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La Bella Vita: Secret places in Milan and making the perfect moka coffee

Clare Speak
Clare Speak - [email protected]
La Bella Vita: Secret places in Milan and making the perfect moka coffee
An Italian moka coffee pot. Photo by Thanos Amoutzias on Unsplash

From visiting Milan's hidden treasures to getting the best out of your trusty Italian moka pot, our weekly newsletter La Bella Vita offers you an essential starting point for eating, talking, drinking and living like an Italian.


La Bella Vita is our regular look at the real culture of Italy – from language to cuisine, manners to art. This new newsletter will be published weekly and you can receive it directly to your inbox, by going to newsletter preferences in 'My Account' or follow the instructions in the newsletter box below.

Summer finally seems to be on the way, and we're more than ready for gelato, dining all'aperto, and long days at the beach. But summer in Italy also means unbearable crowds, particularly if you want to do some sightseeing on a trip to any major city.

Milan isn't always known for its artistic cachet, but the city has its fair share of tourist destinations which get extremely crowded during the warmer months: take the Duomo and Castello Sforzesco to name just two examples.

If you'd rather skip the long queues and dodge the selfie-stick waving crowds, there are plenty of other options which we think are just as interesting to visit.

Here are six of the northern city’s lesser-known attractions where you can soak up some culture and escape the tourist crush:

Six 'secret' places in Milan you need to visit

If you love Italian cuisine but don't live in Italy, you won't need us to tell you how difficult it can be to find Italian food abroad that passes as authentic.

Some readers rejoiced at the recent news that the Italian minister for 'agriculture and food sovereignty' had proposed the creation of an official ranking system for Italian restaurants abroad.


There's no doubt that sourcing quality raw ingredients, never mind finding acceptable restaurant versions of classic dishes, is generally a challenge.

Luckily though, the ratings system proposed by the agriculture minister already exists. And there are a few other things you could try if you’re craving well-executed Italian classics, but can’t make it back to Italy just yet:

EXPLAINED: How do you find good Italian food abroad?

Tracking down a good Italian restaurant abroad is not always easy. Photo by Gabriella Clare Marino on Unsplash

And who doesn't appreciate the classic Italian design of the Bialetti moka coffee pot?

This little gadget became an essential part of the morning routine for many Italian families after its invention in the 1930s and, if you live in Italy, chances are there's at least one in your kitchen right now. But do you know how to get the best possible coffee out of it?

Opinions on the best way to use the moka pot vary in Italy and this can, unsurprisingly, be the subject of heated debate. But here's what the experts had to say on the subject:

How to make the perfect Italian moka coffee at home


Though lots of popular English sayings are largely similar (or even identical) to their Italian equivalents, this is not always the case.

In fact, some Italian translations of famous English idioms can leave language learners perplexed.

From full barrels and drunk wives to catching fish in the morning, here are some of the creative ways in which the Italian language expresses the sentiments behind familiar English sayings:

REVEALED: The Italian versions of 11 famous English sayings

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