Attitudes and Extras
I've read a lot of tips either noting with glee the inclusion of 'a free limoncello!' at the end of the meal, and 'olives and peanuts!' with a drink, or scoffing in dismay at the addition of a 'cover charge' to their bill.
These are standard customs in Italy and shouldn't be taken as signs of amazing or horrible service. Tax is always included and tipping is unnecessary (although usually appreciated, especially in more touristy zones), as waiters are paid a regular salary here (and Italians are notorious non-tippers when THEY travel abroad).
Therefore, the absence of a smile on your waiter's face should not lead you to take offense, since customer service here isn't dependent upon the inevitable 'commission'. However, the absence of the before mentioned 'freebies' SHOULD give cause for alarm, especially if the prices are higher than (or) average.
In fact, seek out the bars that offer large 'happy hour' (usually 6-9pm) buffets, as they are included (all you can eat) with the price of a single drink (€5 for a medium beer off the beaten path, €10 in the tourist center ie Piazza Duomo). Done right it's dinner, and withOUT the cover charge, as that usually only applies to restaurants.
ps, the bar in the photo does NOT offer a great buffet AND the drinks are expensive! Check prices BEFORE ordering, even a cappucino! Great view of the Duomo, and it should be, since that's what you're really paying for ;)
Ok, Ok ... forgive me but anyone in his own way is proud of the place where he lives ... so this is my small village ... for more pics pls check the 'Cassano d'Adda' travelogue ... and pls do not consider this as a target of your visit to Italy :-) ... unless you just would like to get couple of beers with me !!!
Luxury bags and accessories
Furla is an Italian high-end fashion brand that focus on accessories: bags, shoes, belts, watches, sunglasses and so forth. Their Milan store is centrally located among other fashion boutiques, only a few hundred meters from Duomo.
The store is quite compact, but fortunately packed well with stylish bags and other accessories. The price tags are hefty, but not over the top for quality made leather wear.
reliable and efficient - train travel!
well it was a train that got me from milan's central station to the town of como. with a service running every hour, it was very convenient. trains were clean, quick and comfy.
the central station, while large, was quite easy to get around. there were staff on hand to help, even if with limited english/italian, there were no problems. i returned from como at night, and felt safe while at the station.
It doesn't look as a restaurant but it is
The ambience is at least 20 years old, with very strange pictures of roses hanging all over. No credit cards accepted, no reservations possible, only 28-30 seats and a very old fashioned local BUT everything is so fresh and genuine (the people running the restaurand also) that Latteria will not disappoint you at all. You can choose in a wide (but not too long) range of starters, pasta or second dishes. Desserts are all home made. There are no wines in bottles but you can find either white or red wines in the caraffe. The white one WAS ORRIBLE.
The ambience is very simple but (I was there for business) full of people from Milan and of tourist. The kitchen closes at 10 pm. AT 10.30 o'clock a very famous Italian TV star (a young, blond and beautiful lady) entered the restaurant and the owner told her that the kitchen was close!!!!! I could't hard believe it but I was very happy about it. Rules are the same for everyone. On Oct. 8 I had a very nice vegetarian cous cous and a delicious mix of cheeses together with fresch tomatoes. They choose fruit and vegetables depending on the day of the week.
It closes on SAT and on SUN.