Meet your local guide in Milan: Silvia

This month we have the amazing Silvia! Meet your local guide in Milan and let her guide you through the districts of the city.

Read on and get to know more about her!

Name:  Silvia

Meet your local guide: Silvia

Meet your local guide: Silvia

Nationality and Hometown? Italian, from Sondrio, very small town in the middle of the alps

Name of tour you lead and where: food walking tours in Brera and Navigli districts & segway tour

If you are not from the city you are based in for tours, what originally brought you there? I came to Milan because of the University

Your favorite part of the tour: the wine stop at Enoteca Cotti during the food tour: there you can learn part of the history of Brera and Milan. Plus it is a real heaven for wine lovers like me!

Favorite Local Restaurant in your city: I love aperitivo at le fonderie milanesi, an old industrial structure of Milan with a lovely garden, used now as happy hour place; good variety of food at the buffet

One thing visitors to your city can’t miss: you should not miss a walk and a drink at Navigli district

Navigli District

Navigli District

Favorite Travel Quote? “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” Mark Twain (ps. I’m a sailor too… 😉 )

What’s next on your travel bucket list? in one month I’ll go to Cambodia, very excited about this trip

What is your favorite Italian city to travel to?  not sure about city, but as a region I would say Sicily, the only italian region with everything: art, beautiful sea, mountains, and 3 active volcanos!

What’s your best travel tip for those coming to visit Italy? try to interact with locals! Specially far from the city, go to small villages and feel the good vibes

What’s the food that someone must try in your city before leaving? in Milan, risotto with ossobuco. But if you go one day to Valtellina (my homeland) don’t miss pizzoccheri!

Pizzoccheri

Pizzoccheri

What’s the most memorable experience you’ve had on one of your tours? Well there are so memorable experience but I love seeing the expression of people when tasting the best food of Milan

What do you like most about leading tours? I love meeting people from all over the world…my favourite tours are when I start with a group of strangers and at the end of the tour people are exchanging phone numbers and contacts

What makes your tour unique? I want to make everyone feel like a local and fully enjoy the city!

Is Milan your next destination? Do you want to what is the best way to discover the city? Through our Milan Food Tour! Join Silvia during the tour and taste the best food!

A real example of the classic Italian pastries: Cannoncini

To not confuse with the Sicilian Cannolo, the Cannoncini are a real example of the classic Italian pastries in the world. They consist of tube-shaped shells of puff pastry filled with a sweet and creamy filling.

The cannoncini, called also as Cannoli Piemontesi are generally decorated with biscuit grains or with Nocciola Piemonte, a variety of nuts typical from this region of Italy.

The preparation of these pastries is very simple and few steps you obtain little delicious pastries to share with your lovers.

Cannoncini

Cannoncini

Here below how to create your homemade cannoncini: 

Ingredients for 13 cannoncini:

  • 230gr ready puff pastry
  • 1 egg
  • Sugar q.s.

Ingredients for the filling:

  • 250ml milk
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 25gr fine-ground flour
  • ½ vanilla pod
  • 75gr sugar

To garnish:

  • Nuts grain q.s.

Preparation of the wafers:

How to shape

How to shape

Take the roll of puff pastry and cut some strips (about 2,5-3cm wide and 30cm long) using a cooking wheel. Scramble the egg and use it to paint the puff pastry in all of its length without covering the edges. Use a stamp for cannoli to obtain the shape desired and paint the surface with the egg. Sprinkle the sugar on the cannoncini and lay them on a grill laid on the oven baking-pan. Bake the cannoncini for about 18-20 minutes at 200°. When ready let them completely cool down.

Preparation of the filling:

Heat up the milk and vanilla in a saucepan, in a bowl knid egg yolks and sugar and then add flour. With pliers take the vanilla from the milk and pour the liquid into the mixture and knid all together. Put the mixture on the flame and knid it until the cream will thicken. Transfer the cream in a bowl and let it cool down.

To finish:

Once the cream is cold, fill the cannoncini with the cream using a pastry cook pocket. Complete the dessert with the nuts and serve them.

Different toppings - Sicilian Cannoli

Different toppings – Sicilian Cannoli

Suggestion: fill the cannoncini only before serving them in order to not lose their characteristic crunchiness and it is not suggested to freeze them.

Nowadays the cannoncini might not be known as the Sicilian cannoli but that every food lover should taste them once in Italy.

Where can you taste them? Come to Milan and join our incredible Food Tour!

Meet your local guide in Milan: Veronica

Here we go again with another interesting interview! This time we go back to Milan and meet the local guide Veronica. Enthusiastic to meet new people coming all over the world, during the tour Veronica will make you feel at home!

So continue to read and learn more about her!

Hi! I'm Veronica

Hi! I’m Veronica

Name:  Veronica

Nationality and Hometown? Italian, I was born and live in Busto Arsizio, a little country not far from Milan.

Name of tour you lead and where: I lead all the tours available in Milan, in the specific: Food tours, Segway tours, the Duomo tour and the street art and tasting tour.

If you are not from the city you are based in for tours, what originally brought you there? I studied at the university in Milan and fell in love with the city!

Your favorite part of the tour: Interacting with people coming all over the world

Favorite Local Restaurant in your city: The Osteria dei Vecchi Sapori in Isola district.

One thing visitors to your city can’t miss: Duomo and its magnificent architecture, details and history

Favorite Travel Quote?  Travel, eat, chill, repeat!

What’s next on your travel bucket list? Messico

What is your favorite Italian city to travel to?  The Eternal City of Rome

What’s your best travel tip for those coming to visit Italy? Try to leave the city not only like a tourist but also like a local and breathe the different atmosphere you find everywhere

Risotto alla Milanese

Risotto alla Milanese

What’s the food that someone must try in your city before leaving? Milanese risotto

What’s the most memorable experience you’ve had on one of your tours? One of the clients recently was so impressed by the Duomo that started crying in front of its beauty.

What do you like most about leading tours? Getting in contact with many different cultures and stories

What makes your tour unique? I always try to let clients feel like at home among friends

During the Milan Food Walking Tour

During the Milan Food Walking Tour

If Milan is your next destination and you are interested in some Italian tasting experience, book with us your Milan Food Tour and ask for Veronica! Promise, you won’t regret it!

The authentic Focaccia di Recco with cheese

The authentic Focaccia di Recco with cheese

This authentic Ligurian recipe, the Focaccia with cheese, is a specialty of Recco that young and old love a lot.

Its history dates back to the third Crusade, when the farmers of Recco were obliged to seek refuge in the hinterland and had only available water, bran flour, oil and cheese. They created this delicious recipe and since then it became part of the local and gastronomic heritage. In the 1997, the brand “Authentic Focaccia with Cheese of Recco” was created and since 1955, in Recco, the “Festa della Focaccia” is celebrated every year during the last week of May.

Are you interested in its recipe? It’s so easy to make, so come on, read on and follow the instructions!

Focaccia di Recco with Cheese

Focaccia di Recco with Cheese

Ingredients for the dough :

  • 400g Manitoba Flour
  • 250ml Water
  • 10g Salt
  • 40ml Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Ingredients for the filling:

  • 30ml Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 10g Salt
  • 500g Stracchino

Procedure:

A portion of Focaccia

A portion of Focaccia

  1. Mix water (at room temperature) and oil in a carafe and melt the salt.
  2. Start to knead the ingredients and add 1 spoon of flour at a time.
  3. Continue to knead until you obtain a smooth and elastic dough.
  4. Move the dough on a work surface area slightly oiled and form a rectangular portion. Then wrap it and leave it in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours.
  5. Grease with oil a 35x25cm baking tray.
  6. Take the dough and divide it in two parts. Stretch out one part with a rolling pin until you form a puff pastry of 2mm. Transfer it on the baking tray and stretch very well every corners and sides.
  7. Put some pieces of stracchino, slightly distant from each other, with the help of a spoon.
  8. Stretch the other piece of dough and  lay it down on the baking tray covering the cheese.
  9. Remove the extra dough and pinch the edges with the fingers.
  10. Distribute the oil and the salt on the surface.
  11. Cook your Focaccia in a static oven at 250° for 15 minutes or in a ventilated oven for 8-10 minutes.
  12. Serve the Focaccia hot and savour how delicious it is.

ATTENTION: It is not advisable to conserve the focaccia in the frizer.

Focaccia with Cheese

Focaccia with Cheese

Don’t miss the chance to taste the original one during our Milan Street Art and Food TourYou are gonna love it! Book now with us! We are waiting for you in Milan.

The best aperitivo in Milan

The best aperitivo in Milan

Happy spring everyone! Weather is already getting good here in Italy and aperitivo time is just at its best! Finally, tables can be also outside and sunlight is on until 7 pm already! A great joy for all the locals here, who just wait for the moment in which they can enjoy their evening drinks outdoor.

best aperitivo in milan

While in Italy, keep your eyes open! You can find the best places where to have your aperitivo by looking at the crowd outside the bar. In case you want to be sure you get the right places, here is a short list for Milan!

Stylish aperitivo: Mag Cafè, Ripa di Porta Ticinese al 43

best aperitivo in milan

Right in the middle of Milanese nightlife, you’ll find plenty of places where you can have an aperitivo! This street, called also Naviglio Grande, can be really crowded and it might look hard to find the right place! At Mag Cafè you’ll find a cosy, hipster and welcoming atmosphere. It is one of the coolest bars where to have aperitivo and in one of the coolest place in Milan! Navigli is also one of the destinations of our tours! Check out all Milan Tours with us

The historical aperitivo, Bar Basso, via Plinio 39

best aperitivo in Milan

Bar basso is one of the oldest bars in Milan, where the famous Negroni sbagliato was invented. The place still nowadays holds the charm of the past days and yet the sparkle of the contemporary way of Italian living. The neighbourhood itself is nothing particularly interesting but the bar itself really has something special!

 

Nature in town: Un Posto a Milano, via Cuccagna 2/4

best aperitivo in Milan

This place used to be an old Cascina, nordic Italian style farm and still has the same structure, only that it stands in the middle of a residential area of the city! Here the hard-working people from Milan gather at aperitivo time for some chit-chat en plein air. They don’t actually serve buffet for the aperitivo, but you can get great cocktails and ask a tagliere (dish of cold cuts and cheese). (If you still don’t know what a tagliere is, it is time you join us for a food tour in Milan, check it out!)

Brera district: N’ombra de vin,  Via San Marco, 2

best aperitivo in milan

In the amazing neighbourhood of Brera (one of our favourite tours destinations) you can find tons of interesting places so let your heart guide you! My heart usually brings me here: beautiful wine bottles and wide big tables that can host big groups of friends. Not to speak about the location: it is just the cripta of what used to be a Church! I love Italy when it mixes history and contemporary traditions. 

Italian Christmas traditions: from North to South

Christmas is coming… It’s time to enter this joyful moment of the year, during which everything is lightened and colorful.

And yet I really want all of you who are planning to visit Italy this time of the year to be ready, so let me just introduce the topic, would you? There is something very important to keep in mind when talking about Christmas Italian traditions: there is not such a thing as a single tradition! This is the very first thing to know when talking about Christmas in Italy! If you don’t trust me, you can ask about it to any of our tour guides along our Food Tours, they’ll surely confirm!

 Italian Christmas Traditions

As for many other things, food is a profound marker of Italy’s regional differences. In our country, every single region is proudly rich of its own local culture. One example? Panettone can be bought in any supermarket in Italy, but it is originally baked in the North! There will be no Southern nonna baking it at home!

 Italian Christmas Traditions

The same thing goes for tortellini, which are a tradition of Central Italy, usually homemade for big occasions. During Christmas time, tortellini are prepared in brodo, (in broth) and are served on Christmas day, and might be followed by bollito misto (a mix of boiled meat with special sauces and pickles).

 capitone_umido-986x400

Less famous are the Southern Italy Christmas traditions: in Rome and Neaples for example capitone is a must (even said anguilla in Italian, eel in English). This tradition most probably comes from Neaples, which lays by the sea and make therefore fish available quite easily. Some tried to associate it symbolically to a way of “eating” the devil, since the sneak-like shape of eel. Anyhow, the most traditional families buy the capitone on the 23rd, still alive, to cook it on the 24th. Indeed Capitone is eaten on Christmas eve, since it is a well-known rule widespread all around the country that it is better to eat fish on this day.

 Italian Christmas Traditions

Also typical of most of the Southern regions (Campania, Pulia, Calabria) are the zeppole (also called struffoli in some areas). This dessert is as simple as delicious: it is basically fried sweet bread dough. As easy it may sound, it represents a basic and yet strictly present part of the Christmas eve table. The Southern you go along the boot-shaped country, the wider the variety of sweets gets! Usually, a selection of fruits, both dried and fresh, are offered too (with a copious assortment of nuts). Better to keep it in mind if you ever happen to be invited to an Italian Christmas table, so that you can keep some appetite for the last course!

 

There are many other traditional Italian Christmas dishes! Don’t be shy, be curious and ask more during our Food Tours! Stay tuned for some luscious r

Italy Food Culture presents: “Meet your local guide: Daniele!”

Italy Food Culture presents: “Meet your local guide: Daniele from Milano!”

We’ve been away for awhile but are now back with new entries and new posts! This time we’re taking you to Milan to meet Daniele a witty and personable local guide, that is waiting just for you, to make the most of your visit!

"Hi, this is me!"

“Hi, this is me!”

Name:  Daniele Umberto Lampasona

Nationality and Hometown? I’m originally from Catania, but live in Milan.

Name of tour you lead and where:  I’m in charge of leading the food tours and beer tours. Yes, beer too, because Italian craft beers are terribly good and won’t disappoint any beer lover!

If you are not from the city you are based in for tours, what originally brought you there? As many other families, also mine moved for work reasons from south of Italy to Milan, the richest city of our country. I was 1 year old, so basically…I followed them.

Your favorite part of the tour:  My favourite part is the wine tasting at the enoteca (italian word for wine shop): it’s always a wonderful shop, with wonderful people… and certainly wonderful wine! 

Favorite Local Restaurant in your city:  Rather than a specific place, I prefer recommending neighbourghoods where to live an experience. So I like to suggest the Navigli area and Brera – my favourites – which are so full of restaurants and each focusing on different products, that you can just go there and literally follow your nose.

"The best part of the terraces is the view!"

“The best part of the terraces is the view!”

One thing visitors to your city can’t miss: Going up to the roof of the Duomo (here’s useful link to book a Duomo tour) and actually walking on its tiles. It’s hard to find a similar opportunity in the whole world, and the view from up there is amazing!

What’s next on your travel bucket list? Next week I’m going to Lithuania!

What is your favorite Italian city to travel to?   I’m totally in love with Rome: there are so many things to see and to do that. Although I’ve lived there for a while and I’ve visited it many other times, I always find something new around!

What’s your best travel tip for those coming to visit Italy? Clear your mind from stereotypes and relax.

"mmm...this is mouthwatering delicious"

“mmm…this is mouthwatering delicious”

What’s the food that someone must try in your city before leaving? The combo ossobuco with saffron risotto is a must!

What’s the most memorable experience you’ve had on one of your tours? Having a prosciutto tasting with some people from Australia who were prosciutto producers and we discussed about all the varieties and the differences between the Australians and Italians cured meet, most memorable!

What do you like most about leading tours? The possibility to learn from each person in my tour groups.

What makes your tour unique? A light and funny atmosphere, seasoned with deep knowledge of the tour. And of course, my hair! 😉

#LasagnaForEveryone: an easy lasagna recipe

There is something about lasagnas that I really can’t tell. As if it could embody all the flavors and all that makes up Italian identity. Lasagnas  is home…

Now, lasagnas  is almost everywhere in the world, but please, please, please do stay away from bad imitations! That doesn’t mean it has to be complicated! You can prepare lasagnas yourself following this very easy lasagna recipe, without spoiling it with shortcuts.

Lasagna: the best of Italian Food

It won’t be like the one you can have in Italy, but it will get really close to it. Have you tasted the best lasagna in Milan? You will have the chance of trying the real authentic taste of this dish at Pastificio Moscova!

Ingredients

Extra virgin olive oil

1 pound lean ground beef

1 pound pork sausage

1  can tomato Sauce

1  can tomato Paste

1  canned chopped tomatoes

1 glass of red wine

1 celery stalck

1 carrot

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 middle-size onion

1 teaspoon of sugar

Salt and black pepper to taste

3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

2/3 cups grated Parmesan cheese

9 lasagna noodles, cooked and drained

800 ml of béchamel sauce 

The best way of making lasagna is to cook the ragù sauce a day before. It is just a matter of fact: it tastes so much better the day after. To prepare the ragù heat some extra virgin olive oil in a large pan or a pot (where all of your sauce will fit in the end) and add diced garlic, onion, carrot, parsley and celery. This is the base for most of Italian sauces and the ingredients added are called odori all together. Let them fry for some minutes and then add the ground beef and the sausage over medium heat until browned. That’s where the wine comes in. Over high heat, add a generous glass of red wine until completely absorbed. Add tomato sauce, tomato paste, diced tomatoes, sugar, salt and black pepper. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer and cook uncovered for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally. Now if you have time, the longer your ragù cooks, the better it will taste. So if you have some time, let it cook even for few hours over low heat. You can add water any time you see that it is necessary for the sauce to remain of the right texture: not too dry and not too liquid.

easy lasagna recipe

Once the ragù is ready, let it cool for some minutes (or wait the day after if you can). Preheat the oven at around 180 °/ 356 F. Your lasagnas is almost ready! Start with a layer of lasagna noodles in an ungreased 9 X 13 inch baking dish, then spread the first layer of meat sauce,  few generous spoons of béchamel and parmesan. Repeat layers and top with last 3 noodles and the remaining sauce. Sprinkle with remaining béchamel sauce and cover everything with a nice layer of grated  parmesan. Bake for around 50 minutes. Let stand 15 minutes before serving. And here you are!

easy lasagna recipe

 Enjoy and do not add anything on it!!!! It will taste just wonderful the way it is! ;).  An easy lasagna recipe that will help us spreading the right lasagnas taste all around the world!!!! And if you pass by Milan, to join us and taste the best lasagna in Milan!

 

Warm up your winter with an Italian cappuccino

What’s better than a hot, foamy cappuccino to start the day?

Hot cappuccino

Hot cappuccino

For us, cappuccino is like morning fuel, it’s absolutely necessary to start the day and it has to be foamy, creamy and hot. Italians are used to good food and they are extremely demanding about it. After all, a good cappuccino can make your day and a bad one, on the other hand, may ruin it.

The secret for a perfect cappuccino is the foam that should come in a rich, creamy and consistent layer. You can ask for some cocoa powder or cinnamon on top.

But what is this cappuccino? Basically consider that is based on a regular espresso, milk and foamed milk. The creamy foam strictly requires whole milk.

The perfect pairing for a perfect breakfast is with a buttery, fragrant brioche. Yes, we know that the correct name for this pastry is croissant, but we call it brioche anyway. If you want to feel and act like a real local, try to order breakfast standing at the counter and saying: Cappuccino e brioche, per favore!

Usually we don’t order a cappuccino in the afternoon since it’s considered a breakfast drink. I mean, they’ll serve it to you but if you want to feel like locals, don’t order it after 11 a.m. ;-).

cappuccino-e-brioche

cappuccino-e-brioche

But what’s the origin of this drink? First of all, the name literally means hood, or rather small hood, since it recalls the brown color of the habits used by the Capuchin friars. The first version of this drink appeared for the very first time in Wien, where the first cafés were opened in 18th century and where once a Capuchin friar, asked the barman to mild his coffee with some milk and spices. The first cappuccino was born.

When Austrian have conquered the central and northeastern Italian territories, they  brought with them their habits, “Kapuziner” included, and it became popular mostly in the area of Trieste.

Actually the cappuccino as we know it, descends from these first versions, but has some differences and it became popular only from the beginning of the 20th century, when the first coffee machines were patented by a brilliant, young Italian mechanic born and raised in Milan: Luigi Bezzera. From then on, it has spread all over the world!

Being so proud of our fellow citizen (and being cappuccino addicted), we couldn’t not include this drink in our Food Tour in Milan. The first stop of the tour is in a bakery that smells like fresh bread where we taste cappuccino and a sweet pastry. Drooling? Come and taste a cappuccino in Milan with us!

We bet that now you’re dying for a cappuccino 🙂

MEET YOUR GUIDE IN MILAN: PAOLO

Paolo, your guide in Milan

Come meet Paolo, your guide in Milan!

On our monthly interview we’ll introduce you to your guide in Milan, if you’re going to book a Food Walking Tour he’ll be the one showing you around!

Name: Paolo

Nationality and Hometown? I’m Italian, a genuine, native Milanese!

Name of tour you lead and where: I lead the Milan Food Walking Tour, to introduce you to our culinary traditions and history.

Why you chose to become a touristic guide? I am a tour guide because I love Milan and I want to share its history with you, who come to visit this wonderful city!

Your favorite part of the tour: I can’t tell which is my favorite, because each stop of the tour has its distinctive traits and the owners of the shops where the tastings take place, are nice and friendly and all with a different story to tell. Just walking about Brera district is an experience!

Pizza al Padellino

Favorite Local Restaurant in your city: The pizza by slice of Pizzeria Gaffurio, cooked in the “padellino” with a wood oven! Perfect for a quick meal at the end of the day or between tours.

One thing visitors to your city can’t miss: Milan has many beauties. The monuments and churches of the city are marvelous, but if I have to choose I’d say: the Duomo, the Sant’Ambrogio Basilica and the Navigli (canals, “i canali”) area

Favorite Travel Quote? “I am not the same having seen the Moon shine on the other side of the world” by Mary Anne Radmacher. The sky isn’t the same from everywhere but the only way to find that out is to travel the world.

What’s next on your travel bucket list? On my bucket list’s top is the Trip, with capital “t”: I’m planning to take the Trans Mongolian Express!

Lodi

What’s your best travel tip for those coming to visit Italy? Save a day to visit a small medieval town. People tend to admire only the visible, forgetting what is used to be like before the grandeur of the marbles. In Italy there are many medieval villages and all are beautiful and all are worth spending one of your days visiting.

What’s the food that someone must try in your city before leaving?

Risotto Giallo (Zafferano)

The saffron risotto, without a doubt. Make sure to eat at least once the “risotto giallo” the traditional and most representative dish of Milano.

What’s the most memorable experience you’ve had on one of your tours? Well, all the tours are unique so it’s hard to tell. What makes the tour worth leading though, is when someone tells me the they never thought that Milan could be so fascinating!

What do you like most about leading tours? What else but meeting people from all around the world, a refreshing experience to compare customs and tradition of one another’s country!