The Cold-Wet In The Italian Apennin

Bad weather forecast for all the Northern Italy. Not only cold, but also lots of rain was predicted. No fun for camping at all.

I had to move on anyway. So i looked up for an alternative route and accommodation.

Go to the Apennin, they said. It’s fun, they said.

Fortunately i booked an apartment, i thought, when the cold creeped in the car as i gained more and more altitude. Around 1200 m a.s.l. the narrow, winding road got snow covered and icy.

Happily and safely i arrived that small unknown village, hidden in the thick fog,

Nobody to see on the street. Even the building, where i booked my apartment seemed abandoned. Only the neighbor opened his window, glared to my car and let me know, i’m parking on his property and have to move the car on the right place. The neighbor watch works all over the world, i thought amused.

Eventually i got into my warm, heated rooms and went out to explore the village. I passed the church and the memorial, which looked even more sad in the cold. A board at the pharmacy shows 4°C only. Many shops are closed down for the season. So are most restaurants and bars.

On the main square were some cars parked. Indeed, there’s a cafe open. Old men were sitting on tables, drinking coffee or beer and playing cards, while other watching and commenting the game. I could feel the eyes following me, when i entered and approached the waitress behind the counter.

Eventually they turned back to the game and to their conversation, while i sip on my cappuccino and observe the scene. The fog made the glass door milky, as if it try to push into the room. I felt like in a time capsule, thrown back 50 years or so, when the only bar in the village was the meeting point and source of the news, inside and outside of their world.

On my way back i found a little store, where i got some groceries, but most important some fresh bread, a small, typically cake, called panettone, and a bottle of red wine. What a cosy evening was awaiting me.

There’s sunshine in Milano

My local friend felt already pity for me and assured me, it’s unusual having so many misty and rainy days in a row here.

On my last day in Milano it happened: The sun appeared with an unexpected power, to this time of the year, and lifted the mist over the city. Let’s go again to the city centre for a stroll, i told myself.

After a cappuccino i was ready to walk under the blue sky. I was not alone. The entire town seemed to enjoy the sun again too. The place in front of the cathedral was full of people. Amused to watch all the selfie freaks with their duck faces and the shopping addicted in the holy halls of commerce. I got myself lost in the streets of Milano, found another nice, little restaurant with tasty ‚panzerotto‘ and of course coffee, my personal addiction.

Milano – Art Exhibition – Pirelli Hangar Bicocca

A while ago I saw pictures from the permanent installations from Anselm Kiefer, ‚The seven heavenly Palaces‘.  It’s situated in the halls of Pirelli Hangar Bicocca, bit outside of the city of Milan. A visit was just a must for me.

As you probably know, I have an affinity for Africa, specially for South Africa. 

When I arrived the the hangars, I realized there’s also a temporary exhibition by Dineo Seshee Bopape. An artist and creator from Limpopo, South Africa.

Her work was in the first hall I entered. Big round huts dominate the room. Aside from that, big platforms of earthen landscape with different structures are laid out. A big video installation leads your mind to the element of water. But an important part of her exhibition „Born in the first light of the morning [moswara’marapo]“ is against forgetting past wars.

“Neons Corridors Rooms” by Bruce Nauman is all about narrow corridors, neon lights and the experience of space. It took awhile to enter new dimensions of seeing space differently. Luckily I was completely alone in these halls at times. It gives it an even bigger experiences, not to share the rooms with other visitors and enjoying the quietness and deep of the space on my own.

Behind a small entrance, covered by a black curtain, a deep space of blackness appears. Seven collumns of blocks raising to the black sky. At the distant walls are huge images of rough landscapes. If you look closer, the buildings seem to be instabil, shattered pieces laying around them, trashy debris scattered over the dark floor. A scene of an apocalypse.

I stand midst in this scenery, feeling little and overwhelmed. And lost. 

There was just one more person in this hall. A young girl, walking around, staring at the shattered ‚palaces‘. It felt like to be transferred in another world, another dimension, where only few people survived a disaster and searching for hope and future between the ruins. 

I’m deeply and truly impressed.

Milano – City Life

Just a stroll trough the some neighborhood was my plan. But it’s happened, that a workmate, who lives here, invited me to a coffee.

What a nice surprise to meet a local and listen to real life stories. After the cappuccino we went to a local market. Unfortunately i didn’t take pictures there, was just to busy to listen. I learned, even we are neighbor countries, there are already so many differences in mentality and life style. It’s not completely new for me, but learned more specific things. As they sell pork never in the same butchery as the red meat. Or the Milanese people love fish so much, they get actually the freshest fish here, rather than near the sea.

But there’s also a discrepancy in the income and the society get more and more divided in poor and wealthy people. But still the style of clothing is very important, especially here in Milano, city of fashion. „They rather eat all week plain rice, so they can go shopping at weekend“ my friend explained me.

We arrived one of the newest shopping complex in town, The City Life. Its architecture is stunning, i have to admit. From the outside as interior as well. Like three giant guards rising the office towers skywards, seem to protect the shopping complex. A park surrounds the district, gives green space for weekenders or afterwork strollers.

My way back to the camp leads me to extravagant living areas and passing the old, honorable music conservatory with the statue of Guiseppe Verdi in front of it. Life style and art, belongs inseparable to Milano. But when i got to the outskirt of the city i found another reality, the rundown living places of the less fortunated

Milano – a touristic perspective

So many times i passed Milano, the big, fashionable city of the North of Italy, but never stopped by here. Till now. At least getting a glimpse of the city, i thought. But why i come in the cold autumn, i asked myself after a cold night looking into a misty, cold morning.

First comes first. A real cappuccino with marmalade filled croissant in a typically Italian coffee bar. What a delight. Although this has not lifted my mood for a city walk, i have to admit.

But since i’m here anyway, i approached the famous Cathedral of Milano. At its wall i discovered a relief with the scene of the expulsion from paradise. Paradise, as i would define it, a bright, peaceful place with enough space and food for everyone, and warmth. Instead i found myself between huge pillars in a gloomy dark and cold room. People scurry by, whispers floating in the air, swallowed by the flickering candlelight and incredulous prayers are sent to the unreachable dome. Only the beautifully windows brings some bright colors into that dark mystic room and tells some stories of hope and light.

Talking about places of worship, there's this huge 'Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II'. A palace of consumption, excess and decadence. Just next to the catholic cathedral, also equipped with a huge dome, people flock in to get lost in shopping. Those who don't believe in their prayers for luck only, has the change to get some more luck by placing their heels on the balls of a bull figure on the floor and turn themselves three times around.   

My walk lead me to the famous 'Teatro alla Scala'. There i passed the statue of Leonardo, certainly one of the most famous person of all times. Finally i reached 'Castello', but didn't visit it, took some time in the big park behind it, where joggers run between trees and lovers meet up at the bridge, where they hope to lock their love at the rail.

I need a break, i decided, and rattled towards my camp by public transport...

Crossing The Alps – New Journey Starts

It’s already late this year.

My feet got more and more itchy. But finally my #TinaTortuga is ready to take her out for another, bigger trip.

The decision for a destination was hard to find for this winter. There’s no lack on ideas and opportunities, tho. But where to put the priority?

Traveling by my Landrover #TinaTortuga.

Heading to warmer places.

Explorer new regions.

So, let’s start by crossing the snowy Alps, having a coffee in Italy first…