• 2017.11.16
  • What comes out as the mist fills the air?
Autumn in Milan is warmer this year than usual and the days are actually quite comfortable. That said, as winter approaches, there will be more days when Milan is covered in mist. Because of the heat island effect, the misty area has been mostly limited to the suburbs in recent years, but on days when it is very thick, even the city center becomes covered in it. On days like that there is an infestation in Milan that oddly makes sense. So, what is it? It also appears during the unbelievably long Italian summer vacations. Recently, it has increased dramatically.

When I first moved to Milan, I saw that Italians would remove their car stereo after they parked, and this was the first time I learned that car stereos were a target for theft in the world. At the same time I thought, “Yay for Japan, the land of peace!” It’s true. Italy is full of theft. The country is overflowing with all types of theft, from pickpockets on busy buses or trains to parked cars being stolen from the side of the street and, to top it all off, even suave thieves who steal a woman’s heart.

Days when the mist is thick are the perfect condition for thieves specializing in cat burglary when the residents are out. The summer holidays when Milanese people leave their homes for three months are a profitable time for burglars. This past summer, someone I know told me that 14 homes in their condominium were burgled at once.

I also learned that weddings that are supposed to be a happy occasion are also important events for thieving. At some gypsy weddings, after all the relatives have come together, they will say, “Let’s go and do some work!” and as an extension of the festivities, they will all go out stealing together. Perhaps that is how they give presents...
Incidentally, when a gypsy burgles an empty house, they do not take anything made of silver even if it is expensive. This is because it is said to bring you misfortune.

A careful thief will actually investigate the wedding details of regular people in advance. Do you know why? It is because the home of the bride and groom is full of new and expensive gifts. In other words, burglar marketing relies on in-depth pursuit based on a thorough investigation!

I remember hearing that Japanese people who lived in Italy 30 or 40 years ago used to put some money on the table when they went out. It was a message to any burglars who broke in when they were out to ‘take this money’ so that they would not mess up the house. It is a bit of a charming little story compared to the criminal situation we are experiencing today. Doesn’t it seem like the relationship between thief and victim was in a subtle balance in that era?


  • Yuriko Mikami
  • AgeDog (INU)
  • GenderFemale
  • JobMusician

A cellist based in Milan. Performs solo and ensemble concerts, as well as produces multi-style stage performances that combine theatrical shows, images, dances and live music.

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