I was very fortunate that one of my clients, the Consumer Electronics Association, CEA for short, brought me along to photograph their 2011 CEO Summit held this year in Stressa, Italy on the shore of Lago Maggiore in northwestern Italy. I’ve photographed the CEO Summits for a number of years but this was the first time outside the U.S..
The Northern Italian city of Milan is the natural arrival point for travel to the lakes along the Swiss border. Lake Maggiore, a half hour train ride from the city is the westernmost and lies somewhat parallel to perhaps more famous Lake Cumo. Having always wanted to visit Milan and it’s most famous of all Italian opera houses, La Scala, a few days there before my job were imperative. Milan has the reputation for being an industrial city. That might be true, but its credentials as a center and arbiter of fashion are unquestioned.
While strolling the streets of the fashionable city center, store windows of Italy’s most famous labels compete for the eye. And better, at least for me, is checking out the many beautiful women stylishly walking outside the restaurant while I partake of an early supper.
Art too, holds its claim. The architectural masterpieces of the Duomo and its 19th century neighbor, the Galleria Phillip Emanuel? are astounding side by side. The museums of the Sforza Palace contain treasures and masterworks from Milan’s history along with a trove of unique and beautiful musical instruments. An entire afternoon can be spent wandering among the poignant and majestic tombs of the Cementerio Maggiore. In my experience, only the monuments of Buenos Aires’ Recoleta can compete on this world-class stage of after-worldly opulence.
And then, there is one of the most famous paintings in the long, accomplished and magnificent history of Italian art, painted by perhaps Milan’s most famous adopted son on the wall of an un-prepossessing refectory attached to the luscious Chiesa Santa Maria delle Grazie, Leonardo DaVinci’s Last Supper.
Plus, there seems to be music every night. Major music. If the current offering at La Scala doesn’t appeal or if a decent seat can’t be had, concerts by Europe’s finest musicians and symphony orchestras abound.
And everywhere, Gellaterias entice with their delicious and imaginative Italian ice creams.
Time, very well spent.
As the sun goes down on our final night along the streets of the Piazza Duomo.