This is Piazza Wagner market, a wonderful place, one of the few that still
have individual stalls.
CHILDHOOD AND METANOPOLI
My dad was from Foggia, he studied in Naples. My mother also studied in Naples, she was from Cosenza. They met in Naples. My mom studied pharmacy, my father engineering. Eventually my father was asked to go to Metanopoli because that’s where Eni was, Italy was ‘to be made’. Growing up in Metanopoli was very nice. It was like a social experiment because in the neighborhood the children of Eni employees, who at the time were mainly engineers, geologists, lived. The rich didn’t exist… nor did the poor. Everyone had an average education. They weren’t intellectuals but let’s say that at least they all got their subjunctives right.
SAN SIRO’S LESSON
I realized that we weren’t all like that when, due to my passion for football, for the first time I went to the stadium on my own. Among the diehard fans I realized that the world was not made up only by children of engineers and geologists. But it helped me a lot.
Seen from Metanopoli Milan was like a beautiful jungle, it was tough. In Metanopoli reality was filtered.
MILAN THE SMALL APPLE
It is undoubtedly our New York, it offers opportunities. If someone who wants to work and do something comes to Milan, he or she can succeed. I started when I was very young, having a strong passion for the radio, and all the stations were in Milan. If I had not grown up in Milan I absolutely wouldn’t have done everything that I ended up doing. As a sedentary person, I’m not one who travels a lot, I would have settled for a small provincial town. If I had I been, for example, from Terni, I would have stayed in Terni.
MILAN’S BAD SIDE
A certain ruthlessness and rush… The Milanesi drink their coffee standing up, like everyone else does, but they do it more quickly. They are very aggressive…
MILAN’S GOOD SIDE
Milan’s got a very good heart… It is a welcoming city that also knows how to joke around, as is the case here in the market: ‘Ue Terùn,’ ‘Ue Maruchin’… That’s how it is. But it also offers opportunities to people who want to do something. Race, religion and color don’t matter. L’è un brav fijol (he or she is a good one), l’è minga un brav fijol (he or she is not a good one). That’s how it is.
PORTA NUOVA NEIGHBORHOOD
At first it made me deeply angry because it is built on the fairgrounds of the Varesine, on the place of my childhood and adolescence. At first I took it badly… but now when I happen to go there for a walk I like it very much, it makes me think of New York.
I like the part of Milan that I define as medieval very much. That part between Via Torino and Corso Magenta, a maze of narrow streets, where Piazza Mentana is. They are narrow streets with no sidewalk, paved with cobbles, speed humps, they are marvelous. I dream of owning a beautiful house there. There are no green areas, at least outside, but it is very charming. Gray sky is not a problem there.
JOGGING AT THE DUOMO
Piazza del Duomo is fantastic, it opens my heart. One of my favorite things to do, especially during the summer, is leaving home very early in the morning, at around six, and go running. I start from this area, Via Washington, and I go towards the center, I run by the Castle, Via Dante, Corso Vittorio Emanuele, by the Duomo, the fashion district. I run all the way and then I go back home. It’s wonderful.
MILAN TO CHANGE
I think a little more driver education is needed. As we learnt to wear helmets and safety belts, we should also learn to stop at pedestrian crossings. This duel, this challenge between drivers and pedestrians is disgraceful. It would be unthinkable in Chiasso, in Menton, in Slovenia, Austria, I can’t understand why as you cross the border people start to do so.