Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Buone Vacanze!

The summer exodus has started, last weekend was the first BIG weekend for people going away on holiday in Italy. Milan - or my part of town at any rate! - has gone very empty very quickly! I was sure I remembered a more gradual process last year, maybe people's holiday habits are different in my new neighbourhood?? It was so much quieter over the weekend, less traffic, less people around. A lot of shops in my area have closed for the holidays, more will be following suit during this week or the beginning of next week. I've only done one full summer in Italy, and the idea of a big city like Milan being pretty much abandoned by the native population for a whole month is still a strange one to me! Last year I heard that around 500,000 Milanese were away at the height of the holiday season, so around a third of the population - but it felt like a lot more!! Soon practically the only people wandering around Piazza Duomo on the weekend will be tourists.....

... and me. I don't go away for another two weeks. I've already had a week off, but as three days involved travelling around Italy (Milan-Rome-the province of Udine-Milan in three days on the trot!!) to go to two Mika gigs, so it didn't feel like much of a holiday!! And the only reason I've got the week after Ferragosto off is for another concert..! It's Cattolica this time, in the province of Rimini, so it'll be nice to go down to the coast for a couple of days. No trip home for me this summer, luckily I'd actually decided to admit defeat before the news of the summer gigs were announced. The flights were too expensive, I'd have had to fly to London again, and I needed to save my money to move house. I'm hoping I'll be able to go home in Autumn, when the flights should be cheaper.

You don't even have to leave the house to notice that something's up. The voices I'm used to hearing on the radio have slowly been disappearing, leaving one by one to go on holiday. New shows have been popping up, and my favourite radio station (Radio Deejay) has become more and more automated. TV schedules have changed, my favourite soap's slot's got chopped back even more, and the news seems to have become obsessed with showing images of tanned Italians (mostly women, surprise surprise!!) on the beach. There's no escaping it...

At least it's not been too hot here recently, makes summer in the city a bit more bearable..!

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