Europe · Italy · Milan

The other side of Milan

Dear K,

Mykonos looks beautiful, loved your stories. I will keep for future reference that the food is amazing :D

Let me tell you about my second time in Milan. In one of my last work trips I extended the stay throughout the weekend. Not sure why, as I had been there before and didn’t necessarily love it. But I’m glad I dit it. I got to see the not as touristic Milan I didn’t get the chance to before. I have to thank my brother who lived there for a year, as well as some cool Italian clients who gave me amazing tips.

There’s so much more than the Duomo area! I have to highlight both Brera and Navigli areas for food, drinks and fun.

Brera seemed to be a trendy neighborhood, full of restaurants and bars where Italians in their late 20s and 30s just go after work for a drink and some snack to open the appetite for dinner. The so called Aperitivi that Italians love so much. And that I (of course!) became a huge fan!

As we were staying at the outstanding Four Seasons, we ended up going to Brera a few times.



My favorite place was N’Ombra de Vin. I have zero pictures, so I hope you can picture my experience from my words. When you approach the place, you start hearing the buzz of the crowd having their Aperitivi outside and chatting after a hectic work day. Most of the people are standing, as there’s not possibly enough sitting room to accommodate everyone. Once you are able to get through and walk downstairs, the crowds stay behind and you enter a different atmosphere. You suddenly see yourself in a quite large room  with tables of different sizes and shapes, surrounded by walls covered by very expensive bottles of wine. Staff was quite friendly, the pastas I have tried were delicious and there’s usually some live traditional music on specific week days. It couldn’t be more Italian! On the down side, the place can get really really loud, which might be exhausting if you’re trying to have a conversation.

Regarding Navigli, I enjoyed the time to explore, read, drink, eat and rest. There’s some History around this area, like Porta TicinenseColonne di San Lorenzo or Basilica San Lorenzo Maggiore so I spent a couple of hours of my morning checking out these landmarks. Beside the monuments, you have the Darsena river canals, and in some streets it almost gives you a feel of a mini Amsterdam in some way.



I went to Taglio for brunch. From the outside it looks like a hole in the wall, but the inside shows that nothing you see around is a coincidence. I was fascinated by the decor and how every small detail on the walls and shelves were telling a story about the place, the owner, how it started, people who have been there, among others. The food was excepcional. Despite the basic look of the dishes, it was super tasty! They care about the flavors in your mouth, not necessarily the presentation. I totally recommend it!




And when the sun was setting it was time to go back to the canal streets, to enjoy one last Aperitivi in Milan. This was one of those sunsets you need to experience once in your life!


You could pretty much sit anywhere on the canals for the Aperitivi, but be aware that if the weather is good, it will be a nearly impossible mission. After a couple of hours drinking Italian wine, me and my friends headed to El Brellin for dinner. We ordered 3 different pastas and luckily I picked the most delectable one! Again, the pastas were quite simple looking, but ridiculously tasty.


After dinner we went to Mag Cafè, across the canal, which is one of the best cocktail bars in Milan. Very small, with a very peculiar decor, it offers an impressive vibe as well. And speaking of impressive, the same owners opened Backdoor 43 right next door, which is known for being the smallest bar in the world. Make sure you check it once you go there ;)

Italians clearly prove that you don’t need complexity, a mix of sauces or grease in every single thing you cook in order to make it delicious! I am glad I had the chance to meet this other side of Milan :)

Miss you!

– C


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