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Globus Hotel


Milan -- A Local Woman's Point-of-View


Read all about it...

If you plan to spend any time at all in Milan, the free monthly English-language newspaper Hello Milano is well worth seeking out. Not that you have to go far: copies are available from the Tourist Information Centre (APT) in the cathedral square (Via Marconi 1), as well as from many hotels and consulates. This newspaper-format publication offers a wealth of information, including listings of events that a non-Italian speaker might enjoy. Meanwhile, the front-page piece allows the reader precious insights into topical news issues. Want to see what it's all about before you get here? Check out the website:
Ed. note: Roberta writes an excellent column is this publication. Check it out!

Wine-tasting in Milan...

In addition to being a great place to buy wine -- with over 1,500 labels to choose from -- L'Altrovino, at 9 Viale Piave (tel: 02 780147, metro Porta Venezia) runs wine-tasting sessions on the first and third Thursdays of the month, from 6:00 to 9.00 pm. This is a very pleasant atmosphere in which to learn more about Italian wine, with the help of an extremely knowledgeable sommelier who lines up four or five examples from one wine-maker. Courses and special tasting sessions are also available at a reasonable price. L'Altrovino, which is open Tuesday to Saturday inclusive, 11.30 am - 8.00 pm also carries olive oil, as well as Debauve & Gallois chocolate.

Shuttle Bus to Designer Discount Outlet...

Gasping for Gucci? Love Loro Piana? Swear by Sergio Rossi? Adore Armani? It's not true what they say. You-can-have-it-all even if you don't have a huge clothing budget! Head for The Mall tucked away at Reggello, some 35 km from both Florence and Arezzo. Here, from 10.00 am to 7.00 pm, Monday to Saturday (also Sundays 3.00 -7.00 pm between March and the end of September), you can find a great deal of great deals. Last year's stock (but who's to know?) at the year-before's prices, samples, ends-of-lines, and so on. At Loro Piana, where you will find everything cashmere, a friend got a scrumptious soft-pink throw for a mere 300 Euro marked down from 1,000 Euro. Yves St. Laurent yielded up a pair of classic black pants that will be the mainstay of her wardrobe for years to come. At Armani, there were tops and shoes, dresses and trousers, accessories and leather. We could have bought the whole of Bottega Veneta, while the Sergio Rossi shoes we picked out will certainly help us step out in style.

If you have wheels, just take the A1 southbound from Florence, turn off at Incisa, and then head for Leccio on the road to Pontassieve. If you are not mobile, never fear, there's a shuttle bus service from Florence. For details on this and any other information you might need, contact The Mall (tel: 055 8657775, fax: 055 8657801).

Elevator etiquette...

If you happen to get into an elevator in Italy with other people and they all start saying what floor they're going to and asking you which floor you want, don't fret. It's because a great many Italian lifts operate on a system whereby the first button that is pushed is the first place the lift stops. So, if I am going further than you, but I press first, we go "all" the way up. And then you have to come "all" the way back down. This is why passengers state their plans. This way, a running order is established, with one person usually doing all the pushing of buttons.

English speaking hairdresser...

If you are staying in Italy for a while, you may need to get to a hairdresser. While an English-speaking hairdresser is the obvious choice if you don't speak Italian, there is another advantage. Traditionally, Italian women went to the hairdressers' every week to get their hair washed and set. This being the case, the cut was not important since the hairdresser was able to work wonders with brush, hairdryer, and products. While many Italian women now do their own hair, many hairdressers' training is still in the traditional style.

This is why British- and American-trained stylists are so much in demand here in Milan. Sure they give good chat, but they also have the cutting skills that ensure your hair is definitely wash-and-wear.

As far as I am aware, Toni & Guy is the only Anglo chain to operate in Italy. You'll find them in Milan at Via Vincenzo Monti, (Tel 02 48021737). Give yourself a treat!




More about weekends in the country, Italian taxi etiquette
and finding an English speaking doctor...



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