A spontaneous drive to Milan at the end of my recent Swiss adventure came as a wonderful epiphany, and was the icing on the cake for a great trip! Early on the Sunday morning of the day that I was scheduled to depart, I was up and out of my hotel room, restless to check out some of the gorgeous Italianate acoustics before heading to the airport.
Re-tracing my steps from the night before, I intuitively headed toward the Duomo di Milano, and just happened upon this amazing, open-air concourse. Until that morning, I simply had no idea of its existence. On my way there, the streets were empty expect for a few lost souls, fellow vagrants who were well-monitored by cars marked ‘Polizia’ that circled the old city center, cruising by at ominously slow speeds.
Once safely within the Galleria, I was a little concerned about security patrolling the vast, deserted space. So I took a breath and discreetly set up next to a closed vendor’s kiosk, quickly settling on my collection of Bach’s Partitas and Suites arranged for flute – after all, you can’t beat Bach first thing in the morning!
The soaring, lofted acoustics co-mingled beautifully with the suffused light filtering down from above, and this flute player was in heaven! The central hub of Milan’s massive Galleria forms a stunning, octagonal meeting place, which, as it turns out, matches the structure and ‘architecture’ of this music by Bach…Octagonal Flute!
My instincts were right: the area was crawling with cops, but I managed to get through a couple of selections without interruption! Listen towards the end as early-morning tourist keeners wander by, apparently equally taken with the stunning architecture of Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II. All of a sudden I totally get Toronto’s Eaton Centre!