The last restaurant entry for the Milan series – save the best for the last!
I’m sure a lot of the people who travel to Milan have been to the Milan Cathedral, maybe you have taken some photos at the piazza, or even took a tour up onto the building, but I bet you may not know about this restaurant with an absolutely stunning view of the Cathedral!
The restaurant’s name is called the Obica, and is a casual Italian restaurant concept based on best Mozzarellas! Yummmm!! The Obica is a chain with many outlets thru-out Italy, as well as Internationally in UK, USA, and Japan. The outlet which I’ve visited is on the top floor of the la Rinascente department store, and gives you a great view of the Cathedral!
It doesn’t matter which part of the world you are in, I’m sure all of you would have heard of Prada – a famous Italian leather brand that started off in Milan in year 1913. Prada is well known for their leather goods and fashion accessories, but did you know that the brand also operates in the Cafe business in Milan?
Pasticceria Marchesi – one of the most iconic cafe in the Milan. Founded in 1824, the brand is famous for its time-honred traditions and hand-made production, aiming to deliver the freshest and best pastries, sweets and coffees to their supporters.
In March 2014, Prada acquired 80% of Marchesi. As two brands that are deeply Milanese in heart, Prada and Marchesi aim to preserve the pastry shop’s historic mores while expanding its celebrated imprint. In September 2016, the third Marchesi shop opened inside Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II arcade, which is right next to the famous Milan Cathedral. The new venue is located on the mezzanine floor above the oldest Prada boutique in the world.
Covering 2,700 square feet, Pasticceria Marchesi is located on the mezzanine level and allows a remarkable view of the Galleria’s mosaics from its many arched windows. The interior of the cafe is fitted out with aqua green marble walls, juxtaposed with a green floral jacquard silk wallpaper & dark marble floor, the use of green velvet armchairs and sofas, together with the brass detailing adds the elegant touch to the whole environment.
What food or foods would you think about when you think of Italy? Would it be cheese? Or prosciutto? How about pizza and pasta? Perhaps Prosecco or Limecello for the alcohol lovers? How could we forget about TRUFFLES!!!!
Alright, I’ll be honest, I did not think about truffles when I was in Italy… I always thought truffle was the delicacy of France, but not until my local friend in Italy showed me to this cute little local restaurant near Centrale Station in Milan – Osteria dei Vecchi Sapori. It is about a 15 minutes walk from the station, or alternatively, you could catch the metro to Isola station, and the restaurant is 7 minutes away.
We’ve got a reservation at 6pm for an early dinner, and waited for about 5 minutes for the table to get ready. When I walked inside the restaurant, I was quite surprised, as the restaurant was already almost full at this time. I was told that it is very difficult to have seats for walk-in, so better make a reservation before you go.
My friend and I sat down, and the waiter who served us was extremely friendly and knowledgable about the menu. We told him that we want to have some truffle dishes, and he suggested us to try both the black and white truffle so we could compare the taste. At the end, we ordered Beef Tartar with Black Truffle (€12), Fresh Noodles with White Truffle (€18), and the Milano famous dish Veal Marrowbone with Polenta(€14).
The Beef Tartar arrived first as an entree, and oh my, I was so surprised when the dish arrived with the huge amount of fresh truffle on top of the minced beef! We were advised to mix the minced beef with the raw egg yolk and truffles and eat together. I’ve also tried a piece of the truffle by itself, the texture was somewhat like raw mushroom, except with a extremely strong smell of gas/petroleum. The meat tasted fresh and tender, and together with the egg yolk and truffle, it was very delicious. The portion was so big that it didn’t felt like an entree at all!
You can’t say you have been to Italy without tasting some Prosicutto!
Continuing from my last blog post about the aperitivo in the absolutely stunning Palazzo di Paragi, my friend and I were still quite hungry afterwards, as the portion of the snacks were quite small, so we have decided to go and find somewhere for a late dinner. It is actually quite difficult to find restaurants that are still open at 10pm, but we managed to find this gem – “La Prosciutteria”! The name probably suggested a lot of what this restaurant is about, yes, you are correct, it’s a place that serves the famous Italian ham “Prosciutto”.
La Prosciutteria is about a 10 minutes walk from Palazzo di Paragi, and is situated on this street full of restaurants and little boutiques. By the time we got there was already 10:30pm, and the place is still full! We waited for about 15 minutes before we were seated in this cutely decorated homey restaurant. According to my friend who lives in Milan, this place is always full all day round! There must be something very good about this place, it’s time for me to check it out!
La Prosciutteria Milano
La Prosciutteria Milano
La Prosciutteria Milano
Before I talk about this restaurant, let me just give you some fun facts about Prosciutto – “Prosciutto, which translates to ham in Italian, is made only from the hind legs of pigs and is aged during a dry-curing process. There are typically two types of prosciutto: prosciutto cotto, which is cooked, and prosciutto crudo, which is uncooked and is most popular to enjoy on its own, wrapped around fruit, or used on charcuterie boards.” (What is Prosciutto?)
Now, back to the restaurant, I must say I love the decoration of this place! It is so unique and warm, makes you feel like you are having a meal at a friend’s place! The staffs were super friendly as well, which makes the place even warmer!
I especially like the arch shaped hallway here, separating the front of the restaurant – which consist of normal table seating, cash counter & the meat cabinet, and the back of the restaurant – which are tables with low seats & the bar seating area.
When I was in Italy, I’ve picked up this new habit – Italian Aperitivo!
As talked about in my last posts, the concept of the Italian Aperitivo is one where you meet up with your friends and social over a glass of drinks and some snacks. It is a simple idea, yet a great way to relax and to meet people. It is very similar to Happy Hour I’d say, just more elegant.
Talking about elegant, how can we miss the famous Palazzo Parigi Hotel and Spa in Milan? According to the hotel’s website, it is “re-constructed on the former site of the historical Palazzo Cramer from the 1600, the Palazzo Parigi Hotel & Grand Spa is set in the heart of Milan, in the fashionable Brera District. Facing a private park and surrounded by residences, banks and offices, it is close to the glittering shopping district Via della Spiga, art galleries, bars and night spots. Designed by Pierre Yves Rochon, featuring a classic style of the ’30 with a private garden and fountain, the new palace hotel embodies the very best of Milanese style with subtle French influences.”
After a long day walk in Milan, endless shopping and sight seeing, you would really want to find a place where you could relax and rest your feet. There are many lovely cafes and restaurants in Milan, but nothing beats the 10 Corso Como.
10 Corso Como is an iconic location for local Milanese situated in the fashionable walking street Corso Como . It is a combination of arts, fashion, music, design, dinning and culture all in one place. It started off as an art gallery and book store in 1990, other spaces soon followed – design and fashion store in 1991, the cafe in 1998, a boutique hotel with only 3 rooms in 2003, and a roof garden in 2009. In year 2002, the brand partnered with the Japanese fashion icon Comme des Garcons and opened their first overseas store in Tokyo, and became a great success. Other International stores followed in Seoul, Shanghai and Beijing in 2012, 2013 and 2014 respectively.
I really like the design and layout of the complex. On the exterior of the building, there are wall climbing woody plants with light bulbs on the walls, which make the whole building stands out a lot. From the outside, it is very difficult to tell how amazing the inside looks like. The entrance to the complex is not very wide, but leads you right into the open garden, which makes it feel like a walk into a secret garden.
The Cafe and Restaurant
This is absolutely my favourite part of the whole complex. Whether it’s for an aperitivo with your girls, or a romantic dinner with your partner, this place will not disappoint you! (Note: Aperitivo = Italian happy hour)
The Gallery and Gallery Shop
There are different exhibition on at different time. The time I was there was a display of photographs by the famous photographer and contemporary artist Nobuyoshi Araki. This exhibition will be up until the 12th Feb 2017, check on the 10 Corso Como website for upcoming events and exhibition.
The Book Store
It’s like a mini library with art and design related books. If you are a lover of art, you could easily spent hours here.
If you are in Milan, I would highly recommend you to visit this place, even if you are not a fan of design or into art. The design of this place will simply amaze you.
What quality(s) do you look for when you are searching for a hotel for your leisure trip? Is it the comfort level? The size of the room? The facilities? The cost/value? Or maybe the location? I believe that different people will have different priorities while looking for a place to stay during their travel. My top 3 priorities would be safety, location, and value.
During my Milan trip, I’ve stayed in two different places. One is a hotel, while the other one is a service apartment. While the hotel was much cheaper, I find that the apartment was of a much better value.
“Residenza Delle Citta” is the name of the service apartment, and it’s run by the Planetaria Hotel Chain, which is an Italian local brand since the mid 1990’s, and now has 9 different hotels/residences thru out Italy at the moment. The group is well known for restoring their establishments with great attention to identity and specific architectural features of the property, so that each has a different atmosphere that is representative of the urban context in it is located.
This residence really surprised me, in many ways! Let’s talk about them one by one:
The residence is only one stop away from Milan Centrale station – this is the major station for all the trains from the different city of Italy, and is also where the Airport Coaches will terminate. From Milan Centrale station, you can either take one stop on the green subway line 2 and gets off at Caizzo station, and from Caizzo station, it will take you about 8 minutes by walk; or you can walk directly from Centrale station, will will take you approximately 15 minutes.
Bus and tram stands are just around the corner from the apartment, which makes it very easy for you to navigate around Milan. There are also supermarket and local restaurants within the block.
The reception of the apartment is not open 24 hours, so it could make checking in and out a bit difficult. However, before your stay, the manager will send you an e-mail to confirm your time of arrival to ensure a smooth check in. Be sure to let them know your approximate time of arrival, as arrivals outside their opening hours that have not been notified at the time of booking will incur a supplement cost, which I’m sure you wouldn’t want.
Our check in was smooth, my friend and I arrived the apartment around 8pm, and were warmly greeted by the manager on duty. He was very friendly, and explained to us about the facilities of the place and asked if we had any questions. His English level was very good, which made communication very easy.
For those who have been to the Vatican City, you would know that this place is usually crowded the whole year round… To take a good picture, you usually have to wait and wait and wait, or keep changing angles to find a less crowded spot, or, just be be super lucky…
But, if you a person like me who doesn’t really like to fight the crowd, then this place I’m going to tell you about may just be the perfect spot for you!
Before I talk about this place, I just want to show you a few snap shot at Piazza di San Pietro (St. Peter’s Square!)
Ok, now, this place I want to tell you about is a best kept secret, and not many people know about it, so I would highly recommend you to go before this place is flooded by people. This roof top bar is hidden in a small hotel called the “Residenza Paola VI”, and it is basically right next to the Piazza. It overlooks the St. Peter’s Church in Vatican city, and is the perfect place for you to visit after a long day of sight seeing in the Vatican. The bar is furnished in classic old Italian style, and the staffs there are very nice and helpful, which makes this bar a very cozy place.
A home away from home… this is how I felt when I check into this cute little space while I was at Rome.
As this was my first time to Rome, so while I was searching for a place for my friends and I to stay, my top priorities were safety and convenience. I looked at all possible accommodations, from hotels to hostels to Airbnb etc, and when I stumbled across the listing about this place on Airbnb, my eyes stopped and immediately fell in love with the decorations. After doing some research on the locations and several messages with the host, I knew that this would be the perfect stay for my trip to Rome!
We arrived Rome Termini station from Milan around mid day, and it only took us around 20 minutes to get to the place. Instructions on how to get to the place were very clear, so it made the journey there very easy. We were warmly greeted by the host who was waiting for us in the house, and she has already prepared all the maps and suggestions of the local area for us.
This lovely decorated house is located approximately 10 minutes walk from The Colosseum, a 5 minutes walk to the closest metro station (Manzoni), and it’s only 2 metro stops away from the Rome Termini station, also, there’s a bus and tram stand right in front of the house, which makes it a great location while travel around in Rome. Not to mention that there are lots of local restaurants around the area, and 2 of the biggest cathedrals around.
The interior of the house is very unique, using a lot of vintage and decorative elements, is fully equipped with all the amenities you will need. The best part of the house was the little outdoor garden of the house, very nicely furnished with chairs and table, made it a great place to dine. We stayed here during winter, which could be a bit cold, but could not resist to dine here.
Imaging you can see and taste the world in a day… or even in just a matter of a few hours!
The title of this blog sounds a bit cheesy right? Well, I gotta admit it was exaggerated a bit to grab your attention, but it’s not a false statement, you could really see and taste the world within just a few hours here in Milan!
Towards the end of each year, there is an International art and food fair that is held in Milan – the “L’Artigiano in Fiera”. It is a world trade fair with artisans products and food from all around the world. Italy, France, Germany, Japan, Korea, Iran, Turkey, USA, Australia, China, Africa …. just to name a few!
The fair is held at the exhibition center at Fieramilano Rho-Pero, just a 30 minutes metro ride from Milan city center, and it runs from 3rd to 11th December this year. Opening time is from 10:00am to 10:30pm daily during the period, and it is free to enter. The fair is spread into 9 different exhibition halls, with over 3000 artisan companies from over 100 countries participating.