Milan Journals

Alla Milanese

An April 1998 trip to Milan by MacJay

Piazza del Duomo Photo, Milan, Italy More Photos
Quote: Milan gets a bad rap because it’s a business and manufacturing center. As big cities go, however, it embraces a myriad of joys and surprises for the enthusiastic traveler. With its great museums, wonderful art, great dinning and shopping (or window-shopping) Milan is worth your time.

Alla Milanese

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Overview

Quote:
No argument that rural Italy provides bucolic beauty that escapes Milan, but then, how much bucolic beauty is there in ANY big city? But, Milan provides some very special and unique experiences that shouldn’t be missed. The Scala and the Duomo are dominant, of course. Take a look at the floor of the Duomo as you enter the main portals. You will find the complete zodiac signs in inlaid marble. Then, look up and you will see a hole in the far above ceiling. The sunlight that filters through that hole lights the appropriate zodiacal sign. The view from the roof is worth the combination money/climb. The Scala has a wonderful museum on the left side, which will add dimension to your understanding o...Read More

Antica Locanda Solferino

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Hotel

Quote:
Be careful. This is not a warning concerning danger but concerning noise. We have stayed in three different hotels in Milano. The “best” had all the amenities--elevators, bell boys and other good stuff--but it was also very noisy and quite expensive. The most wonderful (really) hotel we stayed in was also the least expensive. Full of charm and exquisitely located. Antica Locanda Solferino only has eight rooms, if I’m not mistaken, so you have to call well in advance of your intended visit. But the rooms are well appointed, comfortable, with balconies that face a quiet, interior street. There is a great wine shop, and next door you'll find a wonderful gelateria. The staff is friendly and helpf...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on November 1, 2000

Antica Locanda Solferino
Via Castelfidardo 2
Milan, Italy
(02) 659-2706

Tavola Calda

Restaurant

Quote:
For quick lunches check out the Tavola Caldas. This is not an establishment but a category. They are informal restaurants which serve hot food during lunch hour. I have always found them to provide delicious selections at low cost. Things like grilled vegetables and pastas. Risotto dishes, soups, pastries...and hot sandwiches. They generally have very small tables, a coffee counter with the great expresso coffee being served. Don't you love the way the sugar sits out alongside peanuts and sweets? It feels so much like home. There are lots of places like these, and all the food is very tasty, too!

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on November 1, 2000

Tavola Calda

Milan, Italy

Bebels

Restaurant

Quote:
Want to really eat well? Go to Bebel’s. We had the phantasmagoric dining experience that everyone dreams about in Italy. No menu, just Sergio, the owner, bringing plate after plate of superbly prepared food that threatened to burst not just our seams but our resolve to not let anything go to waste. (The waist was already beyond saving.) We had been there many times and this was the first time Sergio had treated us to this joy, but it was great! Especially try the artichoke salad. It is made from uncooked, little baby artichokes, sliced very thin, drizzled in the best olive oil I’ve ever had, with freshly grated parmesan cheese prinkled over it! What flavor! Moderate to expensive. Great ...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on November 1, 2000

Bebels
Corso Garibaldi
Milan, Italy

Take Your Pick

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Attraction

Take Your Pick Photo, Milan, Italy
Quote:
I named this entry 'Take your Pick' because what I want to highlight is the building that is to the right of the Duomo. It is a visitor's help center and one that should not be ignored. If you want to know what art exhibits are in town, what concerts are going to be celebrated, what train line to take, where to eat squid, where to find lodgings, what famous authors are from Milan, how to get a phone card (almost all the phones operate by pre-paid phone cards), how to use the phones once you get the card, etc., this is the place to go. The staff speaks every language you can imagine and has information on just about everything you'd want to know. This is really helpful--especially for those 'floati...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on November 1, 2000

Take Your Pick
Piazza Duomo
Milan, Italy

Museum of Torture

Attraction

Quote:
This is just a notch above a carnival side show, but if you're traveling with children and they are tired of 'culture' this is a good treat. It is housed in an ominous looking building, like an ancient tower, next to a gated wall. You are regaled with ancient forms of torture and horrible stories of incarceration that prove to be all too true. We happened upon the place on our way to the Museum of Science and Technology. Sorry I can't provide a formal address.

Member Rating 2 out of 5 on November 1, 2000

Museum of Torture

Milan, Italy

The Other Face

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Story/Tip

Piazza del Duomo Photo, Milan, Italy
Quote:
Like all the places you can go in the world, Milan has a "visitor's face" and an "other face." The 'other face' is that of the people who live in Milan, who raise their children in Milan, who buy and sell vegetables and go to the movies in Milan. I love people watching so just sitting on the steps of the Duomo is great fun for me as I am provided with a window to that "other face." What do I see? Asian women hawking their imitation silk scarves, the new phenomenon of the Ethiopian and Yugoslavian refugees selling unique, plastic things like hula dancers that gyrate to the Lambada and US soldiers that belly crawl while aiming a rifle. I see Mormon missionaries, the ubiquitous Polaroid photographers...Read More

Cottonwood

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Story/Tip

The attack of Piopo Photo, Milan, Italy
Quote:
This detail merits a separate entry only because it CAN be a health issue. In the spring the cotton woods, 'piopo' in Italian explode in snow like avalanches of seeds. At first it is pretty...kind of enchanting. Sort of like God blew on a giant dandelion and all these things are floating all around you. Eventually, much like snow, it starts to interfere because you breathe it in and have to start pulling it out of your mouth. In extreme cases, it can affect respiratory ailments. I've been in Milan several times during the spring and sometimes it is worse than at other times. And it seems to be concentrated in Milan. When we traveled just slightly away from Milan there was a noticeable red...Read More