Italy, the long, narrow stretch of land that hangs off southern Europe has everything: miles upon miles of mountains and beaches, along with expansive farmland that serve as the foundation for one of the world’s great cuisines.
The Italian people vigorously work to preserve its cultural, architectural and artistic heritage while leaping into the future. This is wholly evident in its largest and most famous cities, where modern society flows freely within many of the most famous monuments of western civilization.
Sophie happily entered the country through the maddening Milan–Malpensa Airport and immediately realizes that there is no Italian translation for the word, “queue.” But she eventually makes it out of the airport and into the city of Milan.
Italy is many things and one of its most important contributions
to the rest of the world is design, fashion and style
Its center is in Milan, not a beautiful city by Italian standards, but it’s efficient and energetic and it’s the place that keeps this country in the international spotlight. Household names such as Valentino, Versace, Armani, Dolce & Gabbana, Marni, Missoni, Trussardi and Moschino are headquartered in the city. Many other international fashion labels operate shops in Milan.
Sophie with her stylish leather shopper fits right in with this high fashion society. She sips espresso at the Emporio Armani Caffè while watching the stylish Milanese pass by. She visits the central Cathedral and gets a rare viewing of Leonardo da Vinci’s masterpiece, The Last Supper.
It’s a busy time right now as the city prepares to host Fashion Week for the Spring/Summer season—one of the most dates on the international fashion calendar. Before leaving she took the tram to attend a performance of Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte at the world famous Teatro alla Scala.
Did you know Sophie has a bucket list? She prefers to keep it to herself but she did reveal one item on the list of the place she must go while still alive: the rugged coast of the Cinque Terre. The area comprises five villages (Monterosso al Mare, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola, and Riomaggiore) along the rugged coastline of the Ligurian Sea. There may be no greater example of Italy’s obsession to retain its heritage. The five villages were impossibly built along the cliffs in terrace-like formations in the 11th century. The area is void of any corporate intrusion. Travel between the villages is done by foot, or boat or a local train. Cars are forbidden in many towns.
Sophie’s handmade LUC8K bags are welcomed for storing her belongings as she makes her way between the villages on foot. She marvels at the harmonious interaction between people and nature to produce a landscape of exceptional beauty. She sees that in a great modern country the people still live well in a traditional way of life that has existed for a thousands of years and continues to play an important socio-economic role in the life of the community.
The UNESCO World Heritage Centre saw these same qualities when it named the Cinque Terre a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1997.
Sophie has a busy itinerary as she travels throughout the world but sitting in an outdoor restaurant overlooking the Ligurian Sea at sunset with a glass of the local the Sciachetrà wine, she decided that her next adventure will wait a little longer.
Well, while Sophie is enjoying her Italianita, we need to ask: Do You Have a Favorite Place to Go? Let us know your ideas.