Milano – meet & greet with the locals

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Ciao amici!

This time I`ll show you some expressions of my first stop during my travels with my best friend through Europe: Milan. I`ll talk about my personal hot-spots and the non-touristic places in Milano where you can meet up with the locals. To get this information I had to contact the Italian locals. Questions like: Where are the non-touristic spots? Where do the locals go shopping? Where can I meet up with young Italian people?

I`ll talk about those questions, as well as my personal experiences and funny stories, that happened to me.

Connecting to locals- top 3 hot spots in Milan

Because I want to give you guys as many useful information as possible I decided to get in contact with the Italian locals to ask them about their secret spots in town. And yes, this was challenging at the beginning as these were all strangers. But to be honest, I haven`t met one unfriendly Italian while staying in Milan. Cheers to all those friendly people who shared their favorite places with us.

The first person my best friend and me got to talk to was a young lady in a shoe shop. She happily recommended us a place called “Corso Di Porta Ticinese” which leads to another place called “Navigli”. Of course we checked out those spots for you guys!

Walking down along the famous Piazza Duomo where you can find all different kind of fashion labels from high-price brands like Guess and Prada to normal-price brands like Zara or Mango. Piazza Duomo is connected to a new and well-known shoe mall called Torino where shops are designed to attract young and hip people. From boots to basics to high heels – you can find everything there!

„Piazza Duomo“

Walking down Via Torino from the Duomo, you`ll get to the Ticinese district. Here you can find lots of small self-owned shops filled with authentic Italian clothes and hand made fashion, attracting a young clientele. A new generation of craftmen has replaced the old timers and filled it up with new creative ideas.

If you walk further to that area you`ll come to the Navigli district. Absolutely beautiful!

Navigli – A small channel in the middle where traditional boats are driving along the way. Quite romantic! There are nobel bars on the boat, which are cool and chic. If you prefer something cheaper and more relaxed check out the bars around! Many small & cute Italian pubs along the river with locals sitting outside, drinking cocktails and eating tapas. Super joyful and relaxed atmosphere where Italians welcome you with: “Ciao Ragazza! If you go there in the evening, you`ll catch the happy hour with life music and tapas for free. Small buffets filled with Italian food like lasagna, salads, pasta, and pizza bread… really delicious and perfect if you`re looking for a nice evening to spent with friends! But please bring insect spray, if you don`t want to be the mosquitos` dinner.

„Navigli district“

Exploring the city we run into a young guy called Ivan. He was super cool and friendly. He`s a Italian photographer, check out his page:

He recommended us a lot. My very favorite was the so called “Isola District”. Such a nice place! I ‘ve only seen locals here. This district is full of beautiful art made by creative fingers. Small apartments along the street in different designs and colors, from old fashioned to modern art in pastel colors. Italian balconies as you imagine from the movies, pictures and paintings on the walls on the sidestreets. Perfect in the evening and during day time. Small streets filled with cute cafes and various pasta &pizza restaurants. Check out that place, perfect ambient, real Italian flair and lots of locals!

Ivan and me

walls full of art

There is also a weekend market with fresh local fruits and vegetables. And don`t miss the Gelateria! You can also find this local shop called „Borsieri” on trip advisor. I`ve never eaten so delicious creamy hand made Ice cream. I bet one cup is not enough if you start eating! There is also a meet-up place with lot`s of young Italian people and small side bars. Cocktails, chips and perfect atmosphere are waiting for you here!

night life – local pubs at the isola district

My personal recommendation for you, if you want to have a break from all the crowds and the city life, is a park quite central called “parco sempione”. People just go there to relax, enjoy some people-watching, do sports or have a picnic. It`s really quiet, clean and green, a lovely place to have a picnic with a snack. Not sure what to bring as a snack? Try the traditional Italian “Taralli tradizionale”. The perfect finger food which goes perfect with ham& cheese.

We also asked a young really fashion-conscious lady about her favorite typical Italian shops and she suggested “Nadine” and “Pinko”. Nadine is very chic and elegant, with feminine clothes and beautiful fine dresses. Pinko is really modern and cool, a bit more extraordinary and a higher price class.

If you are looking for something different like authentic vintage or second hand clothes, Naglia is the perfect clothes market! On Sunday local people go there and sell beautiful Italian dresses, rare design brands and different clothes from the 50th to the 90th to some modern pieces. It`s really cheap as well. Definitely worth going there even if you don`t look for something special. – Just stroll around and get inspired.

Crashing into locals – Meet& greet with strangers

This part was not planned- it just happened while exploring the city and creating fun ideas.

Talking about cool Italians and authentic places we were strolling around the Isola district doing walking-pictures crossing streets when an unfamiliar Italian lady came towards me with spread arms and a big smile. The lady was so excited about us doing these random fun pictures that she came over and gave me a big grey hat with a pretty loop that she just bought. She gave me her acessoire to wear for the pictures as it randomly suited my outfit perfectly! I had a nice conversation with the Italian lady and she was so happy about that small gesture, you should have seen her smile!


Regarding the clothes market I am swarm from that I had that brilliant idea. Let`s sell my language! Rigth, so I could buy a new one as mine was too small with all the clothes I brought and bought in addition. Unfortunately I chose this lagguage to take because I designed the surface myself. Therefore I used two old denim jeans which now stick in parts on the frame. It looked quite cool – vintage style, but still was probably the most unhandy lagguage I’ve ever used. I got it from my grandparents and saved it from going to trash.

The decision was made though! So we went to the clothes market in Navigli and talked to the locals if they might want to buy my luggage or exchange it with some other object. Of course we were not lucky at the beginning as most of them couldn`t speak English so didn`t even understand what we were trying to explain. The other ones weren`t happy about this suggestion either as they had way too much to sell themselves. The situation seemed hopeless when we met that amazing Italian lady who fell in love with my small design-project and happily exchanged it with a super cute Parisian handbag. She came all the way over from Paris to sell her stuff! So it may was a useful exchange for her- I was happy about the cute handbag and she about the suitcase. Problem solved!

So that`s it! I really hope you like it. If you have any questions regarding my travels feel free to ask or suggest your ideas.

Which part was more interesting for you, the information part or the personal part? Let me know!

A presto I miei amici!


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