Ive been living in Milan for over half a year so I tried out a lot of clubs, but this one really stood out in a bad way.
Yesterday (Friday night) for the first time I went to Alcatraz.
First we waited 45 minutes to hang our coats. We were lucky though, cause the cloakroom filled up quickly (around midnight) and so the cloakroom was just closed and so the poor people waiting outside had to either eat their coats or go to a different club, paying for the Alcatraz entrance.
The place is really huge but packed with people so you cant walk and you have to wait for an hour to get your drink being pushed and punched by people trying to get in by a tiny corridor entrance.
Of course, the first thing you notcie are the red-lit cages with girls dancing in their lingerie. It is worth mentioning though that I wouldnt exactly describe them as attractive (confirmed by my male companions) and theyre really really far from professional dancers. Im sure every girl reading this tip would be way better at moving.
The music at the beginning fine, a little bit of rock, pop, hiphop, rap, club or dance, but then slowly turned to indistinguishable italian disco that gave everybody a headache for 4 long hours.
And the worst part was that you are given at the entrance a ticket that is stamped each time you order a drink or go to the cloakroom, and you have to pay at the exit. Which of course is painful cause there's like hundred people squashing everything around and of course its a brilliant opportunity for the club to "accidentally" forget to give you an exit ticket among the 10 useless tickets they get you and so you need to pay 40 euros for a lost pass. There were like 20 helpless people who got just stuck in the club, while the brainless bumpers remained utterly unhelpful and violent and not willing to speak a word of English. Everyone was just treated like a drunken 15-year-old.
Im surprised there was still such a crowd and full dancefloor, cause this shabby place is the worst one you could go to.
Dress Code: no particular dress code
The disco Alcatraz gave me one of the most incredible experiences during my first year in Milan. The place is huge, with 3 different dance floors with different kinds of music.
The whole place is actually an old bus-station, but you can’t see much of all those buses nowadays…
We went there on a Saturday evening, without knowing what the program would be. Turned out that Saturday is always a Rock evening at Alcatraz, and many many people with leather vests and all other things that hardrockers must have turned up with us outside the entrance…
Some in our gang decided to make it an early evening, and went home. But we others decided to pay the 14 euro and get inside. Something I definitely don’t regret!
First thing I noticed when I got inside was the huge dance floor. It’s really really huge… Would guess it takes about 1500-1700 people. On the floor and on the stage were something I only thought existed in Las Vegas and in American movies. Cages, with half naked women dancing inside…! :)
My female friends accused me of looking only at the women inside the cages all night long… Haven’t heard anything so stupid… I was totally concentrated on the whole place, the music, some strange people and the whole atmosphere.
We didn’t stay until closing time (04.00) since apparently all of my friends didn’t like this kind of place. But me and Andrea (hi my dear friend!) had a blast!
If you aren’t into rockmusic you should try Alcatraz on a Friday instead, when the music is concentrated on 70- 80- and 90-ties. Most of the people there then are young students.
A little warning might also be on the place as it’s quite common with trouble at this place. More than once I’ve passed (lived close to Alcatraz the first year in Milan) and seen ambulances and police-cars outside the disco.
It’s also common with big concerts here, many big names have visited this place on their tours. In 2004 for example Travis, Bad Religion, Limp Bizkit, Europe and Nick Cave played there.
Dress Code: Totally depending on the evening, but normally you should be fine if you dress nice, or "rocky", if it's a Saturday night... :)
No, don't worry. I'm not sending you to prison just yet (read: Alcatraz, off San Francisco, USA)...
I'm now talking about THE famous club - ALCATRAZ here in Milan - a club with that cool post-industrial, techno-fortress
decor! Very unique.
Those wishing to protect their delicate ear-drums from the pounding rock, retro, house and techno beats emitting from its walls can head straight to the sound-proofed pub in the center of the venue, where live R'n'B and swing bands perform.
I don't really like to hang out in this part of the club though. I'm currently into Linkin Park... so you can more or less guess which section of this club I'll be in. Yeah, and that's where you'll find me.
Dress Code: Fashionable club wear, please.
A quick (and always growing) place list:
Le Scimmie: very typical live jazz (& blues)pub in the navy area, small but with a lot of feeling (and an expensive restaurant ;-)
Blueshouse (via S. Uguzzone, northern city border), the house of live blues in Milan, almost mid-empty during weekadays it becomes incredibly overcrowded in the weekend
Rolling Stone (Corso XXII Marzo): easy access disco (mean: no formal suite or similar) with special nights; live concert for international but not so known artists (ie: Steve Earl in october)
Binario Zero (Farini zone): 3 years old easy trendy club, not too formal and with a good live music program (on 2 floors)
Alcatraz (via Valtellina): mega-disco, the latest attraction in Milan
Plastic (viale Umbria): one of the most trendy club in Milan
Dynamo (Greco): the slogan is 'clubbing is not dead', a very special easy access club on 2 floors with a good kitchen upstairs and a sophisticated atmosphere in the basement ... jazz and new sounds oriented
ATM (around Moscova): absolutely the most trendy place in Milan since 4 years ago; it is essentialy a people-watching bar
Bloom: away from the city-center (close to my home) there's this alternative live-pub; it has born as blues oriented but now it is really a multi-cultural place where meeting different kind of people
Another outside the city (20 minutes away on motorway A4 - exit Trezzo sull'Adda): the Live, a very big club, no trendy people, just pure and powerful live rock !! this is my all times favorite place !
Back to city for Cuore (via G. Giacomo Mora) a typical example of italian 'snob' place, very sophisticated furniture, very trendy people ... nothing to do but drinkin' and people watchin' ... a MUST for a real trendsetter :-)
Another good place for trendy people: Le Trottoir in the Brera area.
For the 'Happy hour' (discounted drinks & lots of snacks) I suggest you Joe Pena (via Savona) but go there in advance otherwise you'll get nothing ;-)
Zythum: I put this in Nightlife cause it is a restaurant AND a disco bar; the restaurant part is very original serving 'fusion food' with one and only one dish from some countries: New Zealand, Australia, Mexico, Brasil, Greece & so on ... they made beer on their own and they serve several cocktail beer-based (example: mojito beer). This is not a cheap place (35 euros average), it is trendy but relaxed one and they play some jazz-fusion music while you're eating and drinking.
And now the blues feeling: Nidaba Theatre, a very small and (of course) crowded live music pub in the Navigli zone: pls consider youi have to change your suite after a night spent here: you'll surely smell due to smokers (even if air conditioning is well-working).
In the picture above: the Navigli area by night where you can really find tons of pubs, restaurant and whatever.
Pls, feel free to contact me whatever you need comin' in Milan ...
If you just wanna walk in crowded place choose the Navigli area ... yo'll find at least one hundred bars ...
Dress Code: Almost everywhere you can see a friendly entrance (meaning: you can really see inside the bar or whatever) ususally there's no formal dress code required ...