Monday, May 20, 2019

ITALY, MILAN

WELCOME TO MILAN

HOME OF ITALY’S STOCK EXCHANGE, AN INDUSTRIAL POWERHOUSE AND THE INTERNATIONALLY ACCEPTED ARBITER OF TASTE IN FASHION AND DESIGN, MILAN IS A SEETHING METROPOLIS. AT TIMES IT CAN SEEM BRASH AND SOULLESS BUT BENEATH THE VENEER IS A SERIOUS SENSE OF HISTORY AND PLACE. THE GRAND GOTHIC CATHEDRAL, THE DUOMO, LIES AT THE GEOGRAPHICAL HEART OF THIS ONE-TIME IMPERIAL ROMAN CAPITAL, AND EXPRESSES THE LOVE OF BEAUTY AND POWER THAT STILL DRIVES THE CITY TODAY.

​ART COLLECTIONS OLD AND NEW, UNPARALLELED SHOPPING, ONE OF EUROPE’S BIGGEST TRADE-FAIR COMPLEXES, SPARKLING NIGHTLIFE, THE PRESTIGE OF OPERA AT LA SCALA, THE MARK OF LEONARDO DA VINCI’S GENIUS, A RELIGIOUS ADDICTION TO CALCIO (FOOTBALL), AND ENDLESS OPPORTUNITIES TO EAT THE BEST OF LOMBARD AND ITALIAN FOOD MAKE MILAN MUCH MORE THAN THE PURITANICALLY WORK-OBSESSED CITY IT IS OFTEN PORTRAYED AS. 

DERBY DELLA MADONNINA

DERBY DELLA MADONNINA, OR THE MILAN DERBY AS IT IS SOMETIMES KNOWN, IS A FOOTBALL MATCH BETWEEN THE ITALIAN CLUBS A.C. MILAN AND F.C. INTERNAZIONALE MILANO (INTER). IT IS A HOTLY CONTESTED LOCAL DERBY AND IS ONE OF THE MOST FOLLOWED DERBIES IN FOOTBALL WORLD. IT IS USUALLY A SEMIANNUAL FIXTURE IN THE ITALIAN FOOTBALL LEAGUE SERIE A; HOWEVER, THE DERBY HAS ALSO TAKEN PLACE IN THE COPPA ITALIA AND THE UEFA CHAMPIONS LEAGUE.

​IT IS CALLED “DERBY DELLA MADONNINA” IN HONOUR OF ONE OF THE MAIN SIGHTS OF THE CITY OF MILAN, THE STATUE OF THE VIRGIN MARY ON THE TOP OF THE DUOMO, WHICH IS USUALLY CALLED “MADONNINA”.

THE RIVALRY

ON DECEMBER 16, 1899, ALFRED EDWARDS AND OTHERS FOUNDED THE MILAN CRICKET AND FOOTBALL CLUB. EDWARDS, A FORMER BRITISH VICE-CONSUL IN MILAN AND A WELL-KNOWN PERSONALITY OF THE MILANESE HIGH SOCIETY, WAS THE CLUB’S FIRST ELECTED PRESIDENT. INITIALLY, THE TEAM INCLUDED A CRICKET SECTION, MANAGED BY EDWARD BERRA, AND A FOOTBALL SECTION MANAGED BY DAVID ALLISON. THE MILAN TEAM SOON GAINED RELEVANT NOTABILITY UNDER HERBERT KILPIN’S GUIDE. THE FIRST TROPHY TO BE WON WAS THE MEDAGLIA DEL RE (KING’S MEDAL) ON JANUARY 1900, AND THE TEAM LATER WON THREE NATIONAL LEAGUES, IN 1901, 1906 AND 1907. THE TRIUMPH OF 1901 WAS PARTICULARLY RELEVANT BECAUSE IT ENDED THE CONSECUTIVE SERIES OF WINS OF GENOA, WHICH HAD BEEN THE ONLY TEAM TO HAVE WON THE TITLE PRIOR TO 1901.

IN 1908, ISSUES OVER THE SIGNING OF FOREIGN PLAYERS LED TO A SPLIT AND THE FOUNDATION OF F.C. INTERNAZIONALE MILANO. THIS STARTED A NOW HISTORICAL RIVALRY BETWEEN THE TWO CROSS-TOWN CLUBS, A RIVALRY ESPECIALLY HEATED SINCE INTER BROKE OFF FROM AC MILAN. THE MOST NOTORIOUS SCORELINE IN THE HISTORY OF THIS FIXTURE CAME IN 3 MARCH 1918, WHEN MILAN THRASHED INTER 8 GOALS TO 1. IN THE PAST, INTER WAS SEEN AS THE CLUB OF THE MILAN BOURGEOISIE (NICKNAMED BAUSCIA, A MILANESE TERM MEANING “BRAGGART”), WHEREAS AC MILAN WAS THE WORKING-CLASS TEAM (NICKNAMED CASCIAVIT, MEANING IN THE MILANESE DIALECT “SCREWDRIVER”, WITH BOTH REFERENCE TO THE BLUE-COLLAR WORKER, AND TO “AWKWARD”) AND WAS SUPPORTED MAINLY BY WORKERS, TRADE UNIONISTS AND MIGRANTS FROM SOUTHERN ITALY.[CITATION NEEDED]. HOWEVER IN THE RECENT YEARS THIS DIFFERENCE HAS MITIGATED, SINCE MILAN IS NOW OWNED BY PAST CONSERVATIVE PRIME MINISTER OF ITALY SILVIO BERLUSCONI AND INTER IS OWNED BY A CENTRE-LEFT BUSINESSMAN, MASSIMO MORATTI.

​DURING THE 1960S, INTER WAS THE MORE SUCCESSFUL CLUB, WINNING THE EUROPEAN CUP TWICE IN A ROW AND THE INTERCONTINENTAL CUP TWICE IN A ROW. HOWEVER DURING THE LATE 1980S AND THE 1990S SILVIO BERLUSCONI’S MILAN WAS THE MORE DOMINANT TEAM, WITH MANY VICTORIES BOTH IN ITALY AND IN THE EUROPEAN COMPETITIONS.