The Countryside Invades Milan

The Countryside Invades Milan

Straw bales, a massive apple covered in natural grass, Milanesi holding hands in unity with the façade of the Duomo watching in the background, all represent the inauguration on Sunday, May 3rd of Via Lattea: the countryside invades the city in piazza del Duomo.

Quite simply, I love being outside. Nature is the purest form of inspiration whether from the sight of vivid green leaves, sounds of the whistling wind or feeling the texture of rough tree bark on your fingertips. This is synesthesia. Nature knows exactly what to provide to us. Clouds come together, the sea currents flow in and out imitating the breath in natural beauty. Thus, we are innately connected with the earth. Let’s all take a moment to feel the earth below our feet and give thanks for the indescribable wonder of nature. 

“It’s time to wake up; we have to save the earth. This depends on the future of the environment, the beauty and joy of our lives”. This is the appeal made to youth by FAI founder Giulia Maria Crespi. Since 1975, FAI has had the intention of maintaining Italian places of extraordinary beauty, promoting education, love, understanding and enjoyment of the environment, the landscape and the historical and artistic heritage of the nation, to ensure the protection of terrains and cultures. Defending agriculture, an integral and vital aspect of human existence, is another goal of FAI.

The inauguration was the first of many events hosted by FAI and featured in ExpoinCittà calendar. Via Lattea speakers included the President of FAI, Andrea Crandini and the Executive Vice President of FAI, Marco Magnifico. Additionally, activities for participants were balloon flights in Parco Sempione, the market zero km to Castello Sforzesco, kite workshops and an invigorating treasure hunt (caccia al tesoro) for children. The idea of Via Lattea is: “more agriculture = more food, more health, more work, more protection of the earth”.

Via Lattea represents the necessary awareness of thanks for the environment. The events will take place in May (3rd 17th & 31st), June (14th & 28th), September (13th & 20th) and October (4th & 25th). It was undoubtedly a celebration of life and melodiousness with nature in Milano. The theatrical style of the performance art (citizens holding hands and raising their arms above their heads while standing on straw bales to ambient music) immediately caught the attention of onlookers. 

From Italian to English, Via Lattea translates to Milky Way. Such is the importance of Via Lattea in regards to the world. These moments allow us to encounter the central meaning of the earth we all inhabit: to live is to sustain and to flourish is to find meaning in this pervasive awareness. It reminds me of the Brimacharia Yama – to see the divine in everything in nature and be in awe that it exists. As an avid cyclist, this event immediately caught my attention as people can hike or bike on their own thanks to maps and routes on the website of Via Lattea. The eight pedestrian and cycle paths for all ages allow for knowledge of farmhouses, mills, waterways of evocative historical towns through tastings of local merchants and traditional festivals.

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Camera di Commercio Industria Artigianato e Agricoltura di Milano.
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