The most disappointing part of this trip to Danilo Gallinari's homeland wasn't the fact that there was so little time to actually take in the entire city, or that I never got to ride a moped through rush hour traffic or see Berman fit into a Smart Car or even that Giorgio Armani didn't think to toss some threads towards the ragged band of beat writers from New York.
No, the most disappointing part came when while receiving the sacrament during Sunday Mass at Duomo di Milano, I discovered that they don't offer a sip of wine from the chalice. You'd think a 12th century cathedral must have amazing vintage in its cellar. I was actually prepared to go for seconds and thirds.
The Mass, the experience of that enormous Duomo and its solemnity, despite the fact that there are countless tourists and on-lookers milling about on the periphery, and the unfathomable detail to the structure (not to mention the basic fact that you are standing amid stone that was carved six or seven centuries ago) will be my most cherished memory from this trip. Mike Breen and I attended the Mass and did well as good Catholic boys do to follow along despite the fact that it was entirely in Italian. (And, of course, the Archbishop was in a talkative mood today, so the homily just went on and on...).
Now I know how you Fixers feel when I post one of my blog opuses.
I also never got to see da Vinci's famous painting of The Last Supper. Apparently you have to make a reservation. I'm not a biblical scholar, but I don't recall that Jesus turned anyone away that night because they didn't have a reservation. I got to see it anyway, sort of. The concierge at the Westin Palace Hotel was kind enough to hand me a postcard with a copy of the masterpiece on it.
Judas keeps trying to leave before dessert. I think he's up to something.
Speaking of indulging, I just had my last Margarhita Pizza and I don't care what anyone says - especially Berman - you can't find better in New York. And you can't find more cordial, friendly people than the ones I met here. Even with such limited Italian, I managed to make a few friends and share many laughs. Most, probably, at my expense. But I couldn't understand the jokes anyway.
It's now off to Paris after I cram in about three hours of sleep. If Parisians ever had a reason to call anyone an Ugly American, just wait until four bleary-eyed basketball writers emerge from baggage claim at Charles de Gaulle.
I guess the Knicks can trade Gallo now that we're done with Milan (sarcasm). Carmelo Anthony certainly keeps reminding people that he's got one foot out the door in Denver and if you watched the Knicks play against Armani Jeans Milano today, you have to wonder if they seriously need to find another bona fide scorer if they're going to seriously contend for a playoff spot in the East (not sarcasm). But really it's just one game and a sloppy one at that by a team with 10 new players after eight days of practice and a 7-hour flight across the Atlantic.
Check for my game story on the Knicks page for coverage of the Knicks' win over Milano and then hit the Fix tomorrow for more of an assessment on the game and notes and quotes. Right now, I have to get to bed.