“A few years ago, when via Dante was closed to traffic to be transformed into a pedestrian area, Gae Aulenti, one of my myths, declared in an interview that he did not approve of that choice. By chance I happened to hear her the same day and to my question about why she did not agree with a decision that instead I found right, with her deep voice she replied peremptorily: “The Milanese don’t walk! The Milanese work!“”. The anecdote, the memory of which still amuses him, tells it Andrea Kerbaker, writer, bibliophile, as well as founder of Kasa dei Libri where he hosts exhibitions and meetings, and secretary of the Bagutta Prize. A real Milanese who instead loves walking around his city so much – without neglecting work, mind you – that he transforms (and shares) his passionate wanderings into a book – “Milan in ten walks “(Bur Rizzoli) – presented on Tuesday at Feltrinelli Red with Ferruccio de Bortoli.
A book that is not (only) a guide, a manual for the use and consumption of passing tourists. It is a “narrative” baedeker for sedentaries and walkers, for readers and explorers. And, first of all, for the curious. A journey through stages in the past and present of Milan, between history, literature, characters, architecture, to reveal a city that the Milanese are often the first to not know. “My wife, as a good Englishman, loves walking around the city very much, so, we often wander around neighborhoods, and I confess that every time we always discover new corners. Why? Because Milan is constantly changing – and you realize it when you return to an area after years of not passing through it – and above all because it is a hidden city, which asks you to discover it. Which you have to go look for. It is rich in historical and artistic wonders, but does not exhibit them, always maintaining an attitude ofunderstatement. Which if on the one hand it does her honor because she does not flaunt it, on the other hand it makes her appear a bit selfish, because she does not share her beauties with others. Think of the gardens of the houses, almost always internal and secret ».
The beauty of walking around Milan was already sung in 1939 by Remo Turchi, born Renzo Mori; but here is that the ten walks suggested (and tried) by Kerbaker further help to overcome this reluctance in Milan and to reveal places and facts unknown to most: from house where Petrarch lived and wrote much of his “Canzoniere” to themeeting between Parini and Foscolo, from churches rarely reported on institutional tours (one for all Santa Maria near San Satiro) to the words that writers such as Mark Twain e Ernest Hemingway who lived here. A theme for a stroll, from artistic Milan to fascist Milan, from religious to theatrical, from noir to that of skyscrapers. «To a Milanese I would recommend the itinerary in Monumental Cemetery because the cemetery is always the soul of a city. To a stranger there Milan of the Years of Lead because it is only through that period that today’s Milan can be understood. The most mine? The literary one, which opens the book. And the one around Sant’Ambrogio, who revealed to me things I did not know ». A book where every page, every street, square, monument is a declaration of love for his city: «Milan is my life. I was born there, I have always lived there and I will die there ».
June 7, 2021 | 08:04
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