Italy – Milano, 24-25 December 2009
Duomo on Christmas eve. Note: for the first time after nearly 20 years the front-façade of the most beautiful and elaborated Cathedral on Earth is free from any construction site. But is was raining on Christmas eve, after a terrible snow-storm a few days earlier…
On Milan’s main square, the Piazza Duomo (see the statue of Vittorio Emanuele II below, riding on his horse) has not only a Metro station, but also one can rent a bike – free of charge – to drive around the city. And like every year a gigantic natural Christmas tree more then 25 metre high (almost 100 foot)
Below the Christmas tree a poem from its decorator Angiola Tremonti:
A eagle has arrived from far away and nested below this tree to embrace the world…
This is a special eagle, the symbol of a city destroyed by the earthquake*. It is a eagle which brings gratitude, real love and strong hope.
*He is referring to the terrible earthquake in Italy’s Abruzzo on 6 April 2009 mainly around the city of Aquila [= Eagle]. It caused damage to between 3,000 and 11,000 buildings in this medieval city. Many buildings also collapsed. 308 people were killed by the earthquake, including two Czechs, five Romanian citizens, two Palestinians, one Greek citizen, one French citizen, one Ukrainian citizen[ and one Israeli citizen, and approximately 1,500 people were injured. Twenty of the victims were children. Around 65,000 people were made homeless.
The Milanese had a great idea for Christmas: the stairs going down from the Piazza Duomo to the Metro station have been turned into a giant “piano” and while walking down or up each person can play its individual music by stepping accordingly into the steps. He Heiko is trying some of Sinatra’s Christmas songs… And the clue is: one can film it and place it on YouTube with the title “scala musicale metro LiveMi” and win a prize. So much for Christmas eve at Milan’s main square… until next Christmas in beautiful Milan.