Milan state of mind
They say that there is a secret to fully appreciating Milan. I found this out the day I left, but looking back on the days I spent there, I could not agree more. Locals say that to love Milan, you have to set your mind on Milano – just like that. I did not, and I didn't fully appreciate Milan with its tourist filled streets and strange restaurants on every corner. I was lucky to be invited by my friend Guntars to his restaurant Rossini Ristorante Pizzeria and smart enough to do some research before in advance.
Milan is a city of contrasts. Next to streets so crowded you can barely get through are streets that are totally deserted. Milan is a story of the chic and grandiose, Versace, Dolce & Gabbana and Armani, about horrible eateries and ones that appear refined but serve terrible food at ridiculous prices, and how its impossible to leave any of these places without having to the run the gauntlet of people with outstretched hands, begging for money. Going in or coming out of a café, it’s almost impossible to avoid the outstretched hat or the African friendship bracelets that are literally thrown on your shoulder just so you will stop and talk to them.
For me, it is a place to watch – watch everything that is going on: the farce, games, truth, beauty. It is also the place to enjoy. Of course, I am talking about food, and although (truth be told) 90% of the places in Milan are useless, there are places that surprise and to which you want to return. It’s hard to describe Milan and its particular cuisine – in reality it is everything and nothing made from flour and coffee, ice cream and butter, meat and cheese. Milan is like a pizza – change the toppings and you get a different flavour, and there are many flavours here. For those who don’t think much about it, the topping is lots of money, nothing special in the way of food, and terrible service. For those in the know, the toppings may still cost a lot of money, but the food will be delicious, beautiful, quality food with untypically good service (but you do have to get used to the Italian way of serving).
This time, this is about those place in Milan where there is flour, coffee, cheese, meat, and even ice cream – for sure. But with different topping and places not frequented by tourists (they’re not in the centre).
Text and pictures: Signe Meirane