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From panettone to a happy hour aperitif with a Negroni Sbagliato, Milan has its rituals, habits and especially unique lifestyle; The fashion here is to rush and be ironic.
Milan is a city where the hustle and bustle is always present, even on Sundays. The Mediterranean rhythm of life does not exist here, and as soon as the traffic light turns green, you can hear the annoying sound of car horns. You need to be on the move always; people on the street are walking fast and have a busy schedule. Not having enough time is a way of life, being able to multitask is a gift, and having to wait is torture. The Milanese productivity is well-known, but to find something truly unique (and some authentic souvenirs), please read here.
In Milan, panettone is sacred. It is a typical delicacy and a true gastronomic specialty, exported throughout Italy and the world. It is normally eaten at Christmas, therefore buying one out of season is not very common. But from November onwards, pastry shop windows display a varied selection of the sweet treat, and the Milanese try to find the best one available. Peck is a Milanese institution, but if you are looking for a trendy hub, go to Pavè.
It is the typical Milanese who embodies the stereotype of the young businessman who is always in a hurry, talking on the mobile, juggling between the concern of turnover and enjoying life in some trendy bar. An Instagram account and a Facebook page highlight the vices and virtues of the Milanese in a witty yet ruthless fashion. The brand also features its own merchandising, available in supermarkets, from sugar sachets with catchy quotes to bottles of Prosecco.
Forget about Aperol spritz! Milan is the city of Campari. It was born here and locals are still drinking it, both mixed with white wine, “spruzzato”, and in delicious cocktails. In Milan, the Negroni (gin, Martini rosso and Campari in equal parts) has become sbagliato, or mistaken, where a lighter Prosecco is added in place of gin. This is thanks to the creation by Bar Basso, a historical place still featuring the atmosphere of the elegant sixties.
Dance halls are the places where our grandmothers used to go dancing on Sundays or on summer evenings. Simple places, often outdoors, where they could ballroom dance, drink and eat in exchange for a cheap admission fee. Today, the ballroom tradition has returned to new life, equally cool and with a touch of underground. Young rockabillies in 1950s inspired outfits dance swing and foxtrot together with sprightly old men. You can only get on the dance floor if you are extremely good and with a partner. The Balera dell’Ortica still incarnates that 50s spirit, and a newfound youth. For just a few euro you can also dine at chequered tablecloth tables and drink house wine.
Milan is the Italian capital of rooftop bars, a trend imported from the rest of the world, which quickly spread to Rome and other cities. Whether it’s an exclusive event or a Thursday night aperitif, the view from the top is one of the nicest things you can do in the city. For lunch, you can eat on the top floor of Rinascente or Terrazza Triennale, overlooking Parco Sempione and the Castello Sforzesco. At happy hour, you can enjoy the contemporary skyline of Porta Nuova district from the Radio Rooftop Bar at the Me Milan Il Duca hotel. For an unusual and beautiful panorama, check out the view of Milan’s Central station from the rooftop bar of the luxurious Hotel Gallia.