Wednesday, October 10, 2012


  I once lived in Milan for about a year back in 2002. The two things I remember most about it was my 17-year-old goth-punk girlfriend (I was 26 at the time. High five!) and some gay dude named Luca who stalked me the entire time I lived there.
  Milan is a city of contradictions. For one, it’s in the heart of Italy, yet, it is not what I would consider Italian by any means. It is a financial and fashion hub. Unlike an outsiders’ view of Italians, the Milanese are a hard working people and the bottom line to them ultimately is about money.
  The city is also full of beautiful, sexy people — but in a matter of days these people seem rather ugly due to their inability to smile. They are very cold people and you never quite feel as if you can trust them fully. What are they trying to hide? I’ve never been able to figure that one out.
  Although, I must admit, strangely, that some of the architectural reasons I hate London actually make this city interesting to me. Have you ever seen the first Batman movie? You know, the one directed by Tim Burton? Well, this is Europe’s version of Gotham City and it works so well. It is about as grey and depressing as any city could possibly be, yet, it makes sense.
  There isn’t a terribly abundant amount of things to do as a tourist, but I would suggest first and foremost visiting the Duomo (church/cathedral) in the center of town. The church is the single most amazing piece of architecture I have ever seen in my life. It is the epitome of gothic architecture and you could spend an entire day alone looking at statues and statuettes carved into the stone on the outside of the building. To see the cathedral from the inside will also leave you with mouth agape.
  I have found Milan to be a ridiculously expensive city for tourists, especially those going the route of staying in a hotel. I would suggest a hostel, but there were only two in the city at the time I was there. I suppose I was under the impression Milan was a tourist destination, but truth be told, I didn’t run into too many tourists and if they were around it was for fashion week. That said, English is not a strong point for the Milanese so brush up on your Italian before you go.
  Something else that must be noted about Milan, and Italy in general, is that its transit system is solely based on the honour system. Of course, if you have no honour like I then it is the devil’s playground. Tickets go for around 1 euro, but you can take your chances and ride for free. Although you’ll get away with bunking the system for a while, you will eventually come across the dreaded transit police. Like everything Italian, these boys in uniform travel in packs of 10 to 15. They’ll try to make you pay a hefty fine, but as long as you maintain the air of idiocy and have conspicuously hidden your passport, they will eventually get bored and let you go.
  Another ploy the transit police use is fear. They know you’re a tourist and hope the mention of calling the police will get you to empty your wallet, but don’t fret. Be strong. I quickly learned that in Italy there is no one lazier than a policeman. And, even if the police are called, the chances of an officer actually showing up to confront you are pretty much nil. After all, why the hell would the Polizei bother with yet another dumb tourist when there are so many Italian girls to accost and so many cigarettes to be smoked?
  Someone once told me that Italians who are lazy and don’t want to work become a police officer.
  One other thing to mention; there is nothing sexier than seeing a policewoman holding a sub-machinegun firmly in her tender fingers. Italians really do it better!

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