Category: Milano

After waiting for 8 years, I finally saw my girl having the happiness she deserved. I was in Milan for her wedding :)

As I don’t take the plane anymore for Milano (for the ones who don’t know, check my previous Milano adventures), I took the train. After two movies, I was in my cab bringing me to “The Gray” Hotel.

The Gray is situated just next to Rinascente and across the Duomo. It is a very modern boutique hotel with an amazing staff. The rooms are lovely, but a little small. On the other hand, let’s not forget we are in a boutique Hotel in Italy, and not in a chain hotel in the States.

My biggest problem will be, the thermostat in the room and the “do not disturb” sign. They both were in the same unit that works with the electricity. And you have power when you have the key in the wall.

I know you will all say, “you think everywhere is warm”, but I promise this time it was quite hot. The thermostat showed 27 degrees and not possible to set it lower. My plan was to keep the windows open while I was not in the room, so when I come back, could shut them and eliminate the street noise, and have cooler temperature.

Guess what? When you take your key, you lose power… you lose electricity, you lose the “do not disturb” sign as well, and your room becomes an open door for every staff in the hotel (who kept closing my window).

Not particularly clever their system!!! What happened to the old good “do not disturb” sign that you can hang on your door???

Anyway, this little problem, didn’t stop me to have the best time, and let’s be honest if you are in Milan, you don’t sit in your room, you just go out to walk and shop 

The civil wedding took place on Thursday afternoon, near Milano Due. It was beautiful and then we hit the “Four season Hotel” for aperetivo.

The Fours Season in Milan used to be an old convent, and they kept some of the walls intact. It is a beautiful hotel between via Monte Napoleone and Via dells Spiga. In other words between my two favorite streets ;)

No need to say, the rooms are very cheap ;) you don’t simply pay the name of the hotel, you also pay the address… when I used to live in Milan, I liked their aperitivo as the food that came with was yummy.

You know in Milan, the happy hour is sacred; they bring you lot’s of food while you have your drink. Some places even have a buffet with yummy foods.

At the “Four Season Hotel” you don’t have a buffet, you have waiters bringing you the food. The tip is to tip them well, so the food never stops ;)

This time we took over the room in the back near the fire place. I guess the crisis even hit the hotels, because while sipping our bubbles they only brought breaded olives stuffed with tuna, and fried sage leaves. We had to order some mini sandwiches, which will have never happened in the past.

The crowd on the other side didn’t change, some guest having relaxed meetings and some shoppers, drawn under their shopping bags, having their drinks.
Let’s not forget my favorite clients: some Russian special ladies, sorry in Milan their code name is models, entertaining their “uncles”.

We had our fun, we were not there to eat just to celebrate the union of my girl and the wise man, and off course check out the crowd a little ;)

On Friday morning, after having my breakfast in front of the Duomo I hit the mother ship that common people call via Monte Napoleone. I had brought 4 options for Saturday night wedding reception, but was still not sure about my outfit.
Yeah that is my excuse to shop and I am sticking to it.

For lunch I met my spiritual son, his girl and their baby (does that make her my spiritual granddaughter???) and my mom at Trattoria Bagutta.

Wow, that was a nice walk on memory lane; I think I haven’t been there for at least 10 years. It is situated on via Bagutta (I know big surprise), which is by Piazza San Babila, and via Monte Napoleone. This trattoria is open since 70 years and you can see the caricatures of some judges on the walls, next to some paintings of various artists.

The menu is simply composed of everything we love… we started with grated artichokes and grana padano, fried artichokes (I know I am into artichokes these days) and tuna carpaccio. My friend and I then took a Milanese (breaded veal cutlets) and my mom and spiritual son took the pasta with mushrooms.

To finish we wanted to share a “Torta della Nonna”, and it was my least favorite… it seemed they have done it few days ago  what a shame as Bagutta is famous for its antipasti buffet and dessert carriage….

Well let’s be positive and say less calories, and no sugar rush as I had a very busy afternoon. I had to raise Milano’s economy and shop till I drop. Between you and me, mission accomplished ;)

Instead of a rehearsal dinner, my friend organized a rehearsal drink at Armani/Nobu. Well it makes sense as she met her man there 7 years ago ;)

I was really shocked to see the bar so empty on a Friday night. Apparently not only Geneva, but Milan is also empty on week-ends during winter (everybody goes to ski). I don’t know on what they will ski as this year we don’t have any snow… but anyway.

We were already 20 people, so didn’t really care about the rest and had our own fun. Instead of the food on the buffet they brought us bento boxes with no very attractive food. One thing really attracted my attention in the bento box: Tacos.

I thought it was a mistake or they were tacos revised Nobu style, but nope. It was tacos with beans and meat…

And the worst? When we sat for dinner, it was written on the menu.

What happened to Nobu? Isn’t it Japanese anymore? Am I gonna see a kebab sandwich on my next visit? Or maybe a couscous … And let’s ask the most important question: “is Nobuyuki aware that they are serving Mexican food in his Japanese restaurant in Milan?”

Maybe when you fuse Japanese in Italy, it comes out Mexican….

Anyway, after dinner, sat at the bar with my friend, we had to catch up…. The service at the bar is… nonexistent. I have never been ignored that much by bartenders, I seriously don’t know what their function is. They don’t take your order, and they are not even cute so they have no excuse to be brainless and inefficient. Another mystery.

On the other side, I have to say the bar is really a pick up place, and I have to add also that it is full of desperate ugly men. I don’t know if we were losers’ magnet or it was the vibe in the bar, but we had several “no way Men” who approached us.
What happened to the days where Nobu was a hip “Japanese” restaurant, where the crowd was full of hot boys and girls and the bartenders were yummy (and efficient).

As i have mentioned in my previous post about Nobu in Milan, Armani invested in these high power ventilation systems so we can smoke downstairs.
Between you and me, it was so powerful that my contact lenses were too dry and had to non-stop blink to water my eyes…

Thinking about it, that newly earned tic is maybe what attracted the losers around the bar, lol.

Saturday was the second shopping day marathon… after emptying some stores we decided to have lunch at Paper Moon. Another Milano institution. When I lived in Milan, it was my Friday lunch spot.

They first announced us 45 minute wait to actually sit us right away between grumpy and piggy (the lovely names i gave to my table neighbors…)
That should have been the first sign to make us leave… It has always been a touristic place as well, but it became way too commercial and touristic.

I ordered my fix Carciofi e Pana (artichokes and pana cheese) then asked for a parmesan risotto. My mom took their special of the day, pasta with meat and artichokes…. Her pasta was swimming in olive oil; my risotto was bland. We ate in 25 minutes, paid a fortune and left the place unsatisfied.

Note to myself; don’t ever go back to Paper Moon in Milan. Better to eat at a café a Panini than being ripped off and disappointed. I always have Bagutta, Cova, or Saint Ambreous (i know not the cheapest spots) if I want to eat when I hang out in the shopping area….

Thanks god, the shopping was not disappointing, how can it be with all these amazing merchandise???

We finished the day with a coffee near the Duomo before going to the hotel and get ready for the partay !!!!

I am sure you remember from my previous posts in Milan, the restaurant Bistrot. A yummy restaurant where my friends always go and love. The owner opened a new place called “Ristorante Giacomo Arengario” just on the left side of the Duomo, on the top of the “Novecento Museum”.

When we arrived at the bottom of the museum, they were a line for people visiting a museum. We took the other door and after giving our name to the doorman, took the elevator to the 3rd floor.

The elevator doors opened to a jazz music band and people drinking and talking. It seems first quite small, but you start walking and arrive to the bar, where you see the beautiful bride and the broom (or as we call him the wise man) greeting.

We right away took a glass of bubble and continued to discover the place. One side of the restaurant has wall to wall windows and looks at the newly cleaned Duomo.

The weather was perfect, so the view was even more breath taking. We right away assured a table with a view close to the main family table.

During the cocktail, the waiters passed with trays of several Italian appetizers. It was so delicious that they couldn’t make 2 meters their tray was empty and had to go back to the kitchen. Finally, we all sat down, and the food festival started…

They were so much food that at a point I decided to eat less and drink more ;) We started with sashimi of scampi, followed by 3 different pastas, then fish and then veal… I think my friends were afraid that we will be starving.

During dinner, we had a belly dancer who put a silly smile on all the boys’ face and collected good money so she didn’t know how to leave, lol. I think she set the mood, and nobody wanted to sit and eat anymore, but wanted to dance and drink…

We had an incredible evening, the broom was so happy that he was no longer a wise man… he did some pretty wild things, looking forward to see the pictures ;) the Bride, my girl, although she was carrying my future fiancé, didn’t stop dancing. Well we know she is a rock star!!!

When the music finally stopped, I think we were all ready to pass out… I heard some saying let’s go to Armani Prive to continue the evening… I continued the party in my bed, couldn’t feel my feet anymore.

I love every food that comes out from Giacomo’s kitchen, always tasty… used to love his restaurant Bistrot , and now I am in love with his new spot: “Giacomo Arengario”. Apparently you can have lunch as well, or as my friends, organise private parties.
And I have to say the staff was amazing as well, they did an incredible service and never left me without bubbles ;)

Thank you guys, it was an amazing evening, and I wish you lots of happiness!!!

My friend decided to call some of us and get together in Milan, to celebrate her birthday. We all decided to not care about the famous heat of the city in summer, and go for the week-end.

I off course proposed Nobu to eat and then Prive to party the rest of the night. As I love the food and they have AC. But we thought that as we were in Italy, we should do an Italian restaurant.
So the final decision was to organize the dinner at “Just Cavalli”, then go to the open air night club that was above….

It is not located in center, so after a short cab ride, we arrived to destination…. The setting is beautiful, a great space in the middle of Parco Sempione… To arrive to the restaurant once they check if you are on the list is a good walk, and in the nature I might add, so at this point you regret a little to have high heels….

They gave us the option to sit inside or outside, it was soooo hot that we decided to stay inside with the supposed AC. They saw that we were a big group so brought these mixed anti-pasti that were charged more than 30 Eur for one mozzarella, half of a slice of prosciutto, and three pulps running after each other…
It was so hot that we couldn’t eat anything, so everybody went for Caesar salad after… I don’t know for the others, but I don’t call 5 little pieces of overcooked and over dry chicken on lettuce, with no dressing a Caesar salad.
So, no need to say that we were not really happy with the food…..

Later some friends needed to go and get the others who were stuck in the traffic on their way from Geneva, so we decide to wait for them upstairs at the Club, on our Super Prive table.
In order to have a table at VIP section called “Super Prive” ( I guess they wanted to do better than Armani…), we had to leave an imprint of credit card of 1000 Eur. Which basically means, you cannot leave the table without spending that amount of money, otherwise, they will charge it to your credit card.

So here we are waiting for the rest of the group, trying to sit on a tiny table, fighting so “the models” don’t eat our fruits or drink our bubbles… In Milan the “models” are like the “estheticians” in Geneva… they do house calls at night.

Well the rest of the group managed to come 45 minutes before the end of the night, as at the door they didn’t let them in… why? Because apparently their records show that we were already a full table (which was not right) but we didn’t use our 1000 Eur…

We didn’t use the whole amount, well first of all because we were waiting the rest to drink, and also drinking is dangerous in Just Cavalli. Because it means you need to use the bathroom… which means had to walk through the whole club, and wait in line for 45 minutes.
Oh yeah did I tell u that there are only two mixed toilets for 1200 people????

No need to say that I won’t put my foot there, and would highly discourage any person with sense to do sooo.

I think Roberto should stick to create beautiful clothes, and lose the idea of restaurant and nightclub…

This morning, I woke up again at 5am to catch my Milano flight. Now that Fly Baboo doesn’t operate on that line, I bought my ticket with Twin Jet, or as I will call it, the disaster. I should have sensed it when I poured the hot coffee on my jeans at home that my trip was going to be a hell.
I really think that the personnel at Geneva airport is just hired to be decorative, no one has any idea of nothing. And the ladies at Air France desk … well I guess if they spend a little less time on painting their face, they could actually be useful. One thing is sure they are not hired for their IQ. Believe me it was a challenge to check in, although my flight is Twin Jet, a sub company of Air France, I needed to check in with Dnata…. ohh and you have to call them so they can come to do your check in. The cherry on top of the cake was when “the super smart” guy behind the desk told me to make sure to go to the bathroom before the flight, as the plane didn’t have any WC.
When I saw the plane I got why, it seemed that a big plane spit that one… only 9 rows, and the pilot, who casually explained us what to do if we crash, pilot the plane in front of me. I guess if I weren’t scared for my life, I would find it cool to see him manipulate during takeoff and landing. After an hour of fear for my life, we arrived to Milano Malpensa where my luggage never came. They actually managed to lose a luggage that I saw them charging on the tiniest plane I saw in my life.
So here I am, in Milano with no clothes, no cable for my pc to charge it, and especially no news from the company. I keep calling the number they gave me, no one never picks up… you can imagine my frustration. When I arrived to Hotel Cavour, the front desk person wasn’t astonished about my situation. He told me that it happens a lot, and that he will try calling them as well, but I shouldn’t have too much hope.
I have chosen Hotel Cavour, because it is literally 2 minutes away from via della Spiga, but I didn’t expect my room being that bad. It was quite tiny, and my tv’s screen was smaller than my pc’s screen. I bought internet for 24 hours, but the connection was very low or inexistent, so I didn’t really manage to use it. So do I advise this hotel? Well I guess it depends on what you are expecting; if you just want a nice hotel, nice stay, nice people… shouldn’t be your first choice. But if you are looking for just a place to sleep by the happening area, go for it.
One of my reasons to pick that hotel up was also that it was 5 minutes away from Nobu. And off course I had to return and see my cute bartender Andrea, eat the yummy food, and just because I didn’t want to go back to my small room, go to “Prive”. It’s Armani Nobu’s night club. It was really fun, when we arrived I was the oldest person there, including the friend with whom I was. Then the crowd started to change, there was a mix of ages and professions. I even met a definitely working lady, who told that she was a “desperate housewife”. Believe me she didn’t look that desperate next to her client;)
As usual it was a successful Nobu night, and it kind of made me forget my horrible day… Let’s hope they find my suitcase tomorrow

This morning when I woke up, I still had the wine, sake and vodka in my blood… Thanks god didn’t have too many appointments. I spent my day between rain and sunshine walking in the streets of Milan, trying to finish my errands. I walked so much that at the end of the day I couldn’t feel my feet. But everybody knows how retail therapy can make you feel better.
When I returned to my shoe box at Hotel Cavour, I kept trying to reach Malpensa for my suitcases, and finally at 5pm they announced me that it would arrive to my hotel that night around 10 – 11pm.
Well I guess another night where I should do creative clothing with what I have and what I have purchased. My friend brought me to this bar for aperitivo called Blanco, which is situated in Porta Venezia. I always say that I love the Milanese aperetivo, because next to your drinks they always bring you food to nibble. When we arrived it was quite empty, but while we were sipping our bubbles and eating the yummy appetizers, it started to fill up a lot. The crowd was composed a bit of everything; cute boys and girls, good music and very good vibe. You could find casually dressed up people just chilling out as well as the ones who spent hours in front of the mirror and who couldn’t enjoy their drink simply because they needed to know if someone was looking at them.
Overall it was fun, but we had to leave as we had dinner reservation at Osteria Del Corso in Brera. It is known to be a who’s who restaurant, so with my Milan luck I was sure I would see another football player… we all know that the real celebrities in Milan are the models, and the football players. Although my friends explained me that it would be the usual crowd. Tonight we just saw Piero Chiambretti, who is a famous anchor for the midnight Chiambretti show. Otherwise there were big groups of women and men. And with our luck we had the most annoying voice sitting next to us. She couldn’t stop talking, and it sounded like nails going down a board, you know that horrible voice… But even that annoying voice didn’t ruin my dinner. I had an amazing swordfish Carpaccio followed by a finger licking spaghetti with lobster, all this with a great wine and company. I really advise you to go there and enjoy a good meal. The working stuff and the owner are amazing as well.
My second day was less stressful and the fact that I received my luggage helped it. It was at 11.30pm, just in time to take it back with me to Geneva for Friday my morning train. Yes train, nothing would make me take that Twin Jet plane again, which could be described as Bermuda triangle for luggage, and/or fear box!!!!

As you know by now, Sundays in Geneva are the most boring day because everywhere is closed, but in Milan most of Sundays the stores are open, depending if there is a fair or close to Xmas. And this Sunday some stores told me they would be open.
So we decided to have a brunch, then to go and do some more retail therapy. “Radetzky cafe” is full of cute boys and girls. You see that everybody made an extra effort, in case they meet someone… They don’t take reservations, and unfortunately the weather was cold and windy so we waited for a table inside and didn’t seat at the nice terrace. The inside room is all white with high ceilings. You have some individual and some commune tables. The only problem is that it has too much echo, so you barely communicate. But the food is great, although the service was a bit slow at my taste.
We were at a commune table, where we had Montezemolo (the owner of Tween and his brother is the Chairman of Ferrari and Fiat) and his family, and a couple who I believe came out from starvation. While we were waiting for our dishes, they swallowed four dishes, and the girlfriend almost lost her fingers in the process of licking her fingers to not miss a crumb. And to complete this charming scene, they were eating each others face between each bite.
Telling you very entertaining, wished I had cute guys next to me, but this was fun as well.
Unfortunately this Sunday most of the stores were closed. So we ended up having teas and coffees at Armani cafe. the decor all in black and red is cold, but that was not the problem, they were adorable with us and my friend’s dog. But when I opened the menu I was shocked how they were pricing things. If you take a tea at the bar is 3 Eur, but if you take it at a table it costs you 6 Eur, so every drink is doubled or more if you want to have them at your table. Which means if you are a table of 10, you will pay 60 Eur instead of 30 Eur just because you want your tea at the table and not standing at the bar… plus tip!!!
I guess Armani is not making enough profits with the clothes, the flowers, the furniture, the accessories, the cosmetics and the chocolates, so he decided to rip people off with his teas and coffees…
Oh well, I guess next time I would chose Trussardi cafe where they do it more discretely ;)