice and relaxed atmosphere.
We also went to the mountains, the Italian Alps. The Winter Olympics 2006 took place in Turin and the father gave me a Torino 2006 jacket to go in the mountains with. Stefano works at a hydro-electric company in the mountains and he took me to a dam where an ex-colleague (Luca) was working. It was situated at ca. 2000 meters and there was a lot of snow. Steu loves the mountains and often goes climbing for a few days together with some of his friends. We also visited
some other areas around Lanzo, and once we went to see Lanzo Torinese on mountainbikes, together with Alejandro...one of his friends. We visited Ciriè on the bike as well, just to buy some good "gelato italiano"....the ice creams in a cafè here are supposed to be the best in the area and it was indeed good! The whole area around Turin, in the mountains and also Milano were very different from the Italy I've seen in July: different landscape and climate. That's why Italy is a country of contrasts, which makes it very interesting to visit! All I can say is that I really enjoyed my stay here in Piedmont and would like to come back once in the future!
I left Turin and took a regional train to Milan. Once at Milano Centrale I took the metro and bus to the hostel. Later that evening I met with Matteo and Luca. We went to eat some pizza and then to Teo's house where some friends came to play poker. Since I don't like to play poker, I played some X-Box with some of his friends. The next day Luca took me to Milan downtown, Matteo also took me
once to the downtown. Milan has her nice spots, but it's really for city lovers. The area around the Duomo is very nice and there is the Castello Sforezco....but that's almost everything. If it wasn't for Matteo and Luca I don't think I would have visited the city. The nightlife however is excellent...that's what I expected since Milan is the whealtiest city of Italy and the purchasing power of the people here is higher that in the rest of Italy...it's the economic heart of the country (il cuore economico d'Italia). There are lot's of industries and international companies in and around Milano. The city is big, noisy, a lot of people, a lot of traffic....even at night! There are also many many foreigners here: Latino's, Africans etc....more than I've seen in Rome. Milan is very well known as a fashion city and you'll see several well dressed people walking around! But maybe less than what you would expect. Yesterday evening we had a dinner together with some of his friends, where they serve some good pizza and pasta. The plan was to go to a club after the dinner but it was a bit difficult for them to decide where
to go. Finally we ended up at a very busy pub...we didn't stay until very late. Yesterday I slept a lot, rest a bit, did some laundry. Later I met Matteo and Luca and we went to play some minigolf near Linate airport...and I won the match. We met some other friends of Teo there and we played table football and had some food.
In Croatia I spoke to many Milanese people and also here to a few...and what I really dislike is the way they look down on southern Italy....actually the whole north does, but especially Milan. Milan is the economic heart and for many Milanese the rest of the country is "less" than Milan...especially the south, starting from Rome and further south for the Milanese is a total chaos. They always say that people in the south doesn't work, they don't do anything ("Loro non vogliono lavorare, non fanno un cazzo"). All by all, Milan failed to impress me as a city....if I come back it would be to visit Matteo and Luca, or someone else....but not as a citytrip. I won't recommend it to anyone who would like to do a citytrip in Europe.
Anyway, that's all
for now. In the afternoon I'll be flying Ryan Air to Girona, Spain and I'll arrive at 18:00.
Ciao, take care all and arrivederci!
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