After two weeks staying in Milan, I found out that the Milanese locals really fancy using the word “equilibrio”, meaning “equilibrium” in English. Depending on the context, it usually refers to balance, a middle point, or perhaps perfection. And now I have found the most accurate word to describe my experience in Milan. It is all about the balance.
Like every other big international city, Milan is definitely chaotic sometimes. Traffic and all-year-round fog become a part of the Milanese identity. Here, the Northern Italians who are known for respecting punctuality and efficiency might actually disappoint cliché tourists for their non-Italianess. To me, Milan’s answer to”la dolce vita” is simply smart and respectful. It is the golden middle doctrine, not too lazy, but no rush. The Milanese are definitely in the know of gastronomy, cafe culture, art and design, and all the other disciplines that build out the Italian identity that we are familiar with. They spend the weekdays working hard, sipping espresso, and all weekends hanging out with friends without notion of time. It’s the balance that keeps the city so charming.
This weekend, I explored the Navigli neighborhood famous for aperitifs and design cafés. It was a typical rainy day, but the vintage market is still going strong. Antique accessories, vintage clothes, housing furnitures…They have everything that you and your grandma both defined as “beauty”. Orto Botanico di Brera, is another my surprising find. This hidden gem, tucked away from the Brera museum district, is probably the most tranquil spot in the heart of the city.