As I noted earlier, Milan is peculiar - to this Catholic at least - in that it begins Lent not on Ash Wednesday but on its own Ash Sunday. As a result, I got to see Milan's Carnival, its own version of Mardi Gras (and presumably a much older version).
It doesn't seem to involve the alcohol intake one finds in New Orleans - Italians love their wine, but they also understand moderation - but one nice feature was children dressing in costumes, from Hamtaro to Spiderman (I'm assuming in medieval times the costumes were slightly different). I've been missing my kids over here, but I smiled as I imagined how much fun they'd have running around Duomo Square, spraying silly string and taking balloons from smiling Italian women, all beautiful of course.
The square was directly outside our meeting room in the Hotel Grand Duomo, six flights down. For the most part this wasn't too much of a difficulty. However, late in the day MTV showed up, and exhorted the crowd in Italian to, well I don't know, but I gathered to get rowdy.
If so, the MTV folks succeeded. The Beatles apparently loved to stay at the Grand Duomo, and listening to the high-pitched screams of Italian teens in the square, I thought maybe the Fab Four had returne. I also learned that teenage girls, around the world, have a universal shriek.