Nightclubs & Entertainment
Milan has plenty to offer when it comes to nightclubs and rendez-vous.
Its cosmopolitan feel has made it one of the first Italian cities to discover other cuisines, which have little by little been integrated with and reinterpreted with the local cuisine.
There are many Cuban, Eritrean, Moroccan, Indian, and Japanese restaurants ...it seems that every corner of the globe is represented and has been adapted to western taste.
However, there is still a local cuisine, consisting of poor yet hearty fare, of simple yet strong flavours, a popular cuisine that has, however, inspired Milan’s many chefs par excellence.
Starting with the living legend of Italian Nouvelle Cuisine, Gualtiero Marchesi, through to Carlo Cracco, owner of the Peck restaurant, not to mention Nobu Matzuhisa, innovator of Japanese Cuisine, or the beautifully decorated Sadler.
Many Milanese restaurants, including the mostly highly acclaimed, offer alternatives to their à la carte menu, usually only in evening, and only for reserved tables. They are often pricey and not affordable to all.
Some restaurants have opened small branches, where they serve less elaborate, yet high quality dishes, while others concentrate on lunch menus, with buffets or light dishes and snacks, while others still focus on the Milanese tradition par excellence, the aperitif.
The Aperitif is indeed a ritual in Milan and is so much more than a simple glass of wine or liqueur before dinner.
The Milanese meet after work, between 6pm and 9.30pm, to relax with a drink and a varied that could easily replace dinner.
In fact, the buffets were introduced to compensate for alcoholic aperitifs, such as Negroni, with too high an alcohol content to be taken on an empty stomach.
With changing trends and the arrival of light aperitifs, the aperitif and buffet ritual has not changed, except for the fact that it has now become part of the “Happy Hour” phenomenon, first seen in British pubs frequented by businessmen who would stop by after work for “Two pints for the price of one”.
The term “Happy Hour” is therefore associated with the concept of “Aperitif”, taking on a variety of formulas, based on each bar’s specialities and customer base. In any case, it always refers to a “drink plus something else”, which may be another drink, a buffet or special sampling events.
For instance, during happy hour many bars serve an excellent glass of sparkling Franciacorta wine with oysters or a Japanese beer and a portion of sushi, etc.
The area between the Navigli and Porta Romana, with the greatest concentration of clubs and a wide choice of venues, is well known for its vibrant happy hours.
Another increasingly popular phenomenon in the Milanese Dolce Vita is Brunch, especially at weekends.
This savoury breakfast-cum-lunch originates from New York and was successfully imported to Milan, where it was soon adopted by the rest of Italy.
As with the aperitif, every establishment offers its own brunch specialities, from sandwiches to salads, hearty yet light dishes, often accompanied by tea or fruit juice.
Brunch is usually served on Saturdays and Sundays between 10am and 2pm, its guests primarily those who partied until late and need a jump start following an all all-nighter in one of the many clubs of the Milanese movida.
From Rock to Jazz, from Techno to Disco, Milan has a range of evening venues to suit every taste
From unconventional Plastic (open 6 days a week and always filled to capacity) to the quieter jazz venues on the Navigli, through to live music at the Magazzini Generali, the Auditorium or the Rolling Stone, the unparalleled underground temple of rock.
Without obviously overlooking the La Scala Theatre or Il Piccolo Teatro, venues that combine art, passion and belmondo for an evening that is guaranteed to be exclusive.
The great names in Fashion, Roberto Cavalli, Dolce & Gabbana, Trussardi, Giorgio Armani... also merit a mention.
Each of the above own at least one city club where you can literally “sample” Italian Haute Couture.