Like being on a TV show

It takes just a few minutes to get out of Chicago. But the city is, by no means, a disappointment to anyone visiting for the first time and leaving too soon. As soon as we leave the centre, heading southbound, we find another skyline, which is, maybe, even more interesting that the one we have seen so far.

First, Millennium Park, and then Buckingham Fountain, one of the symbols of the city, compete for our attention with the Sears Tower, by far the world’s tallest skyscraper. We leave the city, with the stadium of the legendary Chicago Bulls on our left.

As soon as we hit the highway, it feels like we are on a TV show. Low, wooden houses, all in order, one after the other, each with a garden in the front. There is a lot of green and the taste of the Americans, occasionally a little kitsch, is revealed in everything, from the Italian-style garden, to the lighthouse in the middle of a pond. I am reminded of the irreverent Giorgio Gaber, who joked about the creativity of these people. “How great the Americans are …”

On the road, the enormous, beast-like trucks move at an incredible speed. Everything is big, here, from kitchen knobs to the sandwiches they prepared for us as a quick meal on the coach, not to mention the cars and trucks. There’s not a Panda in sight, but you never know. They are conservative, here, but their behavior can also be revolutionary, like when they elected a black president, so, we should never say never.

In the meantime, we spend two hours on the coach between Illinois and Michigan, to get to Benton Harbor, where Whirlpool began, and where it has its heart.

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