Italians are coffee addicts and from breakfast till late night, they use every chance to drink coffee. You will see many coffee shops all around Milan. Italians regularly go to these coffee shops, take their coffee quickly and leave. If you stay long enough in Milan, you also become a coffee addict :)
When returning car back to airport and willing to refuel it, easy job can become hard during public holidays, like easter time. There are no staff at gas stations and the international credit cards (like Visa) are no accepted, only local bank cards... The only possibility is to use cash money or let car rental company refuel with with some etxra price.
If in the evening you are looking for somewhere to go to dance at after the bars have closed, then remember that a phrase such 'Dove sono i Nightclub?', ie. where are the nightclubs? actually means 'where are the lap dancing clubs?' The Italians refer to their Nightclubs, as 'Discotecca'.
One to remember unless you want some strange looks :).
Yeah, they say you will never see a blue sky in Milan. And actually it was quite difficult to take some sky photo for my sky-cafe project on the web.
And you could see lots of local people in the streets wearing some strange masks over their nose and mouth like this tourist in the pic.
For the ones used to a copious English breakfast, Italy is the wrong country.
The usual Italian breakfast is based on sweet things (cake, biscuits, and croissants) accompanied by coffee or cappuccino.
A real Italian will drink cappuccino only in the morning, as it is considered an appropriate drink during the day.
The Italians have a cult for the lunch breaks.
This is an Italian custom that I’ve learned in time, especially after a couple of times without eating.
As my main "activity" when going to Italy is visiting, I thought there will be no problem to eat something later in the afternoon. My surprise was to find almost all the restaurants closed and to finish eating Chinese food.
The usual lunch includes a sandwich (panino) or pizza, a drink (sometimes spumante) and coffee.
This nice police officers stood in front of Palazzo Marino, today Milan's City Hall chating with guard in front of the palace. The girl-officer is particularly attractive, which cannot be seen because of the huge helmett, (trust my judgement.)
Anyhow, I approched to them asking if they mind I make a photo. Sincw they didn't mind at all, I joined them.
Grazie ragazzi, siete stati molto gentili.
When traveling in a country where english is not the main language I try to make an effort to speak the local language. Italian is a beautiful language and it isn't very hard to pick up the basics. I got a phrase book and a CD, which I put on my i-Pod, to help me learn some phrases. And while I was shy about trying to speak the language at first, by the end of my 2 weeks there I was ordering meals and ice-cream (gelato) all in Italian!
So here are some helpful phrases to get you started!
Hello/Goodbye (informal): Ciao
Good Morning: Buongiorno
Good Afternoon/Evening: Buonasera
Good Night: Buonanotte
Please: per favore
Thank you: grazie
That's fine: Va bene
How Are You?: Come sta?
Where is...?: Dov'e...?
I didn't understand: non ho capito
Do you speak English?: Parla Inglese?
Italians are so obsessed with their mobile phones, they cannot separate for one second from them, and sometimes they just show off in using them even when it is not necessary or it is inappropriate!
Bad, bad habit!
Italians always drink cappuccino or coffee at the bar for breakfast in the morning
Please note that a "real Italian coffee" is rather small compared to those big portions served for instance at "Starbucks", but it tastes stronger!
When I moved to Milan, a friend told me about Passport, a "cultural association" which organises conversational language practice in a bar. I attended for a year and a half, "teaching" different levels of English, and I loved it.
Many people want to improve their oral fluency in a language, but may not have the time, money or desire to sign up to a course at a language school. For them, Passport is ideal; one evening a week in a particular location there is an "aperitivo in lingua", where for 11 euros you get a drink and some food, whilst talking in small groups to a mother-tongue "teacher" for an hour and a half.
This isn't a "lesson" as grammar isn't discussed; the focus is on conversation (a weak point in the Italian education system) and the practical application of language. Unless you come in a large group there is no need to book - you just turn up, which means it's very flexible. It's also very sociable and a great way to meet people (I made friends with many of my students). And of course, having a drink sometimes helps when speaking another language!
Languages offered include different levels of English (the most popular), Italian for foreigners, French, Spanish, Brazilian (sic), German, Russian, Japanese and sometimes Arabic. On Mondays and Wednesdays it takes place in Caffe Santo Stefano (in Piazza Santo Stefano near the Duomo/Piazza Fontana), on Thursdays in the Antica Birreria di Porta Nuova, on Via Solferino (between Moscova and Garibaldi metro stations) and on Tuesdays in Monza, an old town just outside Milan.
Passport follows the academic year, starting in October and ending in July. In addition to the "aperitivi in lingua" it often organises extra activities held in a certain language (i.e. sailing or photography in English, theatre in French, trekking in Italian, even holidays).
For more information see the website or call the number to speak to Leo, who runs Passport (he's Italian but speaks English, French and Spanish) - that's him on the right of the photo.
One very popular thing in the north of Italy is the "aperitivo". Every bar with the smallest part of respect have every day (monday-saturday) an aperitivo.
An aperitivo means a table full of food, pasta, pizza-slices, vegetables, ham, sausages and more and more.
Around 6 pm every day they put out this table for their clients, and all you have to do as a client is to buy a beer or something else to drink. Then you can eat as much as you want of all the food.
It's a really popular thing to do among the milanese people, they finish work, goes out with some friends, have a beer, eat the food and then they go home and are full until dinner late that night.
Important: be sure to don't come to late for the aperitivo, that might mean that the bar is crowded and that the food almost is finished...
One thing that we love about Italy is the free bar snacks on offer in some bars.
Apparently bar snacks are HUGE in Milan.
At one bar that we went to in Milan, the bar snacks were designed to double as dinner - there was hot pasta, risotto, meats, chips, dips etc - and all free!!!
Well, I guess it does encourage you to stay there and buy drinks instead of going out to dinner.....so you end up spending more on the drinks than you would have on dinner... all good fun though!
General information about Milan in English language either online or in printed version.
Hello Milano is published every month, and distributed free in hotels, tourist info offices, consulates and many other locations.
Excellent up to the minute information on Milano...
Interactive City Map
Hotels in Milan
Weather in Milan
Films in English
BENVENUTO CLUB OF MILAN
This is a club which welcomes English speaking women from all over the world. The clubs helps settle people into Milan and fosters international fellowship through various activities. They offer groups like, Bridge Group, Language Group, Cookery Group and a Garden Group. If you live in Milan as we did for some months this is a great place with which to make contact, as the members are very helpful. This club meets 10.00 -- 13.30 on the 2nd Tuesday of the month at CIRCOLO A. VOLTA, Via Guisti 16, 20154 Milano. Italy
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