Tag Archives: Shopping

Mercatone dell’Antiquariato – Milan’s Outdoor Antique Market

Jennifer and I simply love outdoor markets.  Jen holds on to the belief that she’s going to stumble across a vintage Louis Vuitton handbag or uncover that perfect piece for our future living room.  I’ve got much lower (and more realistic expectations); I’m just thrilled that I get to eat “street food”.  Nothing is better than a porchetta paninio (pork sandwich) from a food vendor with freshly fried zeppole  (Italian donuts) for dessert.  I love sandwiches, I love eating outside and I love feeding my entire family for less than €20!

Pack your bags, let's check out the market!
Pack your bags, let’s check out the market!
All of us at the Fiera
All of us at the Mercatone dell’Antiquariato

Jen has been trying to get to the Mercatone dell’Antiquariato del Naviglio Grande since we moved here nearly a year and a half ago. “What’s the big deal – why is it so hard to make it to a market”, you ask? Well, this particular market only takes place on the last Sunday of each month (except for July).  For those of you that aren’t math wizards, that’s just eleven chances a year to make it to Milan for this 80-year-old Milanese tradition.  Our first attempt was foiled – we set out one day in January of 2013, but got derailed when we couldn’t find parking.  It was ambitious of me to try so soon after moving to Italy – had I known then what I know now, I would have just thrown my car on the curb like the hundreds of other locals.  Instead, we stopped for lunch and found an amazing sandwich place, which I blogged about HERE.  After lunch, we lost the motivation to go back and agreed, “we’ll try again as soon as we get the next opportunity”.  Well, travel and other obligations delayed that opportunity fifteen more months. Continue reading Mercatone dell’Antiquariato – Milan’s Outdoor Antique Market

All Thing Are Just a Little Different… Part II

When we first moved here, we noticed that while many things are very much the same as the States… there are also many, many subtle (and not so subtle) differences.  Early on, I did a quick post about things being different HERE but I didn’t go into many of the specifics.

Now that we’ve been here a while, it makes sense to go a bit deeper.  You know, the kind of “hard-hitting journalism” you’ve come to expect here at Sipping Espresso.  For this post we’ve focused on some of the differences that we find particularly charming, beneficial or just plain better.  So here we go…

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Let’s start with the food.  If you’ve been a follower of this blog for a while (or read more than one post), you’ll notice that many things here are cuisine related.  This in itself is something amazing, but not an entry.  Regarding food/eating, I’m referring to:

Get it while it’s hot!  In the States, it is polite to eat only when all the food has arrived at the table.  This means most of your dishes have been baking under a heat lamp anywhere from 5 – 10 minutes while your buddy-with-no-taste-bud’s extra well-done steak continues to char.  Here, the food arrives at the table just after it’s been cooked – and it’s meant to be enjoyed that way.  You can eat when the food arrives – in fact, people might think your pazzo (crazy) if you sit and let your food get cold.  Admittedly, this takes some getting used to – but it makes all the sense in the world.

Gnocci Castelmagno and Papparadelle Cinghiale
This dish would lose texture/flavor quickly if allowed to get cold

Continue reading All Thing Are Just a Little Different… Part II

The Rodeo Drive of Switzerland

It still tickles me that when I wake up and ask Jen, “what do you want to do today” – the answer might be something like, “let’s go to Switzerland”.  What a great idea!

Our home in Lake Como, Italy is very near the Swiss-Italian border.  We have always been fond of a neighboring lake town, Lugano, Switzerland.  Since the trip is only about 30 minutes, the idea to hop over the border for lunch appealed to us quite a bit.
Lugano, Switzerland
Switzerland is a beautiful country with some of the most breathtaking landscapes you’ll see.  The most interesting thing [to us] about Switzerland is that it’s a country that in many respects, assumes the identity of its neighboring countries.  It is a landlocked country bordered by Germany, France, Italy and Austria.  The Swiss do not have their own language; each Swiss “region” instead adopts the tongue of the closest neighboring country (either German, French or Italian).  Additionally, the food served in each region follows the same trend of marrying the food of it’s neighbor-country.  However, we have found that the architecture seems to be uniquely Swiss throughout most of the country.  Despite not having a shared language or cuisine, the Swiss have found a strong sense of pride in their country and it’s ideals.
Border crossing from Italy into Switzerland

Saturday Market in Como

Every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday there is a market on the north side of Como.  It exists just outside the old fort wall that surrounds the original city.  There is a collection of over a hundred vendors, most which arrive in their vans and vend from open doors.

Vans – vending on the other side

We strolled through and decided there was nothing we needed before moving on to a late afternoon snack (more on that in a subsequent post).  Below you’ll see a collection of the random items you can purchase if you so choose. Continue reading Saturday Market in Como