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Posted on: 2009/09/24


Lisa Gregusson is with Team Oslo & MP Management (Milan)


LISA GREGUSSON: On my first day in Milan I had two castings after seeing the agency for the first time. The castings were far away (at least for a new girl!), and I got sooo lost. I literally walked in the wrong direction for 10 minutes before realizing, and when I asked for help, it seemed as nobody spoke English. Everything was a mess, I was so upset, and got to the castings very late. But the people at castings were very nice, and by the end of the day I was able to go to bed without being too upset about what kind of strange, unfamiliar and non-English-speaking-city I had gotten myself into.

It’s very smart to find the way to your destination on a map before leaving the house, don’t count on Italians to understand enough English to get your question.




Best gelato in Milan: ”Chocolate” in Via Boccaccio 9, close to Cadorna. Mmmmmm! And so nice with the free chocolate on the counter, it’s sooooo good.

Natura 8+ near Duomo has super good smoothies and juices. Not too expensive either.

“Normal coffee” (what non-Italians would call an espresso shot) at Jazz Café with lots of sugar is tasty even for me. And I don’t normally like coffee.
The yoghurts here in Italy are delicious. They have big pieces of fruit, and our fridge shows that all the girls in my apartment love them!

When it comes to getting around, I prefer walking. I only take the metro, bus or tram when it’s absolutely necessary, because I don’t mind walking 20-40 minutes to get to a casting (of course I don’t have the time to walk all the time, but when I canJ). My Nike Shox may make me look like a tourist, but I don’t care - they are essential!

For groceries I go to the supermarket near my apartment. Don’t know why, but I’ve always liked grocery shopping, and it was especially funny when I went with my roommate Neelia. It was her first time shopping alone (in a foreign country she says, I’m not sure if she’d ever been grocery shopping hahahaJ). The Italians must have thought we were crazy, running around looking for salt and oil and laughing and taking pictures.


My favorite Italian food is olive bread. The best olive bread in all of Milan (based on experience by at least three models) you’ll find in Via Lombardini. They’re long, thin, salty and with big olives – perfect!

I haven’t tried so many different cafés, mainly because I stock up on olive bread, apples and fill up my water bottle before I leave the apartment in the morning. But Jazz Café in Corso Sempione has a really good seafood salad called “Greta”.

My normal italian lunch is either olive bread, yoghurt, fruit, water (and i'm gonna start with the Jazz café macciato, because that's the one coffee in this world that i like (so far, that is!)). Or I have the Greta salad at jazz café, with lots of shrimps, crab sticks and tuna. mmmmm!

Duomo is good for everything. Expensive shopping, restaurants, a cinema (of course every film is dubbed to Italian though), tons of tourists, pigeons, street sellers trying to pressure you to buy bracelets or watches, nice architecture.

And also special stories take place near Duomo:

I wanted to try the Italian way of Happy Hour, which is: buy a drink, and eat as much as you like of their buffet. I was passing by a restaurant at Duomo and asked the waiter how much Happy Hour was. He turned to his elderly colleague, they discussed in Italian for a couple of minutes before turning to me and saying: ”too expensive, too expensive”.
I had never told them how much I was interested in spending, but started to walk out when the waiter offered me a drink. I politely turned down the offer, but he kept asking. I found it hard to say no, and sat down.
He kept bringing me (good) wine, some fruit and pizza, and all I wanted was to go home because it was so awkward.
Was he expecting me to pay something, give him my phone number, what? After keeping myself busy with writing a list of things I wanted to get in the grocery store, I said my mom wouldn’t let me stay out too late alone (it was 8 pm), and was finally able to leave the place after 45 embarrassing minutes.

The best place to enjoy the city without spending money, I would say is by just walking around. Bring a map, and try to avoid the main streets. That way you stumble across the real Milan and get small, but nice, experiences. And you may also spot some nice hearts on the ground. I’ve seen a lot of them here in Milan, and they always make me smile.

At Ripa di Porta Ticinese you’ll find many cozy restaurants and also nice vintage stores. I’m not the biggest vintage buyer, and probably don’t have the best eye for bargains, but at least I saw several Burberry coats along the river.

Polaroid by Paul Rowland


I’ve been out clubbing a couple of times, and think that Armani Privée is a nice place. Enough room for dancing, and always an available seat in the sofa if you’re tired.

Because of overweight luggage, I couldn’t bring any books. And Italian bookstores don’t really bother to have English books. So when my roommate Ewelina told me about La Feltrinelli Internationale close to Giardini Pubblici and I found “A Thousand Splendid Suns” I knew my stay here in Milan was saved. When I needed another book, my booker told me about a bookstore with English books in Via Marghera. So far these two stores are my favorite places to go shopping in Milan!

My roomie from Canada and I have talked a lot about how italian women dresses very different from norwegians or canadians. Milan's supposed to be a "fashion metropolitan" and a "shoe city", so i was expecting stylish ladies wearing high heels 24/7. Hmm, not my impression now. Somehow their style reminds me of the 90's. Oh no, this is mean. I'm sorry to all of you italian women. Some of you dress very nicely! And I walk around like tourist a lot, so who am I to talk?;)



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Milan City Guide with Fashion Model Lisa Gregusson is original work by Pony Ryder.

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