Milan Stories and Tips

I could have kicked myself!

After visiting the marvellous Art Nouveau cemetery, Cimitero Monumentale in the morning we had no idea what to do next as we had seen nearly all the most important sights in Milan. We decided to jump on the first tram that came and go to the end of the line. This is something we do all the time when we are travelling. Sometimes this works out fine and we see unusual and interesting sights, other times we end up on an industrial estate. This time we were in luck. The tram took us to Zone 8 of the city to a commune called Musocco. As we got off the tram at the terminus we could see the huge Maggiore Cimitero, sometimes called the Musocco Cemetery or the Greater Cemetery of Milan. Although I was eager to visit the cemetery we decided that we needed something to eat before viewing another thousand headstones!

Instead of crossing the road we turned the corner from the tram terminus and found ourselves on Viale Certosa. We had only walked a few steps when we saw a café/ restaurant with outdoor seating. It seemed busy but it was lunch time! From 12.30 until 2.30 lunches are served in restaurants in Milan. The menu usually consists of a set meal with a soup, main meat or fish course, dessert plus coffee and a glass of wine. The waitress handed us a menu but we thought it was too early to eat a full meal so decided to come back later after viewing the cemetery.

We spent over two hours in the cemetery (will review separately) and then went back to the same restaurant for a meal. Unfortunately, we were out of luck. The kitchen had closed or at least the cooks weren’t preparing and serving any cooked meals. I could have kicked myself – if only we had stayed the first time we could have both eaten a three course meal for a very reasonable price. Instead we had to make do with a bottle of beer, a cheese toasted sandwich and a mixed salad. This is what the waitress said the chef could rustle up before he left for the afternoon.

My husband went to the bar to order 2 beers. He came back with 2 bottles of Beck’s. Both were very cold, quite tasty if a bit too fizzy. First, the cheese toastie came out of the kitchen followed by a basket of bread which was hard and crusty. A bottle of olive oil was already on the table, a good sign. The waitress then brought out a large glass bowl filled with salad and a bottle of Vino Rosso vinegar to dress the salad with. The toastie was made from thick toasting bread, the processed kind that has a slightly sweet taste to it. It wasn’t the best toastie I had tasted but it did the job, filled a large gap in my tummy.

At first sight the mixed salad looked appetising with large chunks of tinned tuna, slices of Mozzarella cheese, sweetcorn, lettuce, cucumber and tomato. We shared the salad and the toastie, the deeper I delved into the bowl I noticed that pieces of lettuce were old and turning a funny colour at the ends. I refused to eat these pieces and put them to one side. The slices of tomato were also soft and about to turn mushy. The salad was mediocre and disappointing. We were both still hungry and started to tuck into the crusty bread. We ate all the bread after dipping pieces into olive oil with salt and red wine vinegar. This was the best part of the meal.

I can’t remember how much we paid for the meal but it wasn’t outrageous, I think it was under £12. The atmosphere was pleasant enough, the staff didn’t bother us and I think we could have sat outside for the rest of the day if we wanted to. The name of the café is Bar Tavola Freda Paninoteca. If I visited this area of Milan again I would try out this café again but go during lunch time to make sure we were in time for the meal of the day.

Address: Viale Certosa, Musocco, Milan

Attractions close by: Cimitero Maggiore and Garegnano Charterhouse.

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