Milan is waiting for you!

Milan is the second-most populous city in Italy and its metropolitan region is part of the so-called Blue Banana, the area of Europe with the highest population and industrial density. Milan is the main industrial, commercial, and financial centre of Italy and a leading global city, as well as a major world fashion and design capital. This year, though, the city is leader in another major international discourse: food security and sustainable development. In fact, Milan is hosting for the second time an Universal Exposition, the Expo 2015, and is advocating an international protocol, the Milan Urban Food Policy Pact, engaging the largest number of world cities for the development of food systems, based on the principles of sustainability and social justice.

The world is now looking to Milan for answers on the future of food and farming. Between October 3 and 6 some of these answers will come from young farmers, food producers and food professionals from all over the world that the Slow Food Youth Network and Slow Food are bringing to Terra Madre Giovani - We Feed The Planet. During four days, participants will immerse themselves in the world of food while being equipped with practical tools to develop new initiatives and improve the global food system for the future.

The event will take place in four main different locations: Superstudio Più, a complex of white-façade and large-window buildings loved by the most important and cutting-edge fashion, art and design brands; Italian Makers Village, a showroom, art laboratory, and multifunctional space that values the cultural, educational, and social aspects of the Made in Italy through exhibits, conventions, set-ups and recreational events; Mercato Metropolitano, a real farmers market of small local producers, various stalls of delicious street food, and an open air amphiteatre where cultural events, concerts and food sustainability events are held; and Cascina Cuccagna, the most central of public farmhouses whose restaurant offers recipes based on the best seasonal resources of the territory and the community garden shares its space with a wine cellar, a wood laboratory, a bicycle workshop and a hostel.

Terra Madre GIovani - We Feed the Planet will be a large-scale unpreceneted event taking place in an environment that has always had food at its heart. Like most cities in Italy, Milan has developed its own local culinary tradition using more frequently rice than pasta, butter than vegetable oil and featuring almost no tomato or fish. Milanese traditional dishes include rice with saffron and beef marrow (risotto alla milanese), breaded cutlet pan-fried in butter (cotoletta alla milanese), stewed pork rib chops and sausage (cassoeula), braised veal shank (ossobuco), stewed tripe with beans (busecca), and stewed beef or pork with wine and potatoes (brasato). Milan is also said to be one of the birthplaces of the aperitif, or “aperitivo”, a pre-dinner drink or nice cocktail, meant to “open” the palate and nibble as dinner approaches, while you socialize and relax. Originally, the food for an aperitivo is not supposed to replace your dinner, but it’s increasingly more common to find buffets where you can choose yourself from an array of food with everything from fresh salads, antipasti, pasta, meats, dishes from other countries to desserts.

Note: if you’re visiting Italy, know that a large amount of your time will be spent eating. And drinking, of course.

Many historical restaurants and bars in Milan are found in the historic centre, the Brera and Navigli districts. Definitely do not miss Fioraio Bianchi: drinks are good and the high quality food was made with care, all framed in a intimate and convivial atmosphere made by plants and flowers. At Pescheria da Claudio it's an excellent place for a glass of bubbly and fresh fish, twisting the aperitivo idea a bit: order your food, and the drink comes automatically. In the buzzing atmosphere in Navigli, you can drink but also to eat (a lot) in Manhattan or drink a cocktail on board of a huge boat at Il Barcone. Very young and dynamic staff will serve you at Ugo, a cocktail bar e bistrot with a great selections of natural wines with retro’ and informal atmosphere, and at Felix, a fresh and tiny place with an excellent seslection of artisanal cocktails and liquors with an eye on quality food. If you are looking for a relaxing place to enjoy a delicious outdoor meal head to Erba Brusca, where their own garden produce is cooked in a modern style, in airy, casual space.

Enjoy your stay, it is gonna be awesome!