Milan is a metropolitan city in the Lombardy region of Italy and it replaced the Province of Milan. It includes the city of Milan and other municipalities (comuni) and was first created by the reform of local authorities (Law 142/1990). It has been operative since January 1, 2015.
Italy’s fashion houses are legendary, from Dolce Vita to Prada and Versace to Valentino. The country has always been known for its meticulous craftsmanship and luxury materials, but it was only after Word War II that Italy emerged as a fashion destination. After the war Italy’s fashion industry got the confidence and the economic support to come into its own. In an effort to restore and stabilize the Italian economy after World War II, the Marshall Plan provided American aid for Italy’s textile businesses, which were mostly small, family owned operations. This investment spurred the production of leather, fur, silk and wool— the country’s most prized luxury materials to this day.
In 2009, this Italian city was named the fashion capital of the world. Every year, several major runway shows are held in Milan that showcase international fashion icons, buyers and models. The fashion industry in Italy is known for providing fashionable clothing and accessories that boast comfort, elegance, quality and fantasy. The purpose of Italian fashion is somehow different from the ones in New York, Paris and Tokyo. Italians prefer to buy clothes that will remain stylish longer, comfortable to wear and of good quality rather than fading trends.
During the ’50s and ’60s, while French labels like Christian Dior and Jacques Fath turned their focus fully on couture, only Italian fashion designers truly understood the need for women to have comfortable, versatile clothing that was also tailored and refined. Italian day wear took off in America and paved the way for the ready-to-wear collections coming out of Italy’s fashion houses today. Part of the reason Italy was the first market for day wear was a coterie of women designers who understood the needs of women. Germana Marucelli, Mila Schön, Simonetta and Galitzine: These women all came from Italian aristocracy and they found themselves without jobs and without any money after the war. What they knew were clothes and they had the technical know-how to create new designs.
In Italy, designers have shown excellence when it comes to creating clothes and accessories that are functional and practical. In terms of design, designers make sure that the fabrics and other materials used in producing clothes are of equal quality. The country’s fashion industry has remained competitive in the international fashion industry and the industry is playing a significant role in the recovery of the Italian economy from the recession that recently hit the country. Any improvement in the condition of the fashion industry will also be beneficial to other industries in Italy. This is because most of the regions and small factories in the country are involved in the production of fashion accessories, textiles, shoes and apparel.
Spring Fashion Week 2016
Some of the largest fashion companies in the world are also headquartered in Italy. Many of the major Italian fashion brands, such as Valentino, Versace, Prada, Armani, Dolce & Gabbana, Marni, Iceberg, Missoni, Trussardi, Moschino, Dirk Bikkembergs, Etro, and Zegna are currently headquartered in the city. Among the newest labels are young designers, such as Sara Battaglia, Angelos Bratis and Aquilano.Rimondi.
Milan also hosts a fashion week twice a year in Milan’s main upscale fashion district, where the city’s most prestigious shopping streets (Via Monte Napoleone, Via della Spiga, Via Sant’Andrea, Via Manzoni and Corso Venezia) are found. Italy also is home to many fashion magazines, such as Vogue Italia, Vanity Fair, Elle, Glamour, Grazia, Amica, Flair and Gioia.
In Milan not even the onslaught of the fall collections can prevent some of the city’s most stylish from preparing delicious, fresh food.
Want to feel like you are in Milan – make some of the recipes from their well-known cuisine.
Milanese Tripe Soup
- 2 1/4 pounds (1 k) boiled veal tripe
- 12 ounces (300 g) cranberry beans, soaked overnight
- 2/3 pound (300 g) carrots, chopped
- 1/2 pound (200 g) canned tomatoes
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter
- 2 onions, minced
- A small stick celery, minced
- Olive oil
- Salt and pepper to taste
- A sprig of sage
If you haven’t bought the tripe already boiled, wash it very well, then cut it into fairly large pieces and boil it in a large pot for 30 minutes. Drain and discard the liquid.
Cover the tripe again with water and add a carrot, a celery stalk, an onion and salt. Bring to a boil. Skim the surface often and simmer for 4 hours, adding water if needed.
Drain it well and cut it into the traditional thin strips. Fill a pot with water and simmer the sliced tripe for another hour.
When the hour is almost up heat the butter and the oil in a Dutch oven and sauté the onions. When they are golden, add the tripe with its liquid, and, a few minutes later, the beans, celery, carrots, tomatoes and sage.
Season the pot with salt and pepper and add a little boiling water (just enough to cover). Cover and simmer on low for about three hours. Serve with freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano or Grana Padano cheese.
- 3 1/3 cups (400 g) flour
- 4 eggs, divided
- 10 ounces (250 g) ground beef
- 3 cups (150 g) freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, plus extra for serving
- 1/4 cup (50 g) softened unsalted butter, plus additional for the sauce
- A few tablespoons of beef broth
- A pinch of freshly ground nutmeg
Work the flour with a pinch of salt, two of the eggs and just enough water to obtain a smooth elastic dough. Knead it well, for 10-15 minutes, cover it with a damp cloth and set it aside.
Combine the ground beef with the butter and the grated Parmigiano. Add a pinch of nutmeg, the remaining 2 eggs, a few tablespoons of broth to moisten and mix well.
Divide the dough into two pieces and roll them out into two very thin rectangles.
Lay one of the sheets on the work surface and dot it with tablespoons of filling, separating them by a couple of inches (5 cm).
Lay the second sheet over the first, press down between the filling, so the sheets stick together and then cut each ravioli free with a serrated pasta wheel.
Bring a pot of water to boil, salt it and cook the ravioli for a few minutes, remove them with a strainer to a serving bowl. Serve them with melted butter and grated cheese.
Involtini di Vitello alla Milanese
- 12 thin slices veal, about one and one-half pounds, cut for scaloppine
- 1/4 cup chopped prosciutto
- 1/3 pound chicken livers, finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon, plus 3 tablespoons,butter
- 1/2 cup finely chopped onion
- 1/2 teaspoon finely minced garlic
- 1/2 cup fine fresh breadcrumbs
- 1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- Freshly ground pepper to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon grated lemon rind
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- Salt to taste
- 1/4 cup flour
- 1/2 cup dry white wine
- 1 cup fresh or canned chicken broth
- 1/4 cup chopped sage or parsley
Put the slices of veal between sheets of plastic wrap and pound with a flat mallet until even without breaking the tissues. Set aside.
Combine the prosciutto and chicken livers in a mixing bowl.
Heat one teaspoon of the butter in a small skillet and cook the onion, stirring, until it is wilted. Add this to the mixing bowl. Add the garlic, bread crumbs, nutmeg, pepper, lemon rind, egg and cheese. Blend well.
Lay out the pieces of veal in one layer on a flat surface. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Spoon an equal portion of the filling on each slice.
Wrap the meat around the filling, folding and tucking the ends in envelope fashion. Tie each bundle neatly in two pieces of kitchen string. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Dredge the bundles all over in flour and shake off the excess.
In a heavy skillet large enough to hold the rolls, without crowding, in one layer, heat the remaining three tablespoons of butter and add the veal bundles.
Cook, turning the bundles occasionally, until they are browned all over, about three or four minutes. Reduce the heat and continue cooking over moderately low heat for 15 minutes. Remove the veal rolls to a serving plate.
Add the wine to the skillet and stir to dissolve the brown particles that cling to the bottom and sides of the pan. Add the chicken broth and herbs. Bring to the boil and let cook over high heat about five minutes.
Remove the strings from the veal rolls and pour the sauce over the rolls. Serve immediately.
From La Cucina: The Regional Cooking of Italy by Academia Italina Della Cucina, 2009.
- 2 sticks room temperature butter
- 6 egg yolks
- 2 egg whites
- 1 2/3 cups sugar
- Zest from 1/2 lemon
- 2/3 cup flour
- 1 1/4 cups potato starch
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Butter and flour a 9 inch circular cake pan.
Beat the butter in an electric mixer until soft. Mix the egg yolks into the butter one at a time. Slowly add in the sugar. Add the zest, flour and potato starch.
In a separate bowl, whip the egg whites until stiff. Gently fold the egg whites into the batter.
Pour the mixture into the prepared pan. Bake for 50 minutes and insert a toothpick into the center of the cake to check if it is cooked. If the toothpick comes out clean, the cake is done. If not, cook for a few minutes more until the toothpick is clean.
Remove the cake from the pan and set on a wire rack to cool. Top with Mascarpone Cream.
From La Cucina: The Regional Cooking of Italy by Academia Italina Della Cucina, 2009.
- 1 egg, separated
- 1 egg yolk
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 8 ounces mascarpone cheese
- 1 1/2 tablespoons Amaretto liqueur
In an electric mixer, combine the 2 egg yolks with the sugar.
In a separate bowl, whip the egg white until still. Fold the egg white into the egg yolk and sugar mixture.
Mix the egg and sugar mixture with the mascarpone cheese. Add the Amaretto and stir to combine.
Refrigerate for at least 1 hour to set. Spread over the cooled Torta Paradiso.