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Hemingway Adventure

Milan (second day)

Milan, Italy 
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Today's Fiat ambulances give patients a much smoother ride. But beware, some are driven by ex-comedians.
Michael Palin - Hemingway Adventure‘Left here, please! OK, OK, yes, right is good.’

I want to set his mind at rest by telling him that I’ve driven vehicles under many testing circumstances. Whilst making the Monty Python series I had to drive an E-Type Jaguar through the Scottish countryside whilst dressed as the front half of a pantomime horse. If you can change gear with a hoof you can do anything. But I don’t know quite how to phrase this in Italian.

After a while he lets me sound the alarm and press the button that sets off the flashing blue light, which could be very addictive given the swathe of space it immediately opens up in the traffic ahead. And gradually he eases up and we talk about things like his four-year-old son and how he has moved out of Milan because he hates it there and because he wants to be somewhere his boy ‘can wake up and see trees’. When we finally say goodbye, he tips me off as to where I can gain a little more Red Cross experience.

This turns out to be a first-aid class at the Maggiore Hospital in the centre of the city, the very same place to which Hemingway was sent for physio-therapy after his injuries at the Austrian front. (The Red Cross hospital in Via Manzoni where he was treated for his wounds and where he fell in love with nurse Agnes von Kurowsky also still exists, but the building is now, surprise, surprise, a bank.)
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PALIN'S GUIDES

  • Series: Hemingway Adventure
  • Chapter: Milan (second day)
  • Country/sea: Italy
  • Place: Milan
  • Book page no: 49

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RELATED LINKS

  • Italy
  • Day 2 
  • Around the World in 80 Days
  • Day 3 
  • Around the World in 80 Days

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