August is a strange time in Milan. It’s usually unbearably hot, very humid and eerily quiet in the city. The streets are deserted, many shops and restaurants are closed with signs posted on their doors that read, “Chiuso per ferie,” which means closed for vacation. Most Italians take their yearly vacation in August. In Milan, that means the city is virtually empty as the Milanese escape to the seaside or to the mountains. This year we made our August escape to the mountains, specifically the town of Merano, nestled in the hills of Trentino- Alto Adige.