Italian Photography Exhibits in Milan, Fall 2016

This time of year is great for filling up on cultural activities: the days are getting shorter, the air is getting cooler and we haven’t hit the crazy winter holiday/exams period yet.

To get your fill, why not make the most of your time studying abroad in Milan focusing on Italian culture and history? We highly suggest a good photography exhibit to do so. Photography combines both art and history: each picture is a snapshot of a particular time, frozen forever.

With that in mind, we’ve put together some info on 4 great historical Italian photography exhibits that will be in Milan this fall (with some going on into the winter months too). Check out each exhibit’s website for opening hours.

Read on, but don’t take our word for it, see for yourself. After all, a picture is worth a thousand words.

Black and white group of ducksToni Nicolini Photos 1960s-2000s
What: If photography could be poetry, Italian photography Nicolini would be one of the modern period’s best realist poets. His photos span several decades and several areas of Italy and beyond. Learn a little about what was happening in Italy during the second half of the last century through the eyes of this poet-photographer.
When: 16 September-23 October 2016
Where: FORMA, Via Meravigli 5 (M1 Cordusio)
How much: €8 – €6

Young woman headshotFederico Patellani Photos 1945-1946
What: A little further afield (you’ll have to go to Cinisello Balsamo, a Milan suburb, to see it), this exhibit focuses on the specific period right after WWII and specifically when the Republic of Italy was founded on 2 June 1946. That was also the first time women were given the vote in Italy. A mix of everyday life and photos focusing on the birth of a new country, 70 large-scale photos are included in the show.
When: 18 September 2016-15 January 2017
Where: MUFOCO, Via Frova 10, Cinisello Balsamo (M5 Bignami, then tram 31)
How much: Free admission

Two women with reflectionItalian Women Photographers 1965-2015
What: This unique exhibit features around 50 Italian photographers, all women. With the emergence of feminism and social change in the ’60s, women in Italy began stepping behind the camera to capture a before-unseen point of view. The show also features a multimedia installation that includes interviews with photographers along with their works of art.
When: 5 October 2016-8 January 2017
Where: Triennale di Milano, Viale Alemagna 6 (M1 M2 Cadorna)
How much: €6

La Scala after bombingMilano, Story of a Rebirth 1943-1953
What: Another exhibit focusing on the time around WWII (during and after), this one doesn’t open until mid-November. You’ll see lots of images about the destruction from the war and the reconstruction after it was over. There are also posters, objects and mementos from the time period.
When: 10 November 2016-12 February 2017
Where: Palazzo Morando, Via Sant’Andrea 6 (M1 San Babila or M3 Montenapoleone)
How much: €10 – €8

7 Reasons to Learn Italian When Studying Abroad

Students chatting in front of bilingual signsSo, you’ve chosen Italy as your study abroad destination. You have your favorite travel guide and have read the latest blogs (including MilanoZine!) to find out more about your upcoming experience, where to travel, what to expect.

The only question you still have is a simple one: is it worth the time and effort to study Italian while you’re there? The language is really only spoken in Italy, a relatively small country, you think. You already speak English flawlessly. And, let’s face it, English is today’s #1 international language for business and travel. So why bother with a language that’s only spoken by around 85 million people around the world?

Because of these 7 excellent reasons, that’s why! Here are the top 7 reasons you absolutely have to study Italian while you’re in Italy.

    1. Become a prime candidate in industries of Italian excellence
      With an increasingly smaller world, speaking a foreign language is a great asset to have when looking for a job. And “Made in Italy” brands, especially fashion & design, food & beverage and the automotive industry, will really value your Italian language skills. Your CV will immediately stand out to prospective employers if you can boast a good level of Italian, unlike some of your peers.
    2. Become a master of other important skills
      There are lots of studies that look at the advantages of being bilingual. The idea is that learning (and regularly using) a foreign language can help develop other parts of the brain. Studies have shown that bilinguals are better at using their executive control system, more creative and better at making decisions. That means speaking more than one language can make you even smarter in other areas.
    3. Become a truly global citizen
      Polyglots are said to make up about half the world’s population, whether they speak more than one language and/or dialect. Learning Italian will open your eyes to the way Italy sees and interprets the world an make the world seem just a little bit smaller. In general, it’s easier to get exposed to and appreciate new and different points of view. So you can join the world’s other multilinguals and understand them a bit better.
    4. Become a better person
      Learning a foreign language involves a healthy dose of personal growth. You will learn more about yourself and how you see the world, and how that may change in a new language. And don’t underestimate the personal growth that comes from being a beginning language learner: it’s not easy to express your very grown-up thoughts and feelings using the vocabulary of a toddler!
    5. Become a favorite with the locals
      If you know the local language, it will be a lot easier for you to mingle with people living in Italy. From the guy serving your morning espresso to the lady selling you a train ticket, to the fans sitting next you at a soccer game, you’ll be able to communicate much easier if you speak Italian. It will also be easier to meet friends from Milan and other parts of Italy. So use your language skills and be a social butterfly!
    6. Become an expert on art, music and food jargon
      Did you know that chiaroscuro literally means light and dark? Or that allegro means happy? What about the correct way to pronounce bruschetta (the “c” is hard, not like the English “ch” sound)? There are tons of Italian loanwords in English, lots of which relate to art – the Renaissance had a pretty big influence – music – Verdi, opera, etc. were also pretty important – and of course food – the whole world truly does love Italian cuisine. So as you learn Italian, you’ll also learn more about all this vocab that’s already found in English. And you can show off your skills to all your friends back home who don’t speak the language.
    7. Become a speaker of Dante’s language
      And Petrarch’s, and Manzoni’s, and Levi’s and Eco’s. Italian literature is full of great writers, and if you know the language, you can read them in the original. From “Nel mezzo del cammin di nostra vita / mi ritrovai per una selva oscura” (the first line of Dante’s Inferno) to “Quel ramo del lago di Como…” (the opening line of Manzoni’s I Promessi Sposi), you can get a better understanding of what these great writers have said, thus getting a better grasp of Italian culture and history.

These 7 reasons should be more than enough for you to get motivated… so, what are you waiting for? Check out a few of the schools offering Italian language courses in Milan or, if you’re a Bocconi student, get in touch with the Language Center for extracurricular classes. Buono studio!

Top 5 Packing Tips for Study Abroad in Milano

It all started a few months ago when you went to the study abroad fair. You were overwhelmed by the number of incredible options. Then you finally narrowed down your choices and applied. After weeks of wondering, hoping and calling on help from a higher power, you received your acceptance letter. Now, the moment is finally here: you’re about to leave for study abroad!

Amidst all the excitement, this is also when you realize one important detail: you’re not just embarking on a new adventure in a new country with a new language, you also have to… pack! That means fitting all the worldly possessions you’ll need to survive the next few months into just a few suitcases.

In addition to the usual advice for airline travel (be aware of weight limits and carry-on restrictions), here are the most important tips and tricks to keep in mind when packing for study abroad in Milano.

Students studying in common room1. Pack light!
Our number one, most important piece of advice for packing is to pack light. Though you may be tempted to bring your entire wardrobe and everything you might possibly need during your semester abroad, resist all temptations. When packing your bags, it’s a good idea to leave about half of what you originally wanted to bring.
Keep in mind that Milano is a cosmopolitan city, so you should be able to find whatever you may need in or around town. And looking for where certain things are sold can be a bit of an adventure!

2. Pack for the Milanese weather
The Milanese climate is famous for grey skies and fog in the winter, but summers are generally hot and humid. And throughout the year, you can experience pretty much everything in between. So be sure to pack an umbrella for rainy days, sunglasses for sunny ones, and a winter coat and hat/scarf/gloves for the blistery winter months.

3. Pack to look nice, but also comfortable
Milanese style is usually very put-together, even for students – so be sure to pack more than just sweats and t-shirts. Looking nice is not just for the fashionistas in Milano. That said, you should also think about comfort, especially for your feet. If you’re planning to travel or even just go sightseeing near Milan, you’ll probably do a lot of walking, and that means comfy shoes are a must!

4. Pack your travel gear
Many study abroaders take advantage of being in a new part of the world to see as much of it as possible. So be sure to leave some room in your suitcase for everything you need to be a good tourist: a good camera to capture memories, good footwear (as mentioned above), a journal or sketchbook and anything you may need for transit. Don’t forget things like power adapters, and of course your passport and visa paperwork!

5. Pack something from home
Last but not least, we suggest you bring something unique to your home town or region. With an increasingly globalized world, it’s nice to remember that there are still objects or traditions that can only be found in certain parts of the world. You could bring something that reminds you of home to help you on days when you get homesick. Or you might bring a gift for your future friends or roommates, your host family or someone who helps you out as you get settled into your new surroundings. It’s a fun way to share your home culture in a new setting.

So, what are you waiting for? Get packing!

Where to Hear Live Music and Concerts in Milan

Ho la musica nel cuore
L’occasione mia più grande
Per aver la vita accesa
Per non essere riflesso
Di una luce poco mia
– 
Biagio Antonacci, Ho la musica nel cuore

Music is a universal art form. It crosses boundaries and can speak to all of us, no matter what language we speak. So, where can you find great tunes in Milano? Here’s a breakdown of the most important venues around the city, whether you’re interested in jazz, pop and rock or classical music and opera.

Clarinet detailJazz, Pop and Rock

The second-largest city in Italy, Milano attracts a lot of big names in pop and rock. If you’re looking for jazz, you might need to do your homework, but there are a few locations that specialize in jazz and its sub-genres. Here are just a few venues around town.

Alcatraz: A cool discotheque famous for alternative and rock performers, Alcatraz is an institution in Milano. Check out their calendar for both domestic and international artists and enjoy the show!
Via Valtellina 25; M3 Maciachini

Blue Note: Looking for New York City style jazz and cocktails in the coolest part of the city? Then head to Blue Note in the Isola neighborhood and enjoy ensembles, bands and singers. They also put on a pretty good Sunday brunch.
Via Borsieri 37; M5 Isola

Circolo Magnolia: If you’re into cool, alternative groups for the in-crowd, then Circolo Magnolia might be the place for you. Of course, to get in, you need to be a member! To get your membership card, you can fill out the online form and then pick it up at the ticket office.
Via Circonvallazione, Novegro-Tregarezzo; buses 73, 923

La Salumeria della Musica: This is a very intimate venue features more obscure performers (since not as many fans can pack in the locale to watch each group). Expect to find variations of jazz on the agenda.
Via Pasinetti 4; tram 24, buses 95 and 34

Magazzini Generale: A cool discotheque located in an old warehouse, expect famous DJs and rock musicians to perform here. It’s located close to the Bocconi campus and is usually packed with partiers.
Via Pietrasanta 16; tram 24, bus 90/91

Mediolanum Forum: For popular Italian and international artists that might not fill up the San Siro soccer stadium, head to the Forum in Assago. The venue also currently hosts the local basketball team while their arena is being rebuilt.
Via Giuseppe di Vittorio 6, Assago; M2 Assago Milanofiori Forum

San Siro Stadium: The city’s football stadium, San Siro (or its official name Stadio Meazza) is the venue for mega-concerts, often in the summertime when soccer games are not being held. If you like big-name pop stars with big shows, this might be the place to see your favorite performing artist.
Piazzale Angelo Moratti; M5 San Siro Stadio

Teatro degli Arcimboldi: A smaller venue, this theater hosts a wide variety of events, from musicals to international and Italian pop and rock to classical music and ballet. It was built in the early 2000s and originally hosted La Scala productions while the historic opera house was being renovated.
Viale dell’Innovazione 20; M5 Bicocca

Saxophone silhouetteClassical Music and Opera

If you’re interested in classical music, there are also quite a few places to choose from. The world-famous La Scala Opera House is the most prestigious of these locations, but other spots host various kinds of orchestra and chamber music.

La Scala: One of the world’s most famous opera houses and a symbol of Milano, La Scala is a must-see attraction. And serious opera and ballet aficionados should definitely try to catch a show while in town!
Via Filodrammatici 2; M1 Cordusio, M3 Montenapoleone

La Verdi: A wide variety of classical music is on the agenda at this venue. Check out their calendar and student discounts!
Largo Gustav Mahler; tram 3, buses 71, 90/91

Teatro dal Verme: If orchestra music’s your thing, this is a great place to go! A beautiful 19th century opera house, this building was also used as a cinema before being renovated to host concerts and other performances.
Via S. Giovanni sul Muro 2; M1 Cairoli

Società del Quartetto di Milano: Originally open only to members, this venue is now open to the broader public. Their calendar includes the most famous classical music composers from the 18th and 19th centuries, with a variety of performers.
Via Durini 24; M1 San Babila

Bonus: Bocconi students should check out the university’s website for info on student discounts at various venues around the city.

Top 20 Reasons to Study Abroad in Italy

One of the most frequently-asked question you’re asked before you leave for your study abroad program is, “So, why did you choose that particular country to study abroad?” Your response is usually, “Well, that university had just the right program for my academic interests, it was the perfect fit! And I’ll be able to study exactly what I’m interested in and get the experience I need for my future studies and career.”

But we all know the truth: your decision to study in Italy was probably based in part on reasons other than your education! You’re aware that you won’t be spending the whole time in the classroom. And there are lots of aspects to living in a foreign country that you thought about before deciding which place was right for you.

These are the top 20 reasons to study abroad in Italy, the allure of the bel paese:

Lifestyle

1. Italy is famous for la dolce vita: that means making the most of the little things in life, not sweating the “small stuff” and just enjoying yourself!

2. You love the sound of the melodic Italian language. Living and studying in Italy means you’ll be hearing the dulcet tones of the language every day.

3. You’ve always been curious why Italian people are always using their hands when they talk and you want to find out what all those different hand gestures mean.

Festive Ape Piaggio 4. And you don’t really know the rules of cheek kissing: is it one kiss or two? Or three? When you meet someone, when saying good-bye? Part of your informal education in Italy will include the art of the friendly kiss!

5. The cool confidence of the country’s soccer players was palpable at this year’s World Cup (even if the Azzurri team didn’t get very far in the championship!). And if you’re a fan of the game, the culture surrounding calcio in Italy is pretty serious. There are so many the great teams in the Serie A league to cheer for: Milan, Inter, Roma, Lazio, Juventus, Fiorentina…

6. Small city cars and scooters are all over Italy! Vespas, Ape Piaggios, Fiat 500s, Minis, Smarts… And the vintage models are the best! Why not take a drive when you’re studying abroad?

7. Not to mention all the super-sleek and fast sports cars. Italy is home to Ferrari, Lamborghini, Maserati, Alfa Romeo, Abarth and Ducati motorcycles.

8. You might have gotten a taste of Italy from classic neorealist cinema: think a young Sophia Loren in black and white. You need to find out if that version of the country still exists somewhere.

9. And you know that Italy is famous for amazing fashion and design. Even if you don’t go to any fashion shows or the annual Salone del Mobile in Milano, you can still soak in the easy but fabulous style of the Italians around you.

Italian seaside town at nightTravel

10. The weather: most of the country has a nice, mild Mediterranean climate, not too cold in the winter and not too hot in the summer. When it is cold, skiing is usually an option. And when it is hot, the beach is usually only a short trip away!

11. Lots of famous art and culture from the Renaissance was produced right here in Italy. That means the museums all over the country are bursting with masterpieces!

12. Venice, Florence, Rome, Naples, Sicily… There are so many tourist destinations, it’s hard to choose where to start!

13. With 7,600km of coastline, Italy has been ranked the 14th country in the world for length of coastline. And much of that is covered in beautiful beaches, perfect for people watching, getting a great tan and swimming in the Mediterranean. You have to experience it for yourself.

Food and Drink

14. Italy is serious about its pasta. And each of the scores of shapes has a specific traditional sauce to go with it. You need to learn more about all those recipes and especially how they taste!

15. Italy’s famous for so many delicious delicacies: tiramisù, varied pastries, as well as so many kinds of cheese, prosciutto, truffles, olive oil…

16. Lots of Italians take part in the pre-dinner ritual of taking a moment to relax over drinks with friends, usually with a snack or maybe a buffet. When you’re studying abroad, you have to learn more about the Italian tradition of the aperitivo! Try a Negroni, a Bellini, a Spritz, or just a beer, a glass of wine or a soft drink.

Bocconi students tasting wine17. Espresso! And of course caffè macchiato, latte macchiato, caffè lungo, caffè corretto, cappuccino, marocchino, orzo in tazza grande, cioccolata, decaffeinato, however you like it!

18. Because what better way to learn about wine varietals, vintages, aromas and tastes than a Tuscan vineyard? Wine is produced just about everywhere in Italy and each region has its own specialty.

19. Italy invented possibly one of the most perfect foods in the world: pizza! While you’re studying abroad here, you can visit Naples and try the original pizza margherita. Or just enjoy anything your local pizzeria serves up, it’s all wonderful!

20. Italy is also home to the best form of ice cream on the planet. Gelato is served in a variety of traditional and innovative flavors all across the peninsula. During your program you can take your time trying them all!

Watching the World Cup in Milano

Will you be rooting for the Azzurri this summer? Or maybe The Three Lions? Or La Celeste or Los Ticos instead? For the uninitiated, these are all nicknames for national soccer teams that will face off during this year’s World Cup matches. 32 countries from all over the world are sending their men’s soccer teams to Brazil this year for the biggest championship in football. Don’t worry, you can still keep tabs on the action, even if you’re thousands of kilometers from the sunny coasts of Brazil in hot and humid Milano. Here’s how.

Students playing foosballOutdoor jumbo screens
Big-screen viewings of all the Italy games are scheduled in open-air piazzas around the city. But, before you make plans to watch some of the games outside, remember to check the weather forecast for possible rain or super-hot temps.

For the first game on Thursday at 10pm, Brazil vs Croatia, the first Italy game on Saturday at midnight (technically 12am on Sunday morning) and several other big games, jumbo screens will be set up at the following locations:

  • Alzaia Naviglio Grande – 3 screens will show the games, along with several related activities and stands. This is a cool location that will use the water creatively, and it’s right next to Milan’s biggest nightlife spot.
  • Piazza Castello – In the new pedestrian area near the castle, which has been home to food and souvenir stands for the past few weeks, a big screen will be set up to watch a different soccer match every day.
  • Idroscalo – Located on the outskirts of the city (take the 73 bus to Linate, then bus 183 or 930), this man-made lake is surrounded by a huge park and a few bars and clubs. It will host World Cup games on a 50m video wall, in addition to other related activities for sports fans.
  • Carroponte (Bicocca) – This is another locations that’s not close to downtown (Via Granelli 1, Sesto San Giovanni), but it’s not far from the Sesto Marelli/Sesto Rondò and the Bignami subway stops. Located in a large area with food stands galore, they will be showing all the Italy games and a few of the other big teams during the first round of matches.

TV options
If you’d rather watch the games in the comfort of your own home, Italy’s public TV station RAI1 will be showing one game per day, including all the Italy games. The schedule (available online here) is out for the first few days:

  • 12 June, 10pm: Brazil-Croatia
  • 13 June, 9pm: Spain-Netherlands
  • 14-15 June, 12am midnight: England-Italy
  • 15 June, 9pm: France-Honduras

And, if you or a generous friend happens to subscribe to pay TV channels (i.e. Sky or Mediaset Premium), you can probably catch all the other games too, even the teams that aren’t as popular in Italy.

Pubs and bars
The other option is, of course, to find a good pub with a TV or two that’s showing the game you’re interested in. And you can drink an ice cold beer and enjoy some pub food during the game. There are a few good sports pubs around town, and even regular pubs and bars often have a TV hooked up with premium channels for all the games. Remember, though, that for big games it’s always a good idea to call ahead and make a reservation.

Enjoy watching the games while you’re in Milan. And may the best team win!

All About the Expo

What do Paris’s Eiffel Tower, Brussels’s Atomium and Seattle’s Space Needle all have in common? They were all built for a world’s fair hosted by the city and are now major tourist attractions, decades after their original construction.

World’s fairs generally focus on the innovation and technology of a specific and they aim to bring together experts from around the world. The very first expo dates back to 1851 and was held in London, while the most recent were held in Yeosu, South Korea in 2012, focusing on smart cities, and in Shanghai in 2010, with the theme of the oceans and coasts.

Tram on Milan street with Expo signMilan Expo 2015
If you’ve been in the city of Milan recently or even just tried to read up on the city for a future visit, you’ve probably heard something about Expo 2015. What is this event and what does it mean for residents, students and visitors?

The Expo event that will be in town next year is a continuation of this tradition that has been around for over 150 years. And, as is fitting for a country with a long and varied culinary history, the Milan edition’s theme is nutrition and food. Stands from all over the world will participate (there are currently 147 official participants).

Construction
As we count down the days until the event begins in May of next year, many residents have mixed feelings about the Expo because of all the construction that seems to have invaded every corner of the city! Whether it’s for the subway line that has been opening up slowly over the past few months, projects for skyscrapers in the CityLife area, the park at Porta Nuova or the terrace that’s being built in the Navigli area, it’s hard to get around the city without running into a construction site. The good news is that the works are planned to end by the start of the Expo, so the city should have a shiny new feel to it for all the extra visitors next year.

Public bikes with Expo logoWorking at the Expo
From an economic point of view, the influx of people is a good thing for the local service industries like hotels and restaurants. But it also means there are quite a few openings for people with international skills at the fair itself. There are even two sections for students, one for internships (the Youth Training Program) and one for students or new graduates who already have some professional experience (the Experience Development Program). Applications are now being accepted, but the recruitment and selection process will take place later in the year. It’s a great opportunity, especially for international students who have language skills.

For general info and updates on the Expo 2015, go to their website.