Milan: A touristy local guide to the best restaurants (and some more)

Well it’s been over a month since I’ve last been in Milan and I finally get around to write about it – a big sorry, life came in the way.

Anyways. In case you follow my Instagram and/or Facebook you might know that I went to Milan twice this spring – once in March for a weekend to visit a friend and once in April for Salone del Mobile for work. Both times I experienced Milan in completely different ways but somehow I ended up getting a great whole image of the city.

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The classic shot: The Duomo

March was rainy, cold, grey and not as „Italian“ as you might imagine it. I had a wonderful time with my friend but I still wondered – is Milan maybe not the city for me? I’ve heard mixed things about it, so I wouldn’t have even been surprised by it. So I went home with the opinion, that it has an incredible food scene but doesn’t come close to my favourite Italian city Rome.

But then I came back in April. Heat, sun, millions of people around, so much to do – and my opinion changed drastically. I might still be a bigger fan of Rome (just because I studied Latin for 8 years in school and am fascinated by the city’s rich culture) but I definitely felt some love for Milan.

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Brera, the Design District

During Milan Design Week, Milan is one oft he most vibrant cities I’ve ever experienced. You find parties everywhere, Brera is packed with wine-drinkers and pasta-eaters and you can almost smell the creativity.

N’Ombra de Vin was one bar I really enjoyed. We didn’t even go downstairs but just stayed outside with a glass of wine and enjoyed the busy but positive atmosphere around. Definitely worth a visit! The crowd was really mixed, some rather posh people next to Milan hipsters enjoying their aperitivo – so something for everyone.

But like I said, Milan is a food mekkah, so let’s get to that.

One thing my friend told me before I left was „Milan has the best sushi!“. Okay. I mean it’s Italy. I don’t know. But she turned out to be right, I had absolutely incredible Sushi at Temakinho in Milan. It’s a Brazilian-Japanese fusion restaurant (hence the name) and also offers different bowls besides their awesome selection of Sushi.
There’s one in Brera, one in Magenta and one at Ripa di Porta Ticinese, an area you shouldn’t miss when in Milan.

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Temakinho Sushi

Ripa di Porta Ticinese is a street (or more like to streets) along the water, without cars and lined with restaurants and bars. Warm, mild nights there are just wonderful, because you ca sit outside and watch the different people – tourists and Italians – pass you, doing their thing, enjoying life, while having a glass of wine. It’s perfection. And while you are there, go to Rinomata Gelateria and try their delicious Gelato!

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Rinomata Gelateria

The most authentic Italian food I ate was at Salsamenteria Di Parma. Somehow you step into the restaurant and you feel like you are somewhere in the middle of Italy, in a small town and their local restaurant. They serve different types of bruschetta and pasta dishes and all of it is super delicious!

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And since my blog now has the tagline „On the hunt fort he best matcha“ I obviously I need to share this with you: MACHA. It’s a matcha café full of delicious Matcha bowls, cakes and lattes. I had one of their Matchas and even though it wasn’t the best one I’ve had so far, I still felt like I found a piece of heaven there.

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Other restaurants I tried and loved.

  • Felice e TestaccioFamous for its pasta Cacio e Pepe, a pasta with creamy cheese sauce and pepper.
  • Drogheria Milanese. Just like an Italian tapas place.
  • Miscusi. Me and my colleague just coincidentally stumbled into this restaurant, because it was close to our AirBnb. Turns out it is a pretty “in” restaurant in Milan. It serves different types of Pasta, some starters and desserts. Definitely worth trying!
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Fruits around Brera

What else to do in Milan? Obviously, Milan is a great city to shop. They have shops I’ve never heard of or shops we don’t get in Germany. There’s Oysho, which I love, there’s Pull&Bear, Urban Outfitters, Bershka, there are smaller boutiques around Brera – there’s everything.

Other than that I walked around a lot. I mean, you know this by now, walking around is my favourite way of exploring the city. Brera was great, you will find so many photo opportunities around there and you won’t get sick of them. There are cool shops (Check out Il Cirmolo, a fascinating antique store where I was wishing I had more than hand luggage and a bit more money to myself as well), great restaurants and so much more to see.

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Streets of Brera

Fondazione Prada is a cool museum to visit. They have a permanent exhibition, but also a few changing ones, so check out which one is on during your visit, but don’t miss the cool architecture of that place.

When we researched places you NEED to see during Milan Design Week / Salone del Mobile, 10 Corso Como popped up. It’s somehow a mix of everything – roof top, shop, café, museum. Not that I could afford any of the clothes in there (they sell high priced brands) but the place itself is pretty cool. The gallery is very small, so you don’t need much time to go through it, but it’s definitely worth a visit.

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Rooftop of 10 Corso Como

So, like you see, I discover cities one restaurant at a time. And by foot. And because Milan is full of beautiful streets and buildings, you don’t really need to go see the “musts” to have a good time and enjoy the city!

South Tyrol: An upcoming Italian destination

South Tyrol.. It’s a very unique and special place for me. Ever since I can remember, we’ve been going here (between Bolzano and Merano) for a bit of hiking, nature and exploring.
Even though it’s in Italy, almost all people speak German because of its proximity to the Austrian boarder. Therefore it’s a very popular destination for German tourists/travelers.
But it should definitely not be ignored by all the other travelers from around the world since that area has so much to offer!
It’s a very famous wine region with vines all around and lots of opportunities to try and buy the most delicious wine. On top of that, it’s famous for its Schnaps, which can be tried and bought at a lot of places around there as well.

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Snowcaps on the way

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Bolzano

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Bolzano

 

Bolzano

Bolzano and Merano are Italian cities after all, so if you are looking to do a bit of shopping, come here and you won’t be disappointed. And with the beautiful combination of old colorful houses and mountains in the background, the scenery isn’t too bad either.

Merano

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Merano

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Merano

Me between the vines

But shopping isn’t the main attraction of that area, it’s definitely the nature and hiking. You can choose from so many different walks from easy to hard, in the mountains, around the lakes or through the vines and apple trees. Most of them lead you to a little restaurant (at one point) where you can eat the typical food such as bacon/ham, bread etc. and drink some apple juice or wine from that area.

Grape harvest

Grapes

Vines

Waterfall close to the “Kalterer See”

Kalterer See

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Apple Trees

So if you are into nature, think about coming to South Tyrol at one point. Especially around September the weather is great, we had a bit of rain one night but other than that the sun was out all the time and it was warm enough for just a leather jacket or sometimes even a t-shirt.

Things you need to know

  • Currency: It’s all in Euro, just like the rest of Italy
  • Language: Italian and German
  • Destinations: You can stay in Bolzano or Merano and just do day trips from there (it’s easy to reach by train or bus) or you choose one of the many hotels in the surrounding areas. Having a car is a plus.
  • Food and drinks you have to try: Try some wine of the area. Get a “Brotzeitbrett” which is full of cheese and ham and bread. And since you are in Italy, pasta’s always a good option.
  • Preparations: Definitely get a guide book for the best walks and hikes beforehand. The hotels also have maps of the areas, but it’s nice to choose the most interesting ones beforehand.

 

The Amalfi Coast: A little paradise in Europe

Once we flew into the airport of Napoli and I looked out of the window – I always take the window seat, it’s just too beautiful of a landscape to miss out on it – I already realized: This is going to be a hell of a picture-worthy trip. Clear blue water, mountains, islands. What else do you need?

And the Costiera Amalfitana definitely didn’t disappoint me. And because pictures speak louder than words here are some of my impressions.

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