There is something rather voyeuristic about going on food tours, I always feel as if I'm sneaking into someone else's life, in this case, the life of someone who lives and breathes Milan and knows it's ins and outs and all it's beautiful nuances. On this tour, you get taken into seven different locales ranging from a gelateria to prosciutteria, and you'll be immersed in ambiances from trendy to antique. One thing is certain- you would never stumble upon these places on your own, and even if you did, you wouldn't know what to order. Our guide was Mirella who is piemontese but has lived in Milan for more than ten years which proved to be perfect because she personally went through the long-drawn process of discovering the city all those years ago and hand-picked all of the stops on the tour.
It was an incredible way to spend three-hours on a Saturday in Milan. Not only do you get to stuff your belly with food, you also get to hear Mirella's antidotes about Milanese culture as she points out highlights around the Brera neighbourhood that you trek on foot. One of my favorite stories was how she told us about wealthy Italian ladies who sometimes take their own pans to the Antico Pastificio Moscova (one of the stops) to be filled with a made-from-scratch lasagna. They then can take their pan home to their businessmen husbands and pretend that they slaved away all day in the kitchen (when really they went shopping on Via Montenapoleone all afternoon). Food highlights for me included my cannella (cinnamon) and zenzero (ginger) gelato, the cuts of 27-month aged prosciutto and culatello (to take an entire one home would cost you upwards of 400 Euros!), and hanging out at Princi amongst the most fashionable and attractive crowd I've ever seen (although it was Fashion Week at the time, so that might explain things). The other part about this food tour that made it fun was the fact that you get to socialize with extremely interesting, like-minded people who are typically lovers of food and travel. It's an absolute hoot to sip aperitivi and share stories in the company of people who have also been all over the world.
My Top 5 Tips for Going on the Milan Food Tour:
1. Don't eat breakfast: I made the mistake of stopping for a cappuccino and cornetto before heading to the stop because I was starving, don't do it! The first stop will be your breakfast.
2. Make sure you don't have big plans afterwards: You will be either drunk or so full that you won't be able to move, or both. Come prepared to have a few drinks, it's five o'clock somewhere anyways!
3. Bring your camera: So many great food photo opportunities as you'll see below.
4. Wear your walking shoes: There is definitely walking involved so make sure you're comfortable.
5. Be fashionable: The last stop is the Princi (a trendy eatery) location next to Corso Como and it's a pretty fashionable area of the city. If you want to hang out at the end of the tour, best be dressed the part or risk being kicked out (just kidding, but you'll feel more local if you have a nice pair of shoes, overcoat, and sunglasses...!).
A huge grazie mille Mirella and Milan Food Tours, it was a literal slice! Now for the best part, scroll down for all the food photographs...!
Besides Milan, the company also provides tours in Florence and Rome. Click the button below to contact them by e-mail. You can also reach them at +39 0552398855 or at www.milanfoodtours.com.