Is Milan the real capital of Italy?

Beppe Severgnini poses the question in the NYT.

Under this provocative headline, Milan-based journalist Beppe Severgnini stirs up the eternal rivalry between Italy’s two major cities and argues in favour of Milan.

Writing in the New York Times, the national “newspaper of record” founded in 1851 and winner of more Pulitzer prizes than any other news organisation, Severgnini’s article tells how Milan “has become, in the last few years, an irresistible magnet for young people from all over the country, who flock here to work in design, media, fashion and food.”

First, he tells how “Rome is in a foul mood” since the Mafia Capitale investigation got under way – but then it got worse in the city “plagued not only by widespread corruption but also by everyday inefficiency and insiderism.”

Severgnini points out that “you don’t enjoy the Colosseum if you waste an hour waiting for a bus that never arrives.”

And he goes on to recount how Milan is “in an ebullient mood”, buoyed on the success of Expo Milan 2015 and the Salone del Mobile, and with a public administration which puts Rome’s to shame.

Severgnini concludes that “Milan’s challenge is to spread its current success to the rest of the country."

Awarded Britain’s OBE in 2002 and Italy’s Commander of the Order of Merit in 2001, Severgnini has been a staff writer of Italy’s leading daily, Milan-based Corriere della Sera, since 1995. He also contributes to The Sunday Times, The Economist and the Financial Times, as well as to La Gazzetta dello Sport.