Ciao Milano

We accompany our author David Minoretti on a journey through the Italian metropolis.

18 February 2020

Classy boutiques with the latest trends of the Italian fashion scene and hip restaurants with young owners who mix up the traditional restaurant scene. We accompany travel writer David Minoretti on his city trip to Milan and experience first-hand why he fell in love with the Italian metropolis and keeps returning here.

I drove through long tunnels and over high bridges. I have crossed wild landscapes and seen high snow mountains. Inevitably, there is always something promising about driving through the Alps towards Milan. South of the Alps, the sun is more intense, life easier, and the ice sweeter. Milan, however, does not have the reputation of dolce far niente. This is where business is done and trade fairs are attended. In summer the city is too hot, in winter - too gray. Tourists prefer Rome, Florence or Venice. Yet Milan is the most diverse city in Italy.

It is still early in the morning when I arrive at the impressive Milano Centrale station. The station building from the time of fascism has lost nothing of its overwhelming effect. The scene is right, it's time to go, and by go I mean walk: In Milan, I walk when it's not raining hard. If I have to, I take one of those antique trams that would probably be in a museum in most other cities by now. It rattles and rattles, slowly it goes forward. In these trams you can feel the city, you still stand up when the Nonna gets on with full shopping bags. The first stop on our walk through Milan is the wonderful bakery Pavé. It's run by young Milanese people who have earned their excellent reputation with their sweet pastries and sandwiches. I have another cappuccino. As I drink it, I notice that many great places have opened in recent years, run by young people who are shaking up the city's traditional places. Only a stone's throw away from the Pavé is, for example, just such a restaurant: the Immorals.

Before I head for the chic boutiques in the city centre, I make a detour to the Villa Necchi Campigilo. A noble industrial villa from the 1930s, built by Piero Portaluppi. I sit down in the garden, which seems like an oasis in the hectic Lombard metropolis. It's no coincidence that Luca Guadagnino shot the film I Am Love turned.  amore mio now I have to go to the centre. I cross Via Monte Napoleone, followed by a visit to the La Rinascente. Quite practical: In the huge department store - located right next to the cathedral - you can feel the pulse of the Italian fashion scene. After the short shopping trip, I feel hungry. A hearty plate of pasta of proven quality is just what I need, and I return to the restaurant that has been in business since 1957. San Babila home A Santa Lucia ...in. After lunch, my walk leads to the Pasticceria Marchesi, which has been part of the Prada group for several years. However, I am still looking for the unbeatable original on the 11a Via Santa Maria alla Porta. The place is a small work of art; no wonder, I think, that Italian fashion companies invest in such establishments and thus save a piece of Italian cultural heritage. Recently, two companies from the US have also implemented similar projects in Milan. Apple is redesigning an entire piazza and Starbucks came up with a whole new concept for its first branch in Italy. Milan has thus been given a new global face. But its heart beats in a traditional way through and through.

In the evening I went to the Navigli quarter. La movida - the nightlife - is at home here. Young people occupy the quarter just as much as tourists and business people. I sit down in the Rita, a place a little turned away from the Navigli canal, but with better cocktails and appetizers than most bars directly on the canal. Meanwhile, the sky has changed to match the color of my cocktail and is now glowing bright red. Joyful laughter and happy faces around me, attest to Mediterranean relaxation. This cocktail of chic relaxation and modern metropolis, it must be why I always go to Milan. A presto Milano.

The best restaurants and bars you should definitely visit. Plus: What you should not miss in Milan.



Popular hotspot in the south of the city centre, especially frequented during the warmer months. Countless bars and restaurants invite you to a lively apertivo with cosy outdoor seating. Our favourite is the Mag Café. magcafemilano.myadj.it

Triennale di Milano

Since 2007, this museum has housed the most compelling works of Italian designers. Only a part of the huge collection is shown in the respective current exhibition. So it's worth admiring not only the novelties at the fair, but also the design objects steeped in history from this collection worth seeing. triennale.org


Milan's chicest restaurant and currently the hottest "place to be seen". Here, among elegantly dressed Milanese, you can enjoy seafood of the highest quality - delivered fresh daily from Liguria. The finest Franciacorta from Ca' del Bosco is served with it. La Dolce Vita in the 21st century. langosteria.com

Antica Trattoria della Pesa

In this from the outside inconspicuous restaurant you can enjoy one of the best Risotto alla Milanese con ossobuco enjoy. This simple and traditional restaurant is located just not far from the Corso Como concept store and has been offering the perfect blend of stylish atmosphere and outstanding cuisine since 1880. anticatrattoriadellapesa.com.

Bar Basso

This popular bar, where the Negroni Sbagliato cocktail was invented, is , the Meeting place after the fair. Although it's a bit off the beaten track, there's hardly any room to be found in the bar. But the guests prefer to parley with their drink in front of the bar anyway. barbasso.com

Picture credits: Shutterstock; Pinacoteca di Brera; Gianluca di Ioia; Antica Trattoria della Pesa; Mauritius Images/ CuboImages/ Stefano Tripoldi; Unsplash (Ha Be, Cristina Gottardi, Joseph Pearson, Jordan Pulmano)

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