A weekend in North Germany

Lübeck119

St Mary's bells

WW2 tore Lübeck asunder. Buildings, history, the inhabitants' spirits all came down as a heap of rubble. Decades later, the severe wounds inflicted by one single air raid have healed into a scarred urban texture. Along the streets in the town centre the line of traditional crow-stepped gables is often interrupted by modern buildings that fill the gaps left by crumbled houses. But the devastating effects of war are nowhere clearer than from above: the fantastic view from the St. Peter's steeple reveals the extent of the patches sown over the holes in the extraordinary urban tapestry that this town was. Like a past beauty, Lübeck smiles with a toothless mouth treated by an inexpert dentist, but is still able to arouse admiration for what remains of its former glory.

Mount St Primo

SanPrimo004The top of Mount St Primo offered a magnificent sweeping view over Lake Como and the highest Alps, a combination of snow-speckled mountains and blue waters in the frame of early summer greenery. The temperature was responsible for some mist in the distance, but both branches of Lake Como were visible from the highest summit in the Larian Triangle, so called because this mountainous area is encompassed in the upside-down Y shape of my favourite lake.

Clashes with a colleague

It's been the second time in a fortnight that I've had a clash with a colleague, and yesterday, as she was giving vent to her rage, I realised that it was not just a fit of the moment. Twice in such a short time is not normal, and I'm all the more surprised because I considered our relationship serene. However, the things she said revealed an unease she had brooded over and had probably repressed until it burst out. I'd like her to regret reproaching me things on the spur of her anger, but I am afraid that the rift between us is rather deep seated.

Big changes ahead?

The Bergamo Chamber of commercePM Renzi has pledged to change the statute of the Chambers of commerce in the frame of a greater plan to modernise the civil service. In early May he announced his revolution, as it was referred to in the media, and set a deadline of 40 days for consultations before proceeding. The proposed measure that affects the Chambers of commerce in particular consists in abolishing mandatory membership, so that if the reform is carried out companies will be free to decide whether or not to join the "private club" or stay out. The upshot is that the Chambers will not live off their present guaranteed revenue – in fact a taxation – from all companies, but would have to earn their day in order to stay on the market. If they can.

Meran and the Renon Plateau

Meran022My visit to Vinitaly took me to South Tyrol as an extra weekend trip this year. The choice was dictated by chance because I found a convenient car-sharing ride to Bozen. I therefore set Udine aside, and a related logistical nightmare, promising myself I'd visit another time to mark the 100th anniversary of WW1 in the relevant places.

Subcategories