City where 70% of tourist can feel poor and homeless. Milan has opened its doors to 12,000 companies, 800 showrooms 6,000 sales outlets. Milano hosts global stars four weeks each year during fashion week and other events. Mere mortals enter luxury shops, see a dress for 4000€ (with not the best quality and style) and fall to thinking what wrong is with the world.
Milano has been ranked as the 12th most expensive city in the world and here is my word –
All sightseeing points will take you a day to visit, all beautiful streets will take you 4-5 hours to walk through and then you will spend 50€ on a casual dinner even far away from the center. You will order pasta or risotto and will reconsider your decision of wasting money on it.
A survey in 2011 stated that 20% of the Milan population is made up of foreign immigrants. Philippines, Ecuador, Sri Lanka, Egypt, China, Peru, Romania, Morocco, Ukraine, and Albania are the top ten countries from where these foreigners have migrated. Good luck in finding a local Italian or experiencing old Lombardic traditions. Everything has been mixed and valued. Every passer-by wants to sell you, wants to engage you in some activity, take a photo of you and pigeons, put a monkey on your shoulder.
Where is Italy, that we used to see in old cinemas?
I have been in Milano twice and every time I was just shocked by the fast movement on the old streets, tourists running away from African sellers with selfie sticks, children crying because their moms were trying to dress their cuties in 3000€ boots (imagine how many trips you could buy!).
The only high-tech point surprised me. The business center on Piazza Gae Aulenti in the heart of fashion capital with an artificial lake in the middle. The near building was full of trees and flowers on its balconies. There was a big garden on the roof of it. It was so unusual for the Italian architecture and so eco-friendly for the industrial northern capital. The quarter Garibaldi leads you to the fancy and rich street with coffee shops for the corporate workers and restaurants with designed business lunches for the highest income earners who never look at prices. You get the feeling that you have to pay even for breathing the air on these top streets.
We bought an orange and homemade sheep cheese at the local market and headed to the quietest street full of sunshine and flowers. I caught myself at the thought that all population is divided into three groups: the elite that shows off on every crossroad, tourists with Starbucks coffee and selfie stick in a pocket and those who make money on all of them.