The Locals: Milan


Tell us a little about yourself – how long have you lived in Milan and what do you do for a living?

My name is Francesca and I was born in Milan, but moved to Paris for 7 years in my twenties. I came back to Milan for good in 2009.  I just turned 35, I’m married to a lawyer, Francesco (no, this is not a joke ) and mother of 2 boys, Leo 6 years old and Luca 2 years old.  I work for the Mint Milan Buying Office as Account Manager for Saks Fifth Avenue .

What brought you to Milan and what keeps you?

When I was younger I thought Milan wasn’t big enough and international, but after a long experience abroad I have completely changed my mind. The city offers a wonderful quality of life. We can easily enjoy life over weekends being two-hours’ drive away from both the mountains and the seaside.

In addition, the city is not that big (I sold the car I had purchased in Paris and now move around by bike and by car sharing exclusively) but still offers a lot of services (international job opportunities, good schools, leisure, food).

If we had one day in Milan, where would you take us for breakfast, coffee, and dinner?

Breakfast: a cappuccino at the counter (Milanese do not sit at a table unless they a have a breakfast meeting or it is the weekend) at one of the 3 Milan locations of Pasticceria Marchesi. My favorite is the one on via Montenapoleone because the coffee barista, Davide, knows exactly which kind of Cappuccino I like.  Note: Milan insiders do not take cappuccino after 11 AM! 

Lunch: at Bacaro del Sambuco (a family restaurant with a small courtyard located on via Montenapoleone, one of the most exclusive street of shopping worldwide).

Dinner: at Giacomo Bistro  – a  must in Milan and to which I’m very attached to as this is  where my husband proposed!

What are your favorite shopping gems? 

Antonia – The chicest boutique in town!

Maschio Gioielli – for their super cute and discrete jewelry.

Mezzanotte – my favorite kids store.

Rossana Orlandi – the most famous design store.

What’s your go-to drinking spot? 

Ombra de vin. A former wine store transformed into a bistrot and for sure one of the most popular place for Milanese to meet after work for aperitivo.

 Where do you go to unwind? 

My Sunday morning ritual while my family sleeps is going out for a 10km run crossing the city center (Duomo square, Galleria Vittorio Emanuele) and the city’s main parks (Sempione and Porta Venezia). I love to run thru the city at dawn when nobody is around especially in winter and when it is foggy ….

 When you travel are you into mountains, beaches or cities? 

My husband is from Apulia, so that is where we escape for a long weekend almost every month. I love it there, food is great and beauty is everywhere. It is definitely my happy-place. Bari during winters and more south in the area of Brindisi in the Summer. Must see cities are Ostuni, Cisternino, Alberobello, Polignano … and many more could be added.

Describe Milan in three words.  Fashion. Design. Food.

Does living there inspire you? And if so, how? 

Being a fashion addict, yes, Milan inspires me deeply. Daily street style is always interesting as Milanese have a very particular way to be on trend. Architecture also inspires me. I love old buildings that have stories to tell.

What are some under the radar must – do recommendations for a visitor? 

Visit the Last Supper painting and the Fondazione Prada.

Take a tram ride (one of the old ones) without being in a hurry to enjoy the city view.

Take a walk in the new Porta Nuova district, the new city made of skyscrapers and view the old Milan buildings.

Visit the Chiesa di Santa Maria presso San Satiro church known for its false apse.

Walk by Via Mozart to spot a group of pink flamingos in the garden of Villa Invernizzi.

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Account Manager for Saks Fifth Avenue  in the Mint Milan Buying Office.

Milan, Italy


Francesca’s Favorites:

Her favorite drinking spot: Ombra de vin.

What are some under the radar must – do recommendations for a visitor? Villa Invernizzi





What are your favorite shopping gems? Antonia 





  1. Samapti Taylor
    August 14, 2017 / 11:09 am

    This makes me want to move even more! long weekends every month sounds like such a nice life haha! I would love to hear more on how professional working moms balance city life, working and family so maybe that is one question you can ask for future locals?

    • Lourdes Martin
      August 14, 2017 / 12:21 pm

      I know right!! Love that they make time to go away every month – and thank you for your input – I will def. ask that question because I think is a great one!!

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