Internazionale are one of European football’s powerhouses, and their famous black and blue stripes are known the world over. Formed after separating from their city rivals AC Milan in 1908, the club have an incredibly impressive domestic and European record, and are the now the only side never to be relegated from Serie A – Juventus had also held this honour until they were relegated to Serie B following the recent match-fixing scandal.
If you’re heading out to Milan, you’ll probably find it useful to know how to get around, where to go drinking, and what to expect from Italy’s second city. The Football Supporters’ Federation has teamed up with CFCnet to bring you the low-down on all things Milan.
Getting around Milan is pretty simple, since it has a well-organised and reasonably efficient public transport network. The Metro has 3 lines, MM1 (Rossa/Red), MM2 (Verde/Green), and MM3 (Gialla/Yellow). There are a further 3 lines under construction, but these won’t be open until well into the next decade. There is also a network of overground trams, as well as a bus network.
Single tickets cost €1 and are valid for up to 75 minutes. You can buy one and two day tickets (€3/€6 respectively) for use on all public transport, and we’d recommend these for nipping around town, as well as getting to and from the ground.
The San Siro
The stadium is located in the west end of the city, unsurprisingly in the district of San Siro (which lends its name to the ground). Although officially renamed in honour of Guiseppe Meazza, a great of both Inter and AC Milan, it is still commonly referred to as the San Siro.
The San Siro is reachable by metro and by tram. Take the metro line MM1 towards Molino Dorino and alight at Lotto-Fiera2. By tram, simply get on line 16 from Cathedral Square.
The largest ground in Italy (current capacity just over 80,000), it was constructed in the mid 1920s as a home for AC Milan. Its first match, in 1926, saw Inter defeat AC Milan 6-3. Inter have been tenants at the stadium since 1947.
Food and Drink
A great deal of the nightlife is found around the Navigli quarter, which are the man-made canals in central Milan; near Piazza XXIV Maggio, and also in the Brera quarter. Cafés and bars are liberally dotted around the city, though, so you’re never far from getting a pint.
If you’re staying for a couple of nights, it might be worth familiarising yourself with the Milanese tradition of ‘apperitivo’, which roughly equates to ‘happy hour’. The locals will often head out in the early evening, typically between 7 and 9, to have a quick cocktail before heading out to dinner, or heading on for the rest of the night’s drinking. Many bars will offer special deals at this time, and also lay on free buffet food – it’s a great time to fill yourself up cheaply!
If you’re looking for more of a typical footie fan experience, then you’ll probably stumble into an Irish bars.
Pogue Mahone’s Irish Pub (if you’ll forgive the rather rude Gaelic) is found on Via Salmini, near to Porta Romana station on MM3. Serving up Guinness and Murphy’s, along with a couple of lagers, it has the ubiquitous English-style pub grub too. Find out more at http://www.poguemahones.it
Alternatively Matricola on Viale Romagna is touted as the first ‘official’ Irish pub in Italy. It does decent food and a reasonable pint of Guinness – head to Piola on MM2. If you’re looking for a Sports Bar, you could do a lot worse than Four Four Two, on Via Procaccini. Check out their website (www.fourfourtwo.it) for more information.
As for some local grub? Well, pizza and pasta are ubiquitous throughout the city, but if you’re after something a little different, then keep your eyes out for ‘cotoletta alla milanese’ and ‘ossobuco’, which are local specialities (pan-fried, breaded veal and stewed veal shank respectively).
Milanese cuisine tends to differ from the rest of Italy in that rice is more traditionally served with dishes than pasta. Tomatoes are also not as evident as in many other regional cuisines of Italy.
About The City
You’ve come all this way, you might as well pay at least a cursory glance around the sites. The Duomo, on which work started in 1386, is the third largest cathedral in the world. Its stunning gothic architecture is not to be missed, nor is the chance to ascend to the roof for some spectacular views over Milan (for around €5). At another of Milan’s churches, the Santa Maria delle Grazie you can see Leonardo da Vinci’s famous ‘Last Supper’. If you want to see this, however, we’re advised that you need to reserve well in advance.
If you don’t get in to see that, you can always pop along to Teatro alla Scala, one of the most famous opera houses in the world. Milan has more museums and churches than you can shake a stick at, though, so whatever your interest you’re likely to find something to suit your tastes.
If all this culture-vulture stuff isn’t for you, then how about some shopping? Milan is a fashion-mad city, which would explain why it’s home to the oldest shopping arcade in the world. The grand Galeria Vittorio Emanuele II houses shops, cafés and restaurants. It’s well worth a look.