As described in our last article when we interviewed our Florence Food Tour leader, we are rolling out a periodic “Meet Your Guide” interview series for those of you curious about food tours and our foodie guides in Italy. As promised, this edition features one of our guides from Milan- a true gem in the fashion capital of Milano!
Nationality and Hometown?
I’m a proud Italian and I live in Milan
Name of tour you lead and where:
Milan Food Walking Tour
If you are not from the city you are based in for tours, what originally brought you there?
I was born and raised in Piedmont the region of wine and truffles, I decided to move to Milan after I graduated in Archaeology, to get a specialization in medieval archaeology, I fell in love with this city and I decided to stay.
Your favorite part of the tour:
I love to see the faces of my clients when they taste the food, it makes me so proud of our food traditions and of our culture. Moreover, I like to introduce my clients to the city, to show them the real face of Milan, what we do where we go…our habits, I love to make them feel like they were locals going around with a friend.
Favorite Local Restaurant in your city:
In Milan restaurants, bars, shops change quick and there’s always something new to discover. My favorite restaurant? It depends on my mood, for a hip night out, in this moment, I’d say the Dry, a combination between modernity and tradition, a mix between a pizzeria and a cocktail bar, trendy but affordable with a very cosmopolitan vibe and delicious food. When I want a casual atmosphere and to feel like at home, I choose one of the old and simple trattorias that is still possible to find in Milan, like Il Brutto Anatroccolo, Da Martino or the Trattoria Sabbioneda.
One thing visitors to your city can’t miss:
I know it could sound ordinary, but absolutely the cathedral. The Duomo is the symbol of the city, a summary of the history of this city since the building has lasted seven centuries, it passed through wars and domination and each historical episode left a mark on it. Every time I climb on the top and see the statues from closer and the city from above, I feel lucky.
Favorite Travel Quote?
“Man’s real home is not a house, but the Road, and that life itself is a journey to be walked on foot” by Bruce Chatwin one of my favorite writers and an archaeologist himself.
What’s next on your travel bucket list?
During the year I love to spend weekends visiting cities, in summer…anywhere in Mediterranean area: Italy, Greece, Spain, I love this part of the world, is where our culture was born and this is the sea where Ulysses – my favorite literary character ever traveled.
What is your favorite Italian city to travel to?
Hard to say! I loved Venice when I’ve visited in the slow season and I felt as if I were in a 3D watercolor, but every time I see Rome I’m overwhelmed by the beauty and the “eternity” of this city.
What’s your best travel tip for those coming to visit Italy?
Come here with an open mind (and empty belly) and try to taste everything: beauty, smells, sun, experiences, food. Meet the locals, talk with them, look around the corner, just don’t stay on the surface.
What’s the food that someone must try in your city before leaving?
Well, Milan like all the Cosmopolitan cities is a food mecca so you can find the best in terms of quality and variety but at the end a good risotto is always a good risotto, so go in a local trattoria and order a Risotto alla Milanese!
What’s the most memorable experience you’ve had on one of your tours?
Actually every time is different and every time is memorable. When I’m at the end of a tour, I see the happy faces of my clients and that makes me feel that I’m a privileged doing this job.
What do you like most about leading tours?
I love the fact that when I’m doing a tour, I feel like I’m the gate between my city, my culture and other cultures. I love to tell about the food we taste and about the fact that everything is connected with other aspects, like the wine which is connected with the soil, with the weather and with the tradition. The name of the Mondeghili meatballs we offer during the tour for instance is connected with the Spanish domination, I truly love the fact that doing a food tour I can mix many aspects together.
What makes your tour unique?
The fact that takes place in a residential area, not touristic and still charming where is easy to follow the rhythm of the people living this city instead of the one of the compulsive city tours, the high quality of the food and the care we’ve put in selecting places and bites and yeah, the passion I put into it.
Want to taste and discover Milan with Mirella? Book a tasty Milan Food Tour and in the booking process, make sure to request this bubbly gem. Mirella knows her stuff, for sure!