by Barry Kirk

  For my second Travelogue in Italy, the magic that is Milan catches the imagination and turns on lights and laughter totally unexpected.

 A modern city with history round every corner 
  It is a three pronged pleasure, first travelling to a favourite country, second meeting new people and thirdly, the sheer joy of searching and taking different style photographs where the only professional restrictions are self imposed.
Having spent a lifetime in the media retiring as an editor of a popular London east end weekly paper, this is my chance to branch out into pure reporting of what I witnessed without any outside influences, benign or pre meditated.
Launching the ‘Many Sides of Florence’ was a joy and ‘The lure and Lurex of Milan’ has proved a worthy successor.
Lurex because I could not think of a more appropriate material to describe the lifestyle of the fashion conscious Milanese.
Bright and shiny with a quality of appearance that leaves the observer in little doubt of the attraction of being an Italian where tomorrow is often regarded as something to leave until tomorrow.
Never having visited Milan I did wonder at the scale of difference after completing my travelogue on Florence. Though not intending to make comparisons, there was an obvious difference between the two cities in location and a historical demarcation where generations of influentially rich families settled disputes with cannon and shot before a word was spoken. These arguments made up the fabric of localised society with many centuries spent treading over the bodies and bones of combatants and long before nationhood was achieved.
It was not just families either as a series of invasions by neighbouring medieval warring tribes quite ruined the day for local families.
But history shows this almost constant changing of placing at the dinner table did have quite an influence on the future of the country that eventually emerged and we now know as Italy.
My love and admiration of the country and its people is deep set and the prime motivation to document a part of the world that is easy to treasure.
Milan is unique in its reputation. It is an industrial powerhouse yet maintains the rural beauty and essential requirement that marks it out as very Italian.
I found both aspects in a fortnight's visit that surprised as well as held my attention to the point of a museum guard tapping me on the shoulder as I was causing a road block for the long line of tourists waiting behind me.
It is a great place to relax and at the same time enjoy the hustle and bustle of capital city going through daily life.
I think I  have captured the essence of the city in this travelogue where the places to visit are easily mapped out to save precious time to see more of what makes up Milan.
The Travelogue is in full colour and 48 A4 pages and available from my website: barrykirksmedia.com, or Email a request to; barry.kirk@waitrose.com, tell 01708 725979.It is available now £10 including p&p.



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The hidden faces of Milan

Milan is unique in its reputation. It is an industrial powerhouse yet maintains the rural beauty and essential requirement that marks it out as very Italian.
Milan surprised me with its hidden charms and made a wonderful working holiday and my next visit will be holiday to catch up on the parts even I have missed. The attraction of the Last Supper was an important part of my Itinery and awesome in spectacle and atmosphere. Milan is a fun place with so many corners to investigate, you will never get bored. Enjoy