When you hear about beautiful places it’s almost natural to imagine towering mountains, golden beaches, glittering lakes or thundering waterfalls; it’s not quite so natural to imagine a city. However, five minutes in the centre of Florence turns that completely on its head.
It’s a wonderful thing when you look back over a year and struggle to whittle the highlights down to a shortlist!
As a football fan, Milan has been on my radar for many years. Players like Baresi, Maldini, Gullit and Van Basten were amongst the best players I’ve ever seen and played for AC when they were an absolute powerhouse. But with age comes the realisation that European cities are about a bit more than just their football teams!
Just for fun, here’s a list of 40 of some of the best or most interesting things I’ve experienced. They’re not achievements (please spare me from being that vain) and, by and large, they won’t specifically mention other people….
So, in no particular order (other than the first one!), here are 40 highlights that come to mind now (the list might be different next week!):
The thought process that saw us land in Bergamo went something like this: find somewhere on the map west of Lake Garda, but not too far west; don’t go as far as Milan; somewhere fairly central to other places would be good; ooh, we’ve heard of Bergamo! And that was that! Bergamo was supposed to be a quiet wee base for three days, but it turned out to be so much more than that…
You sometimes read or hear about a place being incredibly beautiful and wonder if it can really be as great as it’s claimed to be. Lake Garda is one of those places, and we were fortunate enough to visit it last week. From what we saw, the reports didn’t do it justice!
I suppose that for most people, the person who introduced them to the city of Verona is William Shakespeare, but not for me. For me, it was Lars Preben Elkjaer, a star striker for the Danish team that took the early part of the 1986 World Cup by surprise – and by storm. Elkjaer played for Verona at the time, and as a football-crazy kid that piece of useless trivia found a permanent place in my head.