Hello. Today I write to you from a place called Hochelaga, a village on the island of San Lorenzo, now no longer inhabited by Iroquois Indians. In 1535, Jacques Cartier, a French explorer, was observed over a hill that Canadian fortified place, and decided to use a new name, “Mons Realis”, ie Mount Royal. Obviously, what I have been able to visit these days has a skyline different from those distant years, but Montreal had a secret that I had discovered. Today, I’ll explain why this multi-ethnic city – half European and half American – is considered one of the places in the world where it is more pleasant to live 1.7 million inhabitants live within a creative mix of modernity, swirl cultural, and monuments of European style.
Montreal is a French-speaking city in the province of Quebec and in the light of the sun is a romantic city, with beautiful views of landscape, but has an incredible underground network of tunnels and malls, that does not force you, in severe winters, a having to leave the surface. I was eager to discover the special places of the city, and my first day in Montreal gave me the cathedral, a visit to the Basilica of Notre-Dame in Montreal, one that offers great wealth of architectural treasures.
From the historic center, the “Vieux Montreal”, I arrived on the shore of the St. Lawrence, along the road “Rue de la Commune.” Walking along this street, it is a great way to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city. Of course, I have also walked in the Montreal underground, but those 30 km of shopping centers, office buildings and subway stations I enjoyed them properly. Perhaps – as it reminded me of the keeper of my hotel – must visit the city in winter, when the air temperature of nearly 20 degrees below zero, to discover the secret of the underground city.
Yes, as you can imagine, I have also walked in a small Chinese neighborhood with narrow pedestrian streets, many restaurants and shops. Chinatown is located on the corner of Boulevard Saint Laurent and Rue Sherbrooke, a well-recognized for its colorful bows, similar to those of the Forbidden City in Beijing. Riopelle Square, on the other hand has two things that I was amazed, sculpture artist Riopelle and the convention center, with the outer glass made up of cubes of various colors. Riopelle’s sculpture looks normal, but if you wait for the right moment, the fountain around the statue comes to life, with a series of figures made of water, steam and fire.
The lookout on Mount Royal, a horizon full over the entire city, a special place to start your travel notebook and draw, or compose a poem. Why is that? The charm, the charm of the place. I have not gone to the botanical garden of the city, but who described to me the area has highlighted the four main features: a Japanese garden, greenhouses and ecosystems, a museum of the Indians, the European-style garden.
At the foot of the hill “Mont Royal”, last weekend I experienced the atmosphere of the Parc du Mont-Royal, the kingdom of rasta and the outdoors. The Biosphere is instead the most photographed place in the city, a fascinating structure that attracts the attention of photographers. “Vieux-Montréal” (Old Montreal), is the historic center of the city, an area with cobbled streets and old buildings, similar to those of Paris a few centuries ago, a sort of “no time zone”. This area is the most touristic city, full of art galleries, restaurants.