(What I see) Getting around Milan

Walking in Milan and getting around doesn’t give me the perception of a city re-born after a 7-years long economic depression. I still see shops closing in areas where it was unthinkable to shut down until a few years ago (BAires). Shops in the centre are half-empty during once busy weekends. Food stores relentlessly lower prices, and it’s not uncommon to see food-related billboards and adverts in town promoting best prices ever. I no longer have to reserve a table at restaurants in most of the once busiest districts – Tortona, Garibaldi, Ticinese. The Milanese movida seems to be definitely over.

Media write about the end of the Italian economic recession. The benefits of the coming EXPO are on the mouth of all (optimistic?) friends I’m talking to. Eataly and few other bold entrepreneurs still invest here; and the openings gain pages and pages on local press. Which I voraciously read, hoping to find real signs of change.

Nevertheless, this is not what my eyes see when I spend some time in town. Milan’s life is not even comparable with towns I am used to visit. London. Dubai. New York the last. It never was. But the gap seems unbridgeable today. It’s like the once economic capital of Bel Paese is slowly descending into Dante’s inferno.

And while I am writing these notes, I just hope to be wrong and to be the only one in town not recognising the so bright signs of a new rise. Because I love this city. I love it so much.

Eataly Smeraldo

Eataly Milan Smeraldo (@EatalySmeraldo) is ready to open its doors next week. Not the first, but the largest store in Italy. Manhattan style, if not better.

Smeraldo was an historical theatre, in town. The venue brings memories and it’s plenty of history for the Milanees. Following its history, the super-store’s themes will be music and food. Eataly opens in the most buzzy district in town, Garibaldi/Porta Nuova.

Latest updates: from Eataly site, from Corriere newspaper site, Scattidigusto press opening, Nicola Farinetti’s tweets (@NicolaFarinetti – the owner), Where Milan (english).

Climate change

Just realised that next week I will move from the 5º miserable degrees (C) of a rainy Milan to the 28º of a shiny Dubai and then back to  -5º of a freezing New York. The challenge now will be what to put on my cabin suitcase. (*)

(*) the author of this blog follows strict unbreakable policies – no suitcase will be boarded. Just cabin. No boarding. Never.

Lost (and now found)

And so I went this early morning back to Milan Linate airport to look for my lost iPad mini. The first place where I started my research was the L&F office. The lost&found office works with/for lost baggage only. A different office is in charge of lost objects. So I went to the different office. A different-different office is in charge of objects lost on Alitalia flights. So I went to the different-different office.

They found immediately the iPad. It was still stored somewhere close to the runaways. It took 45 mins to get it back to the office, and then in my hands.

I have to say – people from the 3 offices were extremely polite and helpful. The third office was supposed to open at 9am, but they started the research as soon as I got there. It was 8am. Thank you.

So the iPad is now back home. I’ve just deactivated the lost mode. Few minutes after powering the iPad on, I got a tweet from the Airport account.

In few words:

  • phone numbers to contact lost objects office in Milan Linate are +39 0224993458 (Alitalia flights) and +39 0274852359
  • emails are oggetti.smarriti@alitalia.it (Alitalia flights) and lostproperty@seamilano.eu (all other flights)

La Confraternita del Geco (The Brotherhood of the Gecko)

(original post is here, in Italian)

I met all of them years ago, when I started my MBA class, in Milan. It was the end of 2003.

One year later Confraternita del Geco (Brotherhood of the Gecko) was created by 8 brave MBA students. One left (was forced to leave?) a couple of years later. They established a solid friendship. A statute was created. It was established to have a dinner-meeting every third Wednesday of each month (Gecocena, the Gecko-dinner) in an unknown osteria in Milan. Each month organised by a different member of the brotherhood – il Grangeco. A couple of them created the first sushi factory in Italy. Recently, a Whatsapp group was created – Confraternita definitely knows how to use the latest technologies.

After 10 years, Confraternita is still alive – and kicking. Next meeting, all together, will take place this weekend, in London. We will celebrate 10 years of our friendship (and 10 yrs of our statute!). A full photo report will be featured – on this blog.