Milano Centrale

milano centrale

I cannot tell you how many times I have descended onto one of the platforms at Milano Centrale, always stiff, hungry and dehydrated from a long journey, typically returning from a trip to the Alps or, at times, on the outbound leg of a round trip between the mountains and the city, passing by the glorious lakes somewhere in the middle, and always with some luggage in hand or slung over my shoulder: a big pack or maybe just a small backpack, often a carryon that had a shoulder strap and could also be converted into a backpack. In fact, this was my usual piece of luggage for many trips, taking me from the thin air of a small agricultural village in the Valtellina, past Lago di Como that shimmered blue in the sunlight, into the industrial hinterland of Milano, and then into the heart of the city itself, the sight of the series of canopies that marks the station entry and departure point more resonant for me than even the smooth stone glory of the station itself, the grandest instantiation of that curious strong suit of Italian fascism, its architecture. This scene, this arrival, is carved into my mind and, after so many iterations, even into my body, the muscle memory of my shoulder tensing against the ghostly weight of the strap whenever I recreate the scene in my mind…

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