Guide to a beloved city: “I know a place” and the discovery of Milan

Guide to a beloved city: “I know a place” and the discovery of Milan
Guide to a beloved city: “I know a place” and the discovery of Milan

Do you know the refrain who would like Milan to be a sad, gray, arid city, a place where you are going to work because the only thing there is that, but which is abandoned at the first opportunity? Here, that refrain today can be peacefully set aside. The proof is provided by Caterina Zanzi, the founder of the Milan-centric community of “I know a place “ who, thanks to the people who live and love this city, has seen his idea, initially amateur, grow dramatically to become a structured publishing project, which today also includes a book. Caterina, who beyond a few brackets abroad, was born and raised in Milan, has always been a passionate frequenter of restaurants and clubs in her city, who in 2014 began to tell through a blog: ” as a contributor for various food and lifestyle magazines and then in the editorial office of Pambianco, I thought of trying to do for myself what I did for others. November 20 “I know a place “ turns 7 years old “.

Seven years in which told about Milan through food and lifestyle …
Initially the proposal was focused only on food, but it was only me who carried out the project; now in the editorial office there are 8 other people besides me, who live in different areas of the city, have different ages and inclinations from mine: now we are a particularly heterogeneous group and this allows us to be more comprehensive in the offer of articles, to range between many areas and offer almost daily programming.

The cultural, but also gastronomic or artistic ferment of Milan is one of the reasons for the success of the city: you who tell it, how do you perceive the continuous changes?
New things happen all the time in Milan, there is no lack of stimuli: but, as in everything, there is a downside. On the positive side, you never get tired, there is always a new restaurant to try and the city is the first in Italy to incorporate trends of all kinds: there is a great desire to experiment and amaze the consumer, therefore from ours point of view the ideas to tell the city are many. The downside is that fashions are often affirmed that are not always of excellent quality, there is a risk that not everything is of a good standard.

It is part of the game: the more the offer grows, the more there is the risk of being cheated. But this is where we at “I know a place” we try to intervene; maybe people may not meet our taste in terms of choice, but we always try to warn about rip-offs: we would like to tell you how you are in a restaurant, if you are involved or not in the choice of products used, if you are treated in a particular way. I think this is what made the blog appreciated right from the start: the fact that service information is offered with the most total involvement.

Hers is a rather nourished community held together by an interest in the city …
The interesting thing is that this community practically doubled during the lockdowns. I made the choice to leave my sweaty permanent post in the editorial office in January 2020: since the blog at the time focused on clubs and restaurants in Milan, I had to reinvent its contents: here we opened up to many other sectors such as delivery, shopping , recipes and books, becoming an all-round lifestyle magazine. But the center of gravity of our story has always remained Milan. The setting, then, is still identical to that of the beginnings: we tell the things we do in our days, this is what gives us credibility. Opening a new restaurant? We go, pay the bill and then tell it from the point of view of any customers, not food and wine journalists.

Do you think Milan is a beloved city?
Absolutely. In the last ten years, thanks also to Expo, Milan has changed a lot and the cliché of the gray and somewhat arid city, where you just work, has been overcome. Milan on the other hand does not strike you at first glance, it does not have the dazzling beauty of Rome, which surrounds you in every corner, but it must be understood and known: it is a city that is discovered at second glance and thanks to a deeper reading. At that point, however, it wins you over.

“I know a place” now it has also become a book, where the beauty of 500 addresses are collected, what is unmissable for those who want to know the city better?
We have structured the book not as a classic guide, which usually develops by neighborhoods or itineraries, but by building the various sections of the book by answering the questions that come to us every day from our community, and through which we can understand what people’s needs are. who move to Milan. Most of the messages we receive are in fact requests for advice, especially based on the occasion. This is how categories such as “Eating in art” were born, which is a section that collects all the good and tested bars and restaurants that are inside a museum or cultural center. Incredible but true, another very popular category is the “Sunday open”, and then there is a whole lifestyle part that includes shops, places to play sports, coworking, places baby friendly. We tried to space as much as possible.

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