Chicago, the great metropolis of the Midwest


From Chicago's cutting-edge architecture to its beautiful nature preserves


*This story appears on September-October 2022 Terre & Culture magazine issue, in the section Ameritalia.



Illinois is a Midwestern state of the United States of America. It borders Wisconsin to the north, Kentucky to the south, Iowa and Missouri to the west, and Indiana to the east. For a short distance to the northeast it borders Lake Michigan. The capital is Springfield. It is the most populous state in the Midwest, and the fifth most populous in the United States. About 65% of the population lives in the Chicago metropolitan area, one of the largest industrial and financial centers in the world, the second largest industrial center in the country after Los Angeles and the second largest financial center in the nation, after New York.

Climate and territory Being a very extensive state, the climate changes radically depending on the area, and it is possible to classify it in two bands: the continental and the humid subtropical. Winters are very cold and summers are humid and muggy, so the best months to visit Chicago are May or September. It is characterized by rough terrain and an unstable climate.

Economy Sources of income are both agriculture and tourism, the provision of transport and telecommunications. Illinois is known for its large and diverse population and its balance of rural areas, small industrial cities, vast suburbs, and the greater Chicago metropolitan area. Its diverse economy and central location have made it an important transportation hub for 150 years. This blend of factories and farms, urban and rural areas, have made Illinois a microcosm within the nation. Illinois's nickname is The Prairie State Illinois, which means The State of the prairie. Another nickname is The Land of Lincoln; many residents are proud that US President Abraham Lincoln spent much of his life here. His grave is in the capital Springfield. As for agriculture, Illinois is one of the US states that belongs to the so-called Corn Belt, the belt for the production of corn which, together with the States of Indiana and Iowa, contributes significantly to the primacy of production of corn from the USA. In addition to corn, farmers grow soybeans and raise a large number of cattle, pigs and poultry. The agriculture of the Corn Belt has evolved very commercially, in fact the farmers work while always keeping their attention on the Chicago stock exchange which continuously updates them on how the evaluations of cereals are proceeding. Today's "futures" and commodity markets also originated in Chicago. Because of this, there were large quantities of agricultural products being transported to the city from North America and held in storage to be sold to the highest bidder. The operators thus began to exchange rights on the various batches of goods through the purchase and sale of securities that represented them and soon from all over the country by means of the telegraph they also began to deal with the goods that in the future would then be deposited in Chicago.

History The first Europeans to explore the region were the French missionaries, hence the name New France until 1783, but only after the end of the American Revolutionary War, in 1776, did it become part of the 21st State of the United States of America. . These were years of renewal mainly due to economic and cultural development. Thus were born the Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT), the Chicago Mercantile Exchange in which the exchange rates of world currencies are determined and the methods used even today in the commodity markets. Tourism It has a very diversified tourism in two different environments: on the one hand the vast and peaceful countryside with thousands of towns with few inhabitants, mostly farmers and, on the other, the immense area of Chicago where most of the tourism is concentrated thanks to the many attractions and in particular interesting museums, excellent restaurants and pleasant trips on the great lakes. Chicago is also called The Windy City or even the Queen of the Great Lakes, it is the largest city in the state and one of the most dynamic rail and airport hubs in the United States. Very famous is the railway station from where all the trains of the only and famous Amtrak railway company pass, which manages all the railway lines that connect from north to south and from west to east of the USA.

Memories My visits to Chicago were and are to promote Italian products and tourism. This gave me the opportunity to know and appreciate it. I find the city very tidy, with wonderful museums, excellent restaurants and a greater attention by the population to a better standard of living, less chaotic and with a sense of great interest especially for family and friends. I was very impressed when, during a visit to my friends' ranch in Mullen, Nebraska, I noticed that, early in the morning, Don was selling and buying his angus through the Chicago stock exchange while sitting comfortably in front of the computer, while in the previous years these trades they could only be done in the large livestock markets that took place during the year in large cities with high costs for the various trips and long stays for them and their animals.

The cuisine The signature dish of Illinois cuisine is Chicago-style deep-dish pizza. A sort of stuffed pizza with a three-centimeter-high crust filled with a variety of different cheeses, tomato sauces, and various spices and herbs. Sometimes prepared with multiple layers all abundantly filled with everything possible, and I don't know how it can be called Pizza !!!! The first time my husband and I visited a customer in Chicago, sure to please us, ordered one where on top of the third layer was a PINEAPPLE!