I was just in Milan for 4 days, November 24-27. It had been many years since our last visits, in 1982 and 1984. Things have changed, none really for the better. It is still majestic in places, but with many beggars and hawkers. We saw lots of tourists at the Duomo and the Galleria on Saturday and Sunday, but none were English-speaking. Many were Asians.
Years ago, we used to see scores of very elegantly dressed older men, strutting around, Benito style, with their hands clasped behind their back and a cashmere or camel hair topcoat draped over their shoulders. They often had an attractive much younger blonde on their arm. They are completely absent now; probably all dead. Most of the men dress just like Fonzie now. The most depressing thing was to see 400-500 people lined up outside Abercrombie & Fitch, waiting for its opening on Sunday at noon. Brooks Brothers, next door, was completely empty. Most of the fancy shops are branches or headquarters of the same ones you see on Fifth Ave. in NY, on Bond St. and Sloane St. in London or on r. Fauberge St. Honore in Paris.
The food was a bit of a let-down this time: the moderately priced Rovello 18 and Emilia e Carlo were fairly good; the very expensive iL Marchesino and Savini (the grander upstairs restaurant, not the bistro) were both very disappointing. However, restaurant Don Carlos in the Grand Hotel et de Milan was just wonderful, but it would have been a more enchanting evening there if the attire and grooming of the other diners had matched the food and decor. I do not enjoy eating with slobs in really grand and elegant places.
I still prefer Milan to the tourist over-come Florence.
Edited by kennethpollock - 1/1/13 at 10:19am