Aperitivo and Nighlife, Milanese Style

PR manager Gaetano Lopez gives Where readers suggestions to discover the city by night

Each month PR Manager Gaetano Lopez gives Where Milan readers suggestions to discover the city by night, ending with a tip: to make the most of what’s new on the nightlife scene and to book that special evening... ask your Concierge!

Milan is the home of the Aperitivo and it is most definitely a ritual which no Milanese is prepared to forego. Favourite beverages consumed during this beloved tradition include the city’s renowned Martini, Prosecco or Campari, accompanied by an all-you-can-eat buffet. A myriad of venues, ranging from the smallest bars to larger, uber-chic locations situated in the heart of the city, organize this event.

There are 3 types of venues: design bars (Just Cavalli, Armani, Dolce&Gabbana Gold, Il Gattopardo Café), traditional bars (the places that have written Milan’s history including Bar Zucca and Caffè Biffi in Galleria Vittorio Emanuele, Cova in via Montenapoleone and Bar Magenta for a younger crowd); and, the latest trend, all luxury hotel bars. There are three main areas dedicated to nighttime entertainment featuring a concentration of venues:

  • Navigli District: An area characterized by places offering live music, patronized by artists, models, musicians and university students. Must-try options are its boat bars and the area’s old osterie where you can sample an array of wines, cold cuts and typical cheeses.
  • Brera District: An historic area boasting a warren of characteristic venues offering live music and, believe it or not, fortune-tellers who are happy to predict your future, for a small fee.
  • Garibaldi District & Corso Como: This is Milan’s most fashionable area by night, where, not only will you find a bevy of pizzerie, restaurants, pubs and discotheques, but also possibly chance upon showbiz celebs and sports heroes.

Get in to the most exclusive clubs. First and foremost, Armani Privé in the Montenapoleone area, where you can club ‘til dawn amidst VIPs, business magnates and Milanese jet-setters. And, then again, Just Cavalli Restaurant & Club, set against the backdrop of Parco Sempione, recently elected “The Best Club in The World” in Monte Carlo, featuring ultra-exclusive parties and international stars hailing from all parts of the globe. Also worth a visit is the highly unusual Gattopardo Club, a deconsecrated church often used for film shoots.

Another of my favourites is the recently opened, ultra-trendy Club Byblos which is already becoming a cult venue. And, finally landmark club, Hollywood (Corso Como), which stays open until the wee hours of the morning.