The invention of Milan

“…the euphoric state reveals itself for what it is, a manifestation of fragility…

When was Milan born? Pay attention to the question because it is not understood in the sense of the first agglomeration of people who reside continuously in a specific territory, but how was Milan as we know it today born?

Capital of no one knows what. Once of fashion, once of industry, once of culture, once of finance. A continuous addition of sectors that in the end provide more and more of a marketing operation to better sell its image, and to make those who live there believe that it is the best place in the world, or at least in Italy.

In this sense we can also better understand the title of the book. A concept that of Milan was invented on the drawing board like an advertising slogan, and it doesn’t matter if it doesn’t correspond to the truth, the important thing is that it works.

Unlike what happened in the 1990s and early 2000s, it is not just the less well-off classes who are paying the price, who are moved to increasingly distant suburbs, where not even the economic well-being of Milan, the capital of everything and nothing, but it extends to the middle class. All crushed towards the bottom, but as in a revisitation of Stockholm syndrome, they have become accustomed to what the city offers them, in love with an idea of ​​Milan which is for the few.

We really liked the book, and we recommend it to those who are preparing to come and live in Milan, to those who already live there, and to those who have no thoughts of residing there. The author’s analysis of the city and its dynamics is a clear insight into what is happening in Italy and which could then be replicated for the worse in other Italian cities.

The writing is a step above the contemporary average. Clear and straight to the point, halfway between an essay and a journalistic editorial.

Although the book and the author have been defined as radical in their analysis, we consider the criticism carried out as a necessary breath of fresh air for those who live in apnea in Milan.


Lucia Tozzi, L’invenzione di Milano, Cronopio, Napoli, 2023

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