Since arriving, we have adjusted very easily to life in Milan and Italy in general. It takes a while to get used to the shops not opening on Monday morning (good tactic to avoid Mondayitis); or the long shutdown of all businesses that occurs during the middle of the day that makes it hard to find lunch or do anything other stay home between 1-3pm. But that aside, the food, the people and the pace have been a wonderful fit.
After finding a great apartment, we could really relax into our new lifestyle and create a rhythm in this city. We found our place using the site airbnb – (https://www.airbnb.com.au). We had investigated about 5 apartments – there were some lovely apartments but location wise were not great. Just by chance, we came across one in Navigli and decided to go and see it. The place was not as modern as some other places we had seen, but the location was fantastic. After seeing the apartment, we were pretty confident we wanted to take it. We sat downstairs at a wine bar (which has great wines at a very economical price) – La Vineria to discuss our options and after a bottle of vino bianco decided to take the apartment. We moved in the next day.
We now live in the buzzing heart of the Navigli area, which is on the canals and has plenty of bars and restaurants to explore. We are also about 50m from the metro (underground), which makes getting around Milan very easy. Eldad can walk to uni with ease and there is a bus and tram stop nearby.
It was a true pleasure to finally unpack all our clothes that we had been hauling around in suitcases. We have a proper walk-in wardrobe and we could finally hang our crushed clothes and fold our belongings in some kind of orderly fashion in the draws and shelves. As ironic as it sounds, the organisation was liberating.
Although I was keen for a home-cooked meal, being in Navigli it would have been a crime not to head out and start exploring one of the many restaurants in the area. One fantastic thing about Milan, and I think northern Italy more generally is the concept of Aperitivo.
Apertivo begins anywhere from about 6pm until 8or 9pm. The concept is you order a drink (i.e. sprtiz, cocktail or vino) and that entitles you access to a buffet that is on offer. Some places are better value than others. For example, some offer an amazing selection with hot and cold food, salads, meat, pasta, breads and dessert and it usually costs around 8 Euros. Other places might provide you with a plate of meat (like salami) and cheeses to accompany your drink. Either way, I love it. It is essentially pre-dinner drinks and snacks. While the intention is not for the buffet to be a dinner substitute, often without overloading you still find that the apertivo can get you through the evening without needing dinner.
So far we have tried quite a few different restaurants and apertivo spots around the area. I am yet to determine the best ones but will be sure to dedicate a post to the food and fare of the Navigli area in the near future.