Have you bought your tickets for Milan for next year’s WDC? If not, I suggest you start thinking about it, seriously. Doing some serious homework now could save you some serious money later. You’ll want to look at the airlines (both low cost and traditional) and the railroads and even some combinations of both. The closest airport may not be the cheapest, no matter what airline you pick; and the fastest train most certainly will not be the cheapest nor necessarily the most scenic. Also, if you start exploring your travel options now and get on Facebook you may be able to link up with others going to Milan from outside of Italy, or even from Rome who can give you some local travel advice. The grumpy bear in the room in this case are Italy’s unions who are known for frequent and unscheduled airline strikes which can ground you for a few hours, a few days, or even longer. Do your research now and watch the trends; and always be on the lookout for a good deal offered by a reputable seller.
Most Americans have an idea of what to expect when they’re going to Rome, but Milan is a different animal. I’ve been to Italy five or six times but my total time spent in Milan is no more than six hours, and the only thing that got me to go (from Venice) was a chance to see a live performance at La Scala. And what did I see, Boris Godunov sung by an American Boris! (He wasn’t bad but he wasn’t great either.)There just wasn’t anything to make me want to go back. But now Milan is hosting the 2015 WDC and that’s worth a journey, as Michel in would say. Milan is to Italy what Chicago is to the USA, or Birmingham is to Britain. It’s a fashion and style center, a financial center, an industrial center, and a technology center. It is definitely not a tourist center. For that you’ll want to go to Rome or get out into the countryside and the smaller cities and towns.
Still, Milan does have sites to attract the visitor. First and foremost are the Cathedral or Duomo (Think of a wedding cake on steroids!) and the piazza in front of it. The Castle Sforzesco is a good example of the Renaissance type of fortification that every Machiavelli player knows and loves. The Teatro alla Scala alone is worth the trip to any opera lover, as is a visit to the Verdi Museum. Santa Maria delle Grazie is a church and the home of Leonardo’s famous mural The Last Supper. Before you buy a bare bones admission ticket ($22) that allows you only 15 minutes of “real” viewing time look at the other options offered by tour groups, etc. It all depends on what you want, but know your options before you lay out a lot of money for tickets that aren’t what you want. For the shoppers, a visit to the Victor Emmanuel II Gallery is required. Every major Italian city has at least one of these and you’ll find similar malls as far away as Sydney and Buenos Aires, or your nearest Westfield Mall.
Here are the details I have now about the event. The 2015 WDC will be held in Milan and after the wonderful EDC event Rome hosted this year (as I forecast) the bar has indeed been set high for the Milanese, so I am sure they will give it their all to make Italy’s first WDC event a great success. The event will run three days (beginning on Friday, 1 May at 0900) and ending on Sunday, 3 May at 1700. I believe registration ends on 1 May at 1200) with a total of five rounds, the first starting at 1000 on the 1st. There are a total of 77 places available for players so I advise you to register online and early. Details can be found at:
And registration is available here:
Unlike Rome, which used a historical site for their event, Milan is using what they call a social or gaming club, a commercial business establishment, the Casa dei Giochi which is located at Via Sant’Uguzzone 8, Milano. You can see a Yelp review with photos here:
As always the most important thing about any WDC or DIPCON event, after the players of course, is the host and officials and, after a slow start more than thirty years ago, the Italian Diplomacy hobby has finally come into its own. Here are some names to remember: Giuseppe Salerno at firstname.lastname@example.org and Fulvio de Persio (contact him through the Facebook WDC 2015 page) both can deal with your questions in English. Davide Cleopadre is the Edi Birsan of the Italian hobby as one look at his head will convince you. If you see him, buy him a glass of wine. Filippo Lonardo represents the future of Italian dip&Dip, in more ways than one. If you see him, let him buy you a glass of wine. He can be contacted at email@example.com, especially for you Canadians since he’s now stationed in Montreal.
I also must mention another good friend of mine, Gian Carlo Ceccoli, The Man From San Marino, who brought EDC to his country in 2003 when nobody believed it could happen. I did. I went. And I got my butt kicked at Diplomacy but I had a great time. It was a wonderful event and it is a great country. San Marino may not be big in area (There are shopping centers in China and the USA that are larger than the country) but it is big in heart and pride. Gian Carlo will be hosting a class act Diplomacy event in conjunction with the San Marino Game Convention the weekend following WDC in Milan from 8-10 May. I suspect a lot of the European Dippers will follow the Dip trail from Milan to San Marino for a rematch. I strongly suggest you go if you can. More information is at:
By the way, this is one of the best game convention web sites I’ve seen anywhere! Peeriod.
And here’s a link to the report I wrote 21 years ago on that first EDC in San Marino that I mentioned.
So, get your butt off that couch and get to Milan and San Marino!
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