A Rough Guide To Milan
Friday, 14th Oct 2016 13:22
For those of you going to Milan we bring you a few tips on going to Italy and getting cultural benefit.
Milan is in Italy which is in Europe, the national dish is Pasta with Pizza being a very close runner up, all restaurants are required by law to serve either one or the other, but most serve both, it is very difficult to get any other type of cuisine, traditional English dishes like Steak, Curry or a Kebab are only sold in specialist restaurants and are very expensive
The capital is Rome and as the saying goes all roads lead to Rome. That being the case, be very careful when driving from the airport to Milan, if you see what appears to be a ruined football stadium or the Pope then you have probably missed your turning by about 400 miles, oh and all the road signs are in kilometres.
On the subject of driving there are several things to be aware of, firstly unlike the UK they do not drive on the left, unlike the rest of Europe they do not drive on the right, they drive wherever they want with no regard to other traffic or pedestrians, accept this and it is possible to cross the road although the chances of doing so without injury are slim.
One other thing to remember is that Italian army vehicles only travel in reverse, but can do so of speeds of up to 70 mph (roughly 120 kmph)
The language spoken is Italian, this is very similar to English in that it basically takes English words and adds A, O, E or I to them and hey presto you have the Italian dialect.
A few useful phrases include.
Whera isa the traina stazioni/ aeroporto
Uno birra Giovanni per favore (Most Italians are called Giovani)
Shaddupa your face
Italy is a Catholic Country and the biggest employer is the Church, approximately 43% of the male population are Priests and a similar percentage of females Nuns, it is best to respect this and not say anything against the Pope, if in doubt Genuflect.
The law is vaguely upheld by a Police force, this has two branches, the Smoking Police and the Carabinieri.
The Smoking Police only have one role and that is to stand around smoking and doing little else, all sort os things will happen around them, muggings, shootings, Mini's speeding dangerously overladen with gold bullion, yet they will do nothing other than shrug their shoulders.
The Carabinieri are slightly different, they also spend a lot of time standing around smoking, but they do it in a more heavily armed way and although they too will let crime happen in front of them and do nothing to prevent it, once it has happened they will steam in with a variety of weapons that make Russell Crow in Gladiator look like Andy Pandy.
Both branches of the Police also have no sense of humour and do not appreciate jokes.
Milan is served by two airports, the main one is Malpense, but this is 30 miles from Milan, to get to the City you need to take a train, this costs about 13 euros each way, although if you go online and buy in advance you can save money, journey time is 50 minutes.
Linate Airport is near the centre of Milan, you need to get a bus then you can get on the metro network.
Transport in Milan is 1.50 euros for a ticket that allows one journey including transfers within 90 minutes, or you can buy a day pass for 4.50 euros that allows 24 hour access to all metro, bus and trams within the Milan urban area.
There are other airports fairly close to Milan that could be more cost effective if someone is looking for a flight now, Venice for instance is 2 1/2 hours on the train at 19 euros each way, Florence and Pisa are similar times and distance etc.
Milan is the capital of Lombardy and has a city population of around 1.3 million which when included within the greater Milan area is over 3 million.
It has many tourist attractions including Leonardo's painting the last supper, this is in the Santa Maria delle Grazie and costs 10 euros to see, a little know fact about the last supper is that Jesus had to book a table for 26 because although there was only 13 of them they all wanted to sit on the same side.
Milan also has many Opera houses although it does not seem likely that many Saints supporters will be clamouring to get in.
Although Italy is more known for Wine and Perroni, it does have a variety of bars and many serve a lot more than just Perroni and have many international beers as well as local craft beers .
Prices range from around 4 euros in the more local type bars, through to 6 euros in the more glitzy establishments, with 5 euros being the standard price, at current exchange rates about £4.50-60 per pint, not much more than the going rate in London given that most of the beer is the premium 5% stuff.
One bar that could do a good trade is the football themed Four Four Two, this is at Via Procaccini, 61 in the Sempione area just to the north west of the City centre, a big sports bar with live games shown etc, it is the standard 5 euros per pint.
Another bar area is Navigli, this is just to the south west of the city centre and features many bars and restaurants next to a large canal, this is the place to be seen in Milan and you will be 5 euros and upwards for a pint.
Getting To The San Siro
The Stadium is located around 5km or 3 miles to the West of the City Centre, the easiest way to get there is by using the M5 purple Metro line to San Siro Ippodromo and San Siro Stadio, both a short walk from the stadium, journey time is 15 -20 minutes depending on what station you get on at.
Tram 16 goes from the centre to the stadium itself, this takes about 30 minutes.
The stadium itself is in a residential area of the city and there is little around although there are a few bars etc if you look closely, however most visiting fans tend to drink in the city and then get on the Metro.
As mentioned earlier the Italian Police are very reactive rather than pro active, they will let things happen and then wade in very violently with no real care for who gets in the way, they do not have a sense of humour and as they say take no prisoners.
Italian football supporters are very steeped in the Ultra's tradition, they tend to gather in the stadium early at their own end of the ground and are big on displays of support via synchronised chanting, pyrotechnics and big banners.
They are very well organised and are a little more sinister than most English football firms in that it is more a way of life than a hobby on a Saturday.
It can appear very intimidating and acts of violence although not prevalent always seem to be simmering, it is not advised for Saints supporters to wander round to the Curva Nord for a chat.
Another issue that has cropped up when foreign teams are in Italy is organised attacks on bars containing visiting supporters the night before the game, although this appears more common in Rome, be wary, it is not advised for small groups of supporters to make themselves known, either be in such numbers that they will not be able to mount attacks or have a quiet drink.
The nature of these attacks is very organised and very hit and run, keep your eyes peeled when standing outside a bar for any signs of groups of Milan fans.
Key Ultra Groups: Boys-San and Vikings
Other fangroups: Irriducibili (Unbreakables), Inter Ultras 1975, Brianza Aloolica (Brianza Alcoholics), Milano Nerazzurra (Black and Blue Milan), Boys Roma, Imbastici, Squilibrati (Unbalanced), Bulldogs, Pitbull, Decisi (Decided), Boys Veneto, Il 'Covo', Pessimi Elementi (Heavy Elements), Fo De Co (Milanese dialect for Out of Your Head).
All in all though Milan Ultra's concentrate more on fighting battles with words and gestures, indeed they have a pact of non aggression with AC Milan that has remained firm since 1983, instigated after a decade of violence that was spiralling out of hand and into the personal lives of the ultra's.
It should be a safe experience for Saints supporters as long as they keep their wits about them and are vigilant, it will help that the ground will be nowhere near full and possibly over a quarter of the crowd could be from Southampton judging by attendances in the recent past in the Europa League.
Keep coming back over the next few days as more information may be added to this article, also feel free to add your own tips about bars and the City etc in the comments section below.
Photo: Action Images
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