Me on the third day of the February Fashion Week in Milan.
This year I didn't ask for any presents.
When people asked me what I wanted for Christmas, in my mind, there was only one wish.
To be able to fly to Milan and hug my parents and my brothers.
To spend a few days at home with them.
Unfortunately, like many of us, I live hundreds of kilometers away from my family.
This year, with the pandemic, personal relationships and seeing our beloved ones has been dramatic.
I am very much in love with the city where I was born.
Milan is the place I call home.
Me attending the Milano Fashion Week in February, a few days before the corona took over the whole world.
Whenever I am there, no street does not remind me of some memory of my childhood, teenage years, or youth.
I mean, not that at thirty-four, I consider myself old but still, you know what I mean.
In my last article, I took you on a virtual tour of Bali.
And as promised, we will go back to the island again in the future.
But today I wanted to take you by the hand to discover my city, Milan, in the north of Italy.
Milan is considered a cold city by many, and I am not talking about the weather that can be pretty cold in winter.
These days it's snowing, and I would be lying if I say I wasn't jealous of those being able to enjoy it.
I am talking about the fact that Milan is considered an industrial city.
The Milanesi, as the people born and/or living in Milan is known, are always pictured as people in a rush.
Where if you lose the tube, those two minutes of waiting will mess up your whole working schedule.
The ex post-office in Cordusio became a five stars Starbucks Reserve.
It's usual to hear people moving their hands in the Italian way while talking on the phone.
It doesn't matter if they are talking about work or with their friends and family.
It's true: we do give a better interpretation of our spoken words when we gesticulate.
It is like being able to assist in a live theatre piece of real life.
But Milan is a poem itself.
The streets, paved with the typical masselli, the rectangular stones of different sizes and depths that you will see everywhere.
And they are one of the symbols of Milan since 1800, called with nostalgia pavè.
The Romanic ruins, unexpectedly waiting for you while walking in the historical center, will give a glimpse of the majestic background of these lands.
Milan is a city to fall in love with over and over again.
The frenzy of the day time, around 5:30 pm, will leave the spot to the famous aperitivo.
The aperitivo or happy hour is a solid Italian, modern tradition.
It is a pre-dinner cocktail, served in every bar and cafè in Italy.
We get out of our offices, and we go to have a drink with co-workers or with our friends.
In Milan, starting from 5 euro, you will be able to get a drink and eat at the buffet.
I highly suggest you try the Crodino, Negroni or an Italian wine with it.
The Negroni is made with red vermouth, bitter Campari, and gin.
Born in the '20s in Firenze, is widely consumed for the happy hour.
There is also the Negroni Sbagliato that means the wrong Negroni, and it is made of bitter, vermouth, and bubbly brut wine.
It is typical of Milan and was born at the very popular Bar Basso in via Plinio 39.
I come from a family who made the history of the night-life in Milan.
Our nightclubs, Astoria, Gatto Verde, and Porta D'Oro are listed on Wikipedia as those representing the nightclubs movements in Italy.
When my dad sold the Astoria, it became a sneakers shop, but thanks to the fact of being a historical part of Milan, they had to keep the structure and make a sort of memorabilia - museum inside of it of the golden era.
And proudly, we had the first barman in Italy, Luciano Erbetta.
He has mixed cocktails at my grandparents' club Astoria for over fifty years.
Nowadays, we are far from the luxury and luscious atmosphere of the forties, fifties, and sixties.
But it doesn't make the night-life of Milan any less active.
In Corso Como, you will be able to find bars and discos where to spend the night, like The Hollywood Rythmoteque or Tocqueville.
If your night mood is to have a romantic walk, then the area surrounding the Navigli is the place for you.
The Navigli are the canals of Milan and mostly running underground, these waterways surface outside the Romanic walls.
During the day, they are peaceful, but at night the little bars open.
Between a late-night typical pizzetta, focaccia, and a drink, people bring the whole area to life.
Among my favorite relaxing place, there is the QC Terme of Porta Romana.
I have been there a few times with my best friend, and it has always been a luxury experience.
It is a perfect retreat for an afternoon with your best friend or your partner.
Hidden behind the historical walls of Porta Romana, this spa place will take care of you through massages, warm thermal waters, beauty treatments, and a great healthy buffet.
Yes, that's snow.
We can't miss the majestic of the Duomo di Milano.
The Duomo is the heart of the city, with the worldwide-famous Madonnina reigning over Milan.
A lifetime experience is, visiting the inside of the Gothic cathedral and the top of it.
The Duomo was built over 400 years, and it is made in white marble coming from Candoglia.
Around the Duomo, you can visit the Galleria di Vittorio Emanuele.
This commercial gallery is the one that connects Piazza del Duomo with Piazza Della Scala, where the theatre La Scala is located.
In this magnificent gallery, you will find the legendary Bull, in Italian, Toro.
For years the animal has attracted tourists from all over the world to perform the superstitious ritual: three laps on the bull balls with the right foot's heel.
A few steps away from the Duomo, there is the well-known fashion district of Montenapoleone Street, Via Della Spiga, Via Manzoni, and Corso Venezia.
Here you will find every single possible luxury shop, from Armani to Gucci to Valentino and many others.
If you are more into the cultural side, there you will find the museum-houses of Poldi Pezzoli and Bagatti Valsecchi.
There you will be able to visit expos like the one about Manolo Blahnik I saw in 2018 with my best friend Giorgia.
There is so much more about Milan to write about.
And, if you want, I will tell you more about my beautiful Italian hometown.
May your days be bright and filled with love, dear readers! I wish you a great New Year's Eve!
See you in 2021!
So next week!