The first seven days from august are already over and so is the hottest week of the year, or maybe even of the century. While most Milanese have left the city to enjoy a well-deserved summer holiday, the tourists continue to arrive.
This year in august I will remain in the city. On one hand this is a nice experience because Milan is quiet in the summer, cycling is much more relaxed, parking your car is a joke and all the shop owners have time for a little chat. At the same time, it is also a challenge to survive the city during this month. ‘Survive’ because many shops, bars and restaurants in Milan are closed for the holidays. Especially the private owned activities, without staff, close for the whole month. That thus means that, when you are not in the centre of the city, you have to go and ‘hunt’ for bread, vegetables and meat, a café for a good cup of coffee and a bar for your aperitivo.
Actually already from the second half of June this starts. Kids then start their three months (!!) during summer holiday. Often their grandparents take care of them and will bring them to their second home in the mountains or near the sea. When good weather, the parents visit during the weekend. In July, it gets again more quiet, when the working man can allow himself a holiday just before the start of the main season. That is why in that month the barista starts asking everyone ‘Cosa fai per le ferie?’ often receiving the same answer for years, as many families continue to go back to their summer homes.
But the real exodus from Milan is in august, when everyone is getting ready for the ferragosto festivities, a day on which the whole country stops moving and eats, preferably with the whole family.
So, I will stay in Milan, where it will be hot, and I am sure there’s many people that stay here to come here to discover the city. Below and in the next blog a few suggestions for good food locations in Milan that help you to keep your head cool
Are you in Milan just for one day? Then make sure you arrive early, as the temperatures will be still acceptable. Start the day with a cup of coffee and a brioche, for example in Piazza Gae Aulenti near Porta Garibaldi train station. Or at Zaini’s, the chocolate shop with bar where we also stop during the Old Milano Food Tour. From there you walk through the intimate area of Brera, where you will also find enough shadow to stay cool. While on your way, you should stop at L’orto di Brera where you can get yourself a fresh fruit shake. Once enjoyed this, head for Piazza della Scala. Going through the beautiful Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II you will soon arrive in Piazza Duomo. Make sure you have your sun protection ready as the so discussed palm trees don’t really protect you from the sun. If you have enough courage, buy a ticket and get to the roof of the Duomo from where you have a beautiful view over the city and its surroundings.
Want to know what to do from noon onwards? Check the next blog!