Saturday, June 10, 2017

Mambo Italiano - Here we come Italy !!

Sometimes childhood dreams and memories come true unexpectedly as I always dreamed of visiting Switzerland and the day came when I was almost sixty to visit Switzerland and walked through this heavenly country. Like Switzerland, Italy too had been on my wish list since my childhood, a wish that sprouted by seeing View Master slides of Venice, Rome and Pompeii and of course the famous song  Mambo Italiano, sung by many artists including the famous Dean Martin, which my father used to play on his HMV gramophone - the days of 78 RPM vinyl records. 
Coming back to Italy, after staying two memorable days in Switzerland, we drove to Italy and headed for Milan or Milano as the Italians call it. Due to shortage of time as we had to rush back to Germany where my son was studying and had his exams coming,and could not got to Rome, Venice or Pompeii which I always wanted to visit and see the dreadful scenes of that horrible day when it was covered under volcanic ash after the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 AD. I will still make an endeavorer when I visit Germany next time.
Thus due to shortage of time, our visit remained restricted to Milan and a visit to the still leaning tower of Pisa. We desecrated from the lush green mountains of Switzerland covered with low clouds to the Italian plains - feeling an almost 180 change in temperature and landscape as Italy is devoid of vegetation and one goes on and one for hundreds of miles with barren landscape or scanty vegetation covered with dust. We were lucky that our hotel was very near the city center and made it easy for us to move about easily, though parking of car was always a problem. 
The roads in Italy are not as good as Germany or Switzerland - in fact after coming from Italy I do not lament about state of affairs of roads in Pakistan as I now find these much better than those in Italy. But despite all odds, Italy is a fashionable country where stores and malls are flooded with latest women and men fashion, clothes, bags and shoes. And Milan is famous for its fashion stores for its second richest city after Paris both in wealth and fashion. It is also well known for many international fairs, including Milan Fashion Week and the Milan Furniture Fair.

Soon after reaching our hotel and freshening up, we hit the nearest markets from where my wife bought a number of bags, a treasure she still cherishes. In fact the show cases artfully loaded with bags and shoes are so tempting that one cannot resist these and coming out of shops with more bags in hands than we had before. 
While my wife was busy looking for her tastes, my sons were looking for Italian pizza and we soon found a place and the cheese pizza we had was something I had never tasted like that before. I will talk about it in my next post. We remained on the roads and nearby places for as long as we could walk and enjoyed the first night in Milan to our best.

The orange ATM 1500 tram is an iconic symbol of Milan which zooms past and one has to be very careful when crossing roads
I do not know whether dirty dancing comes in the ambit of Mambo style of dancing, but when the Mambo Italiano was first sung, there certainly weren't dirty dancing and from today's standards, the mambo style of dancing was certainly very romantic and refreshing
Those who haven't heard of the song Mambo Italiano, can now click play and listen to this beautiful song starring once Hollywood's darling Sophia Loren:

I will talk more of my stay in Italy in coming posts - so don't go away!!

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S A J Shirazi said...

Italy is a lovely country and Sophia Loren's eyes are lovelier.