Davide Sonzogni is a Studio Coach with Rosetta Stone who hails from a beautiful city in northern Italy. I asked him about Milano, where he lived for 35 years, and he was happy to share his favorite places in that city.
What is your hometown?
My hometown is Milano, a city located in Lombardia, a region in the north of Italy.
What is this region known for?
Milano is the business capital of Italy. It is internationally recognized as one of the world’s fashion capitals. It is also renowned for industrial design and luxury furniture, among other things.
Can you name any specialty food dishes you grew up with?
Risotto alla milanese and tortelli di zucca are two of my favorite first courses—the former is a rice dish cooked with saffron, and the latter is ravioli with pumpkin filling. For second courses, we often ate breaded veal cutlet, which in Italian is called cotoletta alla milanese. Another family favorite is ossobuco, cross-cut veal shanks braised with vegetables, white wine, and broth. As for desserts, I really like tiramisù and panettone, a traditional Christmas cake. Typical wine pairings with these dishes are Spumante Franciacorta, Pinot Grigio, Lambrusco, Barbera, Bonarda, and Moscato.
What is the best café in Milano?
First, I’d say Cova, which has been open since 1817. It’s on Via Montenapoleone, one of the streets of the fashion district. Cova is pricey, but worth it. Then there’s Zucca, which is also very famous. It’s nearly 150 years old, and located on Piazza del Duomo.
Do you have a favorite museum in the area?
The Pinacoteca di Brera is my favorite. In this art gallery is a collection of beautiful Italian paintings. And, although it’s not a museum, I enjoy going to the refectory of the Convent of Santa Maria delle Grazie every once in a while and admiring The Last Supper by Leonardo da Vinci.
Are there any scenic parks in Milano that you would recommend?
I would recommend Parco Sempione. It’s adjacent to the magnificent Sforza Castle, which was the residence of the Duchy of Milan many centuries ago.
What is your favorite activity for a lazy Sunday afternoon in Milano?
There are so many events going on and things to do in Milano that is hard to have a lazy Sunday. I used to go downtown and walk along the streets of the fashion district and do some window-shopping. There are so many designer stores that you can spend hours there! Then I would continue walking toward Piazza del Duomo and all the way down to Corso Vittorio Emanuele, which is an impressive pedestrian-only area in downtown Milano.
Is there an event you would recommend that visitors attend?
I would recommend that sport fans go to San Siro Stadium for a soccer game. If you are an opera fan you should stop by La Scala, one of the most prominent opera houses in the world. If you’re in town in February or September, one of the events during the spring/summer or fall/winter fashion weeks would be a good choice. And, held in Milano in April, the Salone Internazionale del Mobile is the very interesting furniture trade fair.
In a word, how would you describe your hometown?