il giro zuppinger ™ – patent pending

a quick (vegetarian) gourmet tour to milano.

one good thing about switzerland – let me have a quick re-think here … actually the ONLY good thing about switzerland – is that it’s close to italy. with only a few hours trainride a visit to milan is even possible as a day trip, ariving there around noon and taking the train back home in the evening. i really love italian food, so for me when i visit it’s all about the food.

and here then is my tour, il giro zuppinger ™ (patent as i said above pending):

ristorante joia di pietro leemann

via panfilo castaldi, 18 – 20124 milano – 02 20 49 244.

from the trainstation it’s only a 10 minute walk to the first stop: evenings this is quite a fancy place, but on weekdays they offer 2 great deals for lunch, set menus both, one for 15.- and the other for 25.- euros. the chef pietro leemann has learned his trade in ticino, switzerland (where he is originally from), italy and japan. so the food at joia is vegetarian italian with japanese presentation, combining the best of both worlds. amazing. excellent. creative. pleasing the eye as much as the palate. their coffee is also a treat.

the giardino pubblici di porta venezia are only two blocks due south; the perfect place for a digestive stroll, and, if you manage to avoid the whino benches, even a nice nap in the sun.

from the park take the southwest exit to start down via manzoni. this is greed central, where all the posh shoppers hustle through the emporio aramani, hugo boss, paul smith, prada stores, schlepping idiotic bags and walking ridiculous dogs on diamond studded leashes. quite sad actually, yet fun to watch as you …

giovanni galli, marroni candite e fondants

via victor hugo, 2 – 20123 milano – 02 86 46 4833

… walk straight ahead and then swing east some – this way you’ll be able to avoid the dome area with its masses of tourists crawling through the tourist traps in superslowmotion – and you’ll end up right near chocolate heaven, a store called giovanni galli. they produce chocolate in house, but also sell an excellent selection of chocolate from around the world. domori, lahalla, etc. after you stocked up on chocolate there’s not much else to do in this part of town, so …

amandola, salumeria, rosticceria, gastronomia, tavola calda
villa della spiga, 50 – 20121 milano – 02 76 02 1657

… it’s time to slowly head back north again, general direction trainstation. this time taking a sideroad will take you to the gastronomia amandola, that sells the most excellent pasta i have ever eaten. you’ll find nothing fancy here, no lemon-scented ravioli with peppermint-ricotta fillings. just the basics. tortellini aspargus-ricotta. ravioli with squash filling. brilliant for its simplicity.

time for some ice-cream? grab a cone and hit the park again for some late afternoon chilling. i have not found a totally outstanding ice-cream place yet, so i won’t recommend one. but almost any gelati you’ll find in milano is quite good. (i am told gelateria magenta on via magenta is the best in milano, but that would be too far from here)

now head back to via panfillo castaldi, to a place called la tavola pugliese, a gastronomia selling specialty foods from the southern region of puglia, one of the most underrated regional kitchens in italy. here you can buy some provisions for the trainride home. they have pies, pastas and backed goods, but they also whip up a simple panini with cheese from a great selection. (sorry no adress here, since i forgot to take their card. but it’s very simple to find, two blocks east from joia on the opposite side of the street.)

art factory cafe & ristorante
via andrea doria, 17 – milano – 02 66 94 587

around five all the bars start to set up for happy hour, for an apperitivo and snacks. the snacks are presented in huge set-ups, the bars really trying to outdo eachother. art factory cafe is great because it serves great snacks, but also because its only a 5 minute walk to the train statio. later this place will be buzzing with a hip young urban crowd, but around 6 things are quiet enough to zip a chinotto or whatever in peace.

(all these locations are in walking distance from the main train station in milano)

About the Author

Jan Zuppinger has been writing this blog since 2002. He likes to grow vegetables. He likes to eat them too. He has opinions on everything, but sadly no one cares. Jan Zuppinger is not joking, just joking, he is joking, just joking, he's not joking. *click.