The city bringing its story with itself, my Milano

1476436_10151893500904145_1953604779_nYou definitely know a city will be a part and story of your life when you first step in.

For example when I arrived Athens, I knew that I will not be staying there for long. And I know I will go to Mykonos again and again. Like I know German cities like Munich, Frankfurt and Hamburg will be the cities not coming into my life again except my first/last visits. And they did not.

What about Italy? Venice, Florence, Rome, Como, Bologna, Siena, Genova and Sardinia are the locations among I have visited that can accepted as popular. Sanremo, Imperia, Savona, Colorno, Reggio Emilia, Bolzano, Cuneo, Fossano, Modena and Crotone are the Italian cities probably you never heard of before. I am sure there are other towns I forgot to mention, that I passed through, drank a caffe lungo in one of its coffee shops and waited in train stations midnight as alone always… I knew that I cannot dwell in any of these cities for long.009-3

In Italy, there is only one city that come into my life. Northern Italy’s only city for the rest of the world. The city bringing its story with itself, the story designed especially for me, the city embodying me, never to let me go.  As I first stepped into the city, I was a tourist knowing nothing about Milano. Nothing about its streets, people and habits. I knew this city will have a story to tell in my life as I walked down Piazza della Scala on my high heels which I instantly wore after I freed myself from my backpack. It was October 15th, 2011.
209Many Italians are not very fond of Milano. It is a business city for them. Coming mostly from Southern Italy and stumbling through the modern northern life working in banks, finance and other large firms, they however left their warm Italian hearts in southern cities where their families live.  Milano is grey. Really grey…

I cannot say Milano is a magnificent city. I cannot recommend terrific things to do in Milano.
174I cannot talk about the wildest and night clubs where super models go crazy as reported in websites with fancy words. Sure I can speak of all these, but it would be an outright lie. Because I know that our clubs on Bosphorus like Sortie and Reina are better by far than Milano’s Just Cavalli and Armani Privee. The only difference is that in Cavalli and Armani you have much greater chance to see a civilized European than our textile business gurus driving their Range Rovers thinking the world consists of the highway between their textile workshops in Merter and Reina. But be careful as I am talking about a probability because like our textile gurus, Milano’s clubs are famous for Russian Businessman and prostitutes from Balkan countries blending in skinny models.

Therefore, like any city, the real life in Milano is
399different while looking through a tourist’s eye and while being on the back streets

Speaking of history; the heart of the city Piazza del Duomo also the grandest Duomo in Italy, the wall in Santa Maria delle Grazie Church where you can see Leonardo da Vinci’s Last Supper, and the original drawings of Leonardo exhibited in the same church are the ones that impressed me. However as I generally suffer from a historical lethargy, I cannot be a museum gal no matter where I go. Therefore, if you are in the mood for a museum/church ride, Google it!
28054_10151208720944145_2127482054_nItalians throw themselves to streets at around 19:00. 19:00 is called “Aperitivo” and it is a kind of happy hour when generally finger food is served with wine. Till dinner time of 21:00 each and every venue from the most luxurious to the freakiest provides an aperitivo. Meaning you may not find a lot of people if you go to a restaurant at 18:00 however at 19:00 in the same place, you may find yourself tussling with a crowd trying to go in. In brief you may find far too numerous “normal” venues getting full at 19:00. And what do we mean by “normal” venues?  These are the places where ordinary Milanese live, not pompously luxurious and being ruled by fashion, not invaded by tourists but normal city life. You can see its best examples in the district called “Navigli”. These venues that are also generally preferred by students are in Navigli through which a channel passes.

However Milano is embodied in Montenapoleone Avenue. It is an avenue so stylish and
306582_10151149686934145_128593665_nlong that you feel like you are walking on the catwalk. As it is said Milano is a city of fashion, and the centers of all companies renowned worldwide are on Via Montenapoleone. Contrary to what is believed, the time we call Fashion Week does not actually consist of one week. If you are not working in fashion industry, you have no chance following all Fashion weeks.  One week ends the other begins. It means nothing to you unless you go to see a fashion show. However fashion industry’s heart beats indoors. The most famous companies and designers shaping fashion industry are in Milano. From Giorgio Armani’s first fall/winter fashion show to Versace’s magnificent after parties for 500, these happen all in indoors.
047-2As for fancy restaurants, in Armani Hotel which is located again at Montenapoleone’s entrance point, we can talk about the world famous restaurant chain Nobu. My luck for being a chef and a beautiful woman at the same time provided with a very interesting opportunity to work in Armani Nobu’s kitchen in the morning and cook its signature dish black cod with Miso sauce and at night taking of my chef sandals and wearing my Louboutins drinking a glass of champagne in the same restaurant that I cleaned fish just recently.

What about stylish bars? I can talk about Trussardi alla Scala and Bvlgari Hotel’s bars. Trussardi is 2 Michelin starred restaurant under the brand Trussardi located in the Plaza of La Scala opera. Trussardi’s bar is preferred by businessman Italians. You can also see a crowd coming out from a premiere in La Scala. If you ever visit, say hi to Tomasso the barmen! Bvlgari’s bar looks more like a hotel bar. However it is popular for its hotel/spa and Sunday brunches.
68305_10151208722289145_402411543_nA small district having restaurants and shops, and automobiles are not allowed in. Besides Milano is not a very large city at all. Although Metro goes everywhere, the majority of Milanese like me prefer bicycles as at every corner there is a metro stop so bicycles are much faster than metro. And I recommend you take a taxi during rain and cold weather.

In the last issue I promised I would talk about love in this issue, out of courtesy to you, I need to introduce this Italian city which is a witness to the years of my life’s second half.
046You see despite I am travelling all over the world, despite I do not desire it, it is this weird fateful story that makes me return to this city.

Now my feeling for Milano is that the city’s place in my destiny is slowly coming to an end. Next city that will make me tell “I will here for sometime” may be Monaco, who knows…

to be continued..

Milano 2011–2013