at the beginning of the 19th century
, this city with its vaguely Indian name soon became the economic and financial capital of central-western America
. What is now the third largest city in the United States, at that time was a strategic point between the east and west coast of a rapidly growing country. Chicago O'Hare is still the busiest airport in the U.S.
Chicago owes its particular charm to an exciting urban rush, combined with the pleasantly relaxed lifestyle
and attitude of its inhabitants. The Windy City stands on the banks of the immense Lake Michigan
that has a strong influence on its climate, while giving the city all the advantages of beach life: sunbathing on the sand, swimming in the lake or playing beach volleyball with the skyscrapers in the background has something marvelously unusual about it
. The luckier visitors can experience an extraordinary custom: on the day of the Irish national holiday, St. Patrick’s Day, the Chicago River is dyed bright green. In December you’ll be delighted with the Christkindlmarket, a special Christmas market, unusual for the American traditions, very similar to the one held every year in Nurnberg.
Chicago can also be considered the capital of modern architecture
. The construction boom started after the almost total destruction of the Business District, in the great fire of 1871. The center of the city is rich in historical Art Deco skyscrapers
; even European architects, like the genius of the Bauhaus, Mies van der Rohe, left visible traces on the face of the city. Art lovers will not want to miss the opportunity to visit the Art Institute of Chicago. The museum, founded long ago in 1878, offers an exceptional collection of masterpieces of the Impressionist period, as well as works by North American artists.
When we think of Chicago, it is impossible not to remember the stories of the famous Al Capone and his life of crime during Prohibition in the Twenties. Those who are interested in the long-gone low life districts and Chicago Blues should visit the legendary Green Mill Bar on the north side of town. "Scarface" was a regular at this bar. And in spite of the fact that the celebrated Chicago House, built in the Eighties, is about to be torn down, the city’s nightlife is highly varied and colorful
. You can find all the information about event in the Chicago Reader ( http://www.chicagoreader.com
), available free in the bars and cafés.
These days, Chicago is considered the center of the U.S. for new culinary ideas
. Even the offering of gluten-free meals is adequate and within reach of everybody.