K-NOW #4

"Milano che vieni, Milano che vai"

Metro Due Torri – Citylife: Emiliano Ponzi artwork

Perhaps it is too simple nowadays to talk about what Milan has become for Italy and for the world. Now it sparkles anew: revamped urbanism, with new-found squares, new and attractive buildings; the heart of the city tailor-made for living; a wheat field where once there was… But what was once there? From whence has this city that fascinates, seduces and hypnotises sprung?

Its mother was industry and hard work, with so little time to think of embellishments because everything needed to be functional: it had to work and never come to a halt, not ever. There has always been space in Milan for beauty within the patios of its splendid palaces with their sober frontage – whether ancient or modern – which sought to protect all that whirled around within from without.

MA*GA Museum

Bosco Verticale, Stefano Boeri

Tupac & Notorious B.I.G., Shepard Fairey artwork, The Bothanical Club / Milan

Then, along came something, maybe from without, from neighbouring Europe, and from within itself. And so the generations of immigrants growing up here, the foreigners for whom Rome is eternal yet “if I have to live anywhere, let it be Milan”; the city of the designers, stylists, chefs, architects, photographers, writers and all those who have been inspired to come here, without leaving their mark, and those who continue to come. Milan shall apprehend this energy, use its industrial facet, its skilful, discerning yet audacious politicking (not unsurprisingly). The city shall organise Olympiads and FuoriSalones, while love letters continue to be written in its raw, sensual tongue, so that those who pass through, should they have do so and more’s the pity they cannot stay a little longer – just one more day? a night on its lit-up boulevards, just one last trip on the tram…

Federico Flamminio / Photo itm.srl x Kemon