A Different Milan
By Tensi Sánchez from actitudesmgz.com
Milan has been the economic, industrial and financial capital of Italy since the 1970s. Nonetheless, all the attention on this city is garnered by its expensive fashion boutiques and the majestic cathedral, one of the most perfect and famous religious to be found anywhere in the world.
Walking around the edge of the old historic centre evokes feelings of the industrial city that Milan still is today, but the more central streets of the inner city exude history through their old buildings and it is easy to understand why this used to be a major capital of the Roman Empire.
I have discovered many interesting shops, restaurants and galleries in the historic centre that offer a great alternative to the typical tourist trails through the city and a great way to fill a morning. Travelling on the metro or the tram is the best option and, what’s more, the tram network still uses a few carriages that date back to the 1920s. Taking a ride around the city on one of those old trams is an irresistible treat.
It has become hugely fashionable of late to partake of the so-called brunch, that undefined area somewhere between breakfast and lunch. At Zerodue, they offer brunch every Sunday but you should get there before midday because the place fills up so quickly. They have a varied buffet and the decoration is to die for. Radetzky Café can be found in Garibaldi street and is also very famous for its brunches, as well as for the “cotolettas alla milanese” (Milanese cutlets).
The best hamburger in the city is served at Mamaburger, where the décor is totally minimal and rather unusual to say the least. Still on the subject of hamburgers, 202 Hamburger & Delicious and Tizzy’s are also highly recommendable.
Milan is also a bustling hive of activity insofar as art is concerned. The city is simply bursting with contemporary art galleries.
The Galería de Carla Sotaní has ties to the famous and very pricey fashion boutique 10corsocomo. Before venturing into the gallery, visitors have the chance to explore the Box and Design Shop that can be found on the same floor.
If you are a lover of design, this is the perfect city for you. The five-storey Hightech building will keep you entertained for hours, and also has a restaurant and cafeteria for recharging your batteries. Here you will find all sorts of never-before-seen curiosities presented in a pleasant and welcoming atmosphere. The place describes itself as “a sea port in the city”.
At 89 Porta di Ticinese you will come acrossOltolini; a shop dedicated to all things designer kitchen at more than reasonable prices.
Finally, I was thrilled to discover Aspesi 1910; a shop selling 100% ‘Made in Italy’ glasses that has been operating in the city for more than 100 years. You will find a host of unimaginable designs and colours well within reach.
Fashion in Milan simply cannot be ignored. The Porta di Ticinese district and neighbouring streets are full of small boutiques waiting to be discovered. Here are a few that surprised me because they try to step away from the conventional:
Maison I Yamakabe – Italian jewellery with personality and originality; Panca’s Designer – different footwear;
Dictionary Milano – men’s and women’s fashion with such brands as Scotch & Soda, Camo; Frip – a very cool shop where you can find such brands as Acne and their Little brand Frippino for the small, budding musketeers in the house; unique records and accessories at Serendeepity; and finally, two shops dedicated to the world of vintage clothes and complements, Groupies and Lo Especchio di Alice.
One of my favourite hotels in Milan is the Crowne Plaza, with its impeccable interior design and magnificent outdoor terrace. However, its best feature for me is that the entrance to the metro is inside the hotel itself, thus making it a rather unique hotel.
Before going to a party in Milan, one usually enjoys an aperitif at about 7 in the evening. It is an inexpensive and entertaining way to start the night. A typical aperitif consists of a good “Negroni” accompanied by some modest snacks. Nowadays, the aperitif scene has become a veritable institution of the city’s night life and is the reason why most bars offer a variety of tasty dishes to eat in the evening, including pasta, risotto, salads and some more exotic food dotted around. The aperitif has thus become a valid alternative to dinner at just the price of a cocktail (between 5 and 10 euros) in a great atmosphere with good music.
Do you feel like going to Milan? Well, wait no longer and book your flight with Vueling!
PS: The recipe for a Negroni
INGREDIENTS: 1/3 gin; 1/3 Campari (bitter); 1/3 red Vermouth
Pour all the ingredients straight into a single glass with only a couple of ice cubes (max.). Never use crushed ice because the Negroni should never be watered down. Mix well and serve in a cold cocktail glass. Some people add a few drops of lemon to enhance the flavour, especially the gin. However, the original formula would be served with a slice of orange on the rim of the glass.
A “Negroni” is a great aperitif for stimulating your appetite. It was invented in the early 1900s and its name comes from Camillo Negroni, who always used to order the same cocktail in Florence. Cheers!
By Tensi Sánchez from actitudesmgz.com
Photography: Rubén Seco
Why not take a trip to Milán? Have a look at our flights here!
The Champions League Returns to the Capital of Football
Along with Madrid, Milan is the city with the most European cups and Champions League trophies. While Madrid’s ten trophies are held by the competition’s overall master, Real Madrid, in Milan the spoils are divided between the two continental greats – AC Milan (with seven trophies) and Inter Milan (with three). The balance will of course tip in favour of the Madrilenians on 28 May, but the hottest question right now is whether Atlético Madrid is capable of finally ending its run of bad luck and conquering the greatest of finals to be crowned emperor of football on the continent. We’ll know the answer in a few days’ time.
At My Vueling City, we know only too well that the king of sports moves masses, and that hordes of people will be descending on Milan to witness one of the greatest spectacles in the world. We are aware that fans will be going on a lightning visit which, in many cases, will be less than 24 hours. No problem, as Milan has a lot to offer. Following are some tips for making the most out of this getaway. The idea is you get to see something more than the area surrounding San Siro, the stadium hosting the final.
San Siro stadium is quite far from the city centre, but it is well connected. You can get there easily by taking buses 95, 49 or 72. Tram no. 24 also has a stop there. But, the metro is clearly the fastest way of reaching the stadium – the recently unveiled Line 5 goes there direct. Curiously, the two great local soccer clubs share the stadium and, when it is Inter Milan’s turn to do so, it changes its name to Giuseppe Meazza. During the soccer season, both teams play there on alternate Sundays. On the day of the final, there are unlikely to be any guided tours but, if you visit the stadium any other time, we can recommend two. Both include a tour of the stadium, built in 1920, and visits to the players’ changerooms and to the AC Milan and Inter Milan Museum.
For those of you who will only be around for a few hours, we can recommend a walk through the inner city to give you a taste of the capital of Lombardy. Start with a stroll down the Corso Buenos Aires. This broad avenue is the backbone of the shopping district. Be sure to stop off at the Torrefazione Caffè Ernani, at Corso Buenos Aires 20. A visit to the café is essential if you want to perk up fully after the trip. They serve their own coffee, ground and roasted on the premises. Their espresso is highly aromatic and the best thing of all is the price – just one euro. Continuing down the avenue towards the centre, you will go through the Porta Venezia gateway, a sign you are entering the city’s historic centre. On the right (to the north) you will see a stunning park, the Indro Montanelli Gardens, a green lung which is ideal for having a picnic or for going for a run. Inside the park stands the impressive Villa Comunale, which currently houses the Natural History Museum. Further along what has now turned into the Corso Venezia, the avenue is lined with the storefronts of such exclusive brands as Dolce & Gabbana (which features a barber’s shop) and Vivienne Westwood. After crossing the Piazza San Babila, we recommend heading straight along the Corso Vittorio Emanuele II where big brand stores have taken over the street level. Here, the tall buildings house a number of shopping malls or galleries. The street eventually leads into the Piazza del Duomo, presided over by Milan Cathedral or Duomo di Milano with its characteristic spires. This formidable construction built of pink Candoglia marble rivets the attention of most tourists who flock to the square. Another building well worth visiting is the Museo del Novecento as it affords the best views of the Cathedral. We realise that time is at a premium and that trippers will have their mind on nothing but a ball and 22 players. However, with a view to going back to Milan at a later date, we recommend you visit the museum as it features works by some of the leading artists of the early European avant-garde, notably De Chirico, Fontana and Marinetti. Lastly, take a stroll in the Quadrilatero d’Oro, undisputed as the most acclaimed shopping precinct in the world. The “Golden Quadrilateral” with its cobbled streets roofed with translucent barrel-vaulting leaves sightseers open-mouthed.
This route will surely have whet your appetite to see more of the city, but football is football and you probably don’t have much more leeway if you’ve come specifically to see the final. Further posts about Milan will follow soon, so keep your eye on the blog. If you fancy seeing the city for yourself, check out our flights here.
Text by Los Viajes de ISABELYLUISmore info
The Most Gastronomic Turin
By: Belén Parra and Carme Gasull
The gastro-event: Salone del Gusto and Terra Madre. 23 to 27 October, 2014
Turin, the ultimate in good taste. From the moment you set foot in Turin, you feel at home, you become imbued with its unique quality and understand why it was the first capital of modern Italy. While the city’s 2 million inhabitants are fully aware of its many attributes and how best to enjoy them, Turin remains relatively untouched by tourism. For decades, the city has been creating its own reality, far removed from the mass tourism of other Italian destinations. The 2006 Winter Olympic Games was clearly a major turning point for Turin, which has never depended on tourism. And the tourists it does receive are mainly from Italy. This is certainly not due to a lack of attractions… Among them, gastronomy. The aptly named Città del Gusto (Good Taste Event) also seduces the taste buds.
Warmth. This best sums up the Turinese nature. You just have to show curiosity, interest or mere ignorance about something to promptly find the desired answer. With a notable generosity. “La buona accoglienza fa bene al turismo”, is the slogan of the day. And they lead by example. There is no place better than Turin for a stress-free stroll. There are no hordes of foreign tourists everywhere you go unless, of course, the city is hosting a major international event.
Obviously, the best way to explore any destination is on foot, but Turin’s superb transport system lets you move around the city at your leisure. Train, bus, underground, tram, public bicycles… Everywhere is so accessible, which makes sightseeing a pleasure. Even so: a gentle stroll, especially around the city centre, is still the best way to discover its pulse, its unique layout and its infinite charms.
Due to the city’s emerging tourist sector, accommodation in Turin is centred on mid to high range hotels. We suggest 2 enticing options of contrasting ambience.
Best Western Hotel Piemontese
Via Claudio Luigi Berthollet, 21
Quaint, discreet and comfortable. It stands in one of the city’s best areas for social and night life. The hotel is surrounded by bars and restaurants for breakfast, fine dining or just drinks. It is also close to the city’s main railway station: Porta Nova.
NH Santo Stefano
Via Porta Palatina, 19
Located in the centre of the modern Quadrilatero Romano, it is within easy reach of the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist and the historic city centre. Its proximity to the Porta Susa and Porta Nuova railway stations offers easy access to Turin by train.
Being a city of contrasting weather, Turin’s squares are a hive of activity throughout the year. So don’t be surprised to see lots of tables in the streets and especially in the squares. From the imposing Piazza San Carlo, one of the biggest and most elegant squares in the city and which leads to Gran Madre de Dio, through to Piazza Castello or the small squares known as Emanuele Filiberto and Della Consolata.
Snacks, coffee and local beers abound on the tables. The drinks menus at the different establishments offer a seemingly infinite choice. Did you know Turin is also the home of vermouth? Whether winter or summer, the enticing outdoor cafés in the squares are sure to be open. The squares are also home to historic gastronomic establishments.
Establishments with history
Ancient establishments teeming with history and fine produce. Busy places. Like their cafés. Turin is the third city in Italy in terms of historic establishments.
Piazza Castello, 15
The famous tramezzino was created here; a lightly toasted sandwich with a variety of high-quality fillings. The most typical one is filled with d’aragosta’ (lobster) salad. It has been in the same location since 1907.
Piazza Castello, 29
Just a few meters away from the first one, but bigger and for a much sweeter tooth. Delicious chocolates, sweet pastries and cakes are all showcased inside.
Caffè Cioccolateria Al Bicerin
Piazza della Consolata, 5
This small, incredibly popular business (with an adjoining delicatessen) has been open since 1763. Marble tables and chairs, and its star product: bicerin, a drink combining coffee, chocolate and cream. You can try one for just €5.
Caffè Pasticceria Abrate
Via Po, 10
This café boasts a long history of baking and confectionery. It was founded in 1866.
Piazza San Carlo, 214
One of the city’s most famous establishments, it was founded in 1903 and has been at its current location since 1930. It has successfully adapted to the changing times. This large café has a popular snack buffet to accompany your aperitif, as well as outside tables where you can watch the world go by in the bustling Piazza San Carlo square.
Eat and drink
Located in San Salvario, an area offering some of the best night life in the city. The kitchen stays open till the small hours and the bar itself closes at 4 am. It offers home-made pasta, typical sweets, excellent bread, wines, craft beers and good service. It has something for everybody. Its decor is one the star attractions. A sublime fusion of order and chaos. Visiting it is a must!
Via Monte di Pietà, 23
A modern trattoria or an evolution of the typical trattoria without being a cutting-edge establishment that meets the slow food precepts. It is also famous for its worldwide and Italian natural wines, beers and liquors.
Via Carlo Ignazio Giulio 4/G
Managed by two Tuscan sisters, this is a simple and welcoming establishment where the traveller can feel at home eating a good pasta meal with a glass of excellent wine or craft beer, such as the Turinese Brew Up. Next to the Porta Palazzo market.
Piazza Emanuele Filiberto, 9b
The South in the North. With a decidedly retro ambience, this establishment is managed by a Sicilian who has the soul and humour to give his business a character all of its own.
The owner, Andrea Tortorella, makes his presence felt on the walls and even the floor of the café, but especially in the tasty home-made recipes and almost uninterrupted timetable of the kitchen service. Personalised attention to detail in a decor that even includes one of the last pieces of the demolished Berlin Wall. On a cold day, its covered terrace is a great option. Excellent value for money.
Via Goito, 9
Or ‘neighbour’ in the local Piedmont dialect. This small restaurant follows the precepts of the Slow Food philosophy, or eco-gastronomic project (as they like to call it) since it reduces CO2 emissions. Simple home cooking using fresh, local produce. Within easy walking distance of Porta Nuova station.
Via Avogadro, 2
This restaurant and pizzeria is a veritable Mecca for those who like freshly-made pizza baked in a wood-fired oven (you can even watch the entire process from start to finish). The listing of pizzas is fairly classic and prices, opposite to other meals on the menu, are quite economic.
Via Conte Giambattista Bogino, 5
An ideal place to try a typical Piedmont menu with different options to suit all tastes, including such dishes as vitello tonnato (cold, roast veal with mayonnaise and capers). And be sure to try (or purchase) some of the wines exhibited throughout the whole restaurant.
It is named after the most famous 18th century Turinese mathematician, who invented rational mechanics. They say that focaccia is a mathematical science based on a finite number of flour particles subjected to a dynamic encounter with water and oil. Nothing else. You can judge for yourselves at three establishments (Via Lagrange 11/f, via Sant’Agostino 6 and Piazza Castello, 153).
Via Cavour, 10
A myriad of bread in all its shapes and forms, such as grissini (breadsticks) which were invented in Turin to help young Vittorio Amedeo II, who was a weak child and loved to eat this crunchy, easy-to-digest bread. Or so they say. The establishment is often packed and has long queues of people waiting to buy fresh bread, biscuits or sweet pastries, or to enjoy a panino, focaccia or just a coffee.
Where to go shopping
Porta Palazzo Market
A fabulous blend of colours, flavours and cultures, it is the biggest market in Turin and the largest food market in all of Europe. Shops, bars, trattorias and businesses under one roof and offering all kinds of products, from clothes to antiques. Time simply flies by when you’re browsing the stalls.
Via Maria Vittoria, 27/C
The cake shop-boutique par excellence. A true emblem of quality chocolate. The owner obviously loves chocolate, pampering it as if he had grown it himself. In his workshop, a few kilometres away from the city, Guido Castagna teaches his profession. His know-how has attracted many followers and given rise to some exceptional giandujotti (a typical Turin sweet made from chocolate and hazelnuts) . You have to try them!
Torino is not only the city of chocolate, but also of ice-cream. And the best is made by Alberto Marchetti. He has two ice-cream parlours in the city. The largest is at Corso Vittorio Emanuele II 24bis, while the other is at Via Po 35 bis. And he’s opening a third on Via Rossini. There is such a choice of flavours, they’ll let you try a few first. Just as well, or you’d be there all day trying to choose! Try some popcorn ice-cream or a delicious pallino (espresso and a scoop of ice-cream with whipped cream on top). It’s all home-made. Delicious. Amazing ice-creams from just €2. It is also babyfriendly (changing table in the bathroom and a table with games).
Eataly Alti Cibi
Via Nizza, 230/14
A great deli on a large scale. Due to its size and its wide range of quality products. It has something to suit all tastes. If you’re looking for something in particular to try or and even as a gift, you’re sure to find it here: pasta, rice, chocolate and other sweets, coffee, sauces and condiments, cookery books, kitchenware… Quality, sustainability and ecology. The first shop was opened in Turin, followed by Rome, Florence and Milan. Today, there are 26 Eataly establishments worldwide.
Also be sure to visit…
Two great museums
Or two in particular, at least. The Egyptian Museum (Via Accademia delle Scienze, 6) is considered the second most important museum in the world after the Cairo Museum due to its collection of antiques. An ambitious refurbishment is currently underway and is not due to end until 2015.
If you’re a film buff, we recommend the Museo Nazionale del Cinema, located in Mole Antonelliana, a major landmark on the city skyline (Via Montebello, 20). Rising 167 metres above the city, it has a glass lift that takes you up to the top of the huge dome, where you can enjoy panoramic views. Simply breathtaking.
CathedralA must in the city, this beautiful building from the 14th century dedicated to St. John the Baptist, patron saint of Turin, holds the burial cloth in which Jesus was wrapped after being lowered from the cross: the Holy Shroud, also known as the Shroud of Turin or Turin Shroud. The relic is shown only on special occasions.
Take a stroll along its banks. If you still have time for more sightseeing, you can stand on one of the many bridges and watch the Po flow by. If you prefer, you can also go for a boat ride on the river. It is the most Parisian touch of this Transalpine city.
Now, as before, we will always have Turin.
We’ll be there. If you want to come too, check out our flights here.