Milan's traditional product
A famous Italian product coming from Milan is the traditional Christmas sweet cake called Panettone.
Panettone contains candied orange and lemon zest and dry raisins and is served accompanied with sweet hot beverages or a sweet wine.
Milan is the city of fashion and design, but also of football. Here plays the two giants Milan and Inter. While Inter had had it's share of heavy seasons lately, Milan has the last two years played probably the best football inte the world!
Every sunday at least 55 000, maximum 85 000, goes to the southwest parts of Milan to see Milan or Inter play their homegames at the gigantic San Siro-stadium.
Even if you aren't interested in sports - this is something you have to do. Just for the experience, looking at the spectacle and all the people who is singing, shouting, crying depending on how it goes for their teams...
The Milan-supporters are in the Curva Sud, and the Inter-supporters on the other end of the stadium (Curva Nord). If you aren't used to stay with them, or goes with someone who knows how it works, a really good advice is to buy a ticket for other parts of the stadium for the first games. You might get a shock otherwise...
Prices to see the game is from 12-15 euro (third floor, curva) up to 150 euro (VIP-stand), but to sit at a good seat in the middle of the stadium you will have to pay around 30-35 euro.
Normally there are still tickets on the matchday, but on the derbies (Milan-Inter) or the games against Juventus it's almost sold out everytime. Tickets on the black market always exist, but then you'll probably have to pay at least 70-80 euro for the worst tickets. Not talking about the risk of buying a false ticket...
Tickets can be bought in advance from the homesite of Milan (www.acmilan.com) or from the ticketcompany of Inter (www.ticketone.it) and you then pick up the tickets in front of the stadium on the matchday.
When it's a big game in Italy it's unfortunately also quite common with fight between supporters and police. But just be careful, don't go around with some clothers from the away-team and don't throw any bottles at the police - and you should probably be fine. And at 95 per cent of the games everything is calmed both outside and inside the stadium. A scarve from the hometeam, best bought outside the stadium for 5-10 euro. Maybe also a matchshirt if you prefer that. During the wintergames it's quite cold, specially during the evening-games, so make sure you have enough clothes on you.
In Italy, the games in Serie A are played on saturday (one at 6 pm and one at 8.30 pm) and sunday (seven at 3 pm and one at 8.30 pm). During the weeks (tuesday and wednesday, thursday) the bigger teams (Milan, Inter, Juventus, Roma, Lazio etc) might also play in the Champions League or Uefacup.
From the season 05/06 there are new rules, which gives the guards the right to check your ticket and passport. Make therefore sure that you buy a ticket from the official spot, the biglietteria or via the sites mentioned above, as you otherwise won't be allowed into the stadium. Important that you bring a passport to the stadium too, otherwise they won't let you buy a ticket.
Italian, young and trendy brand
Fiorucci is an Italian brand that focus on clothes for the young and trendy. It is a lot cheaper in Italy than in other parts of Europe. This store carries a lot of Fiorucci items, such as the famous angel t-shirts, but they also sell fun and quirky items. And they carry the delicious Aquolina range of bath and beauty products. This two-floor store is candy-colored and a fun place for finding something special to bring home or a fun gift for a friend. Aquolina producs are a bargain (you pay 3 times the price in the US at Sephora). They have lovely body lotions, shower gels and perfumes.
Great bar in the garden
The Ragno D’oro (the “Golden Spider” in English) is one of my favourite-places in Milano. Still I haven’t been there more than just a couple of times, as it’s a bit hard to get there.
Specially during the warm months of the year it’s an incredible place, where you can sit out in a huge garden which brought back memories of Thailand to me. The garden itself is around 50x100 meters and there are plenty of tables to sit down. Also some sofas at one flank.
You can also sit inside, where the bar is, or go there dancing. On Fridays and Saturdays there is a disco inside a big white room. Have never been to that, so I can’t say much about it.
But the garden is amazing, and sitting there with a margarita or another drink really is fantastic!
For those of you who know me – yes, also drinking a beer there is really good!
Ragno D’oro is a popular place, meaning that they have started to take up an entrance fee… Feels great that you have to pay to get inside a bar… Although a very nice bar.
According to my bar guidebook it’s only a fee on Fridays and Saturdays, but I’m quite sure I’ve paid 5 euro on other days too…?
Anyway, be there before 9 pm, and you won’t have to problem of paying.
You’ll get a drink-card at the entrance, which you must show every time you order a drink at the bar. When you choose to go home at the end of the evening you’ll give the card to the exit-personal, and they will then tell you how much you have to pay.
Make sure (!!!) to not lose this card, as that would mean that you would have to pay for every drink possible on the card… Could be a very expensive lesson that one… ;)
The garden is open from May to October, so make sure you’ll go there during one of these months.
The aperitivo at Ragno D’oro is really great, and definitely something I can recommend.
Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday there is live music. Dress nice, although nothing special. Could be stricter dress requirements when the disco is open.
Driving around Milan... if you dare
If you are crazy enough to want to drive around Milan city, just go with the flow. I don't think Milanese drivers are known to be the most courteous in the world.
A big issue in Milan is parking - there just isn't enough space for all the cars that are here in the city. For the most part, many of the residential apartment blocks hurriedly constructed immediately after World War 2 (and previous to that) never took into consideration the parking needs of residents. There just weren't that many cars I guess. Today, with many households having about 2 cars each... there is a real crisis.
In most housing areas, you will notice parking spaces on the road denoted by either yellow or blue lines. Yellow line parking is reserved for vehicles belonging to residents within the stipulated zone (they have a sticker on their car). Visitors can only park on the blue line areas by buying a ticket (from a newsagents, other authorised dealers or the guy in orange hanging around selling parking tickets).
Please also note, that once a week, roads get washed down by the town council. If you are leaving your car parked on the road overnight, just make sure you're not unlucky enough to be in the spot where the trucks are coming in the middle of the night. You'll be fined quite heftily for leaving your car there. Look out for the street cleaning signs telling you what day and what time the trucks come.