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The area around Corso Genova and Sant'Agostino Square, where the B&B is located, has a very old tradition of commerce: already in Roman times, goods were transported through the canals, which where very close to each other, and sold directly from ships moored on the dock. This made Corso Genova the commercial heart of Milan.

Three hundred meters away from Corso Genova, at the park on Via Conca, you can see the monument erected to the first Conca dei Navigli, a mechanism similar to a railway junction developed by Leonardo da Vinci to improve traffic flow and sorting intense waterway traffic between 1400 and 1500.

Among the workshops of ancient times, and modern shops and boutiques with a minimalist design, if one listens carefully over the road noise and the shouting of passers-by, the voice of Milan in the early twentieth century can still be heard: "Oh mia Madunina bela", sung by Luigi Tanzi, who composed the famous song at his home near Corso Genova.

Casa Reininghaus also belongs to that glorious past. Built between 1895 and 1896 by Giuseppe Sebastiano Locati for the brewer Reininghaus. The building, designed for multi-purpose use and intended to house a theatre, billiards, a restaurant and a cinema, can be considered a true "Italian laboratory" of new European trends in design, ergonomics and liveability of spaces, and precursor of Viennese Bauhaus.

I thought I could inform you of the places that are more than just shops: they constitute the history of this city, which seems to be at odds with its own past but that actually is just very jealous about it. They are a heritage of culture and emotions that belong not only to those living in Milan, but to everyone.

Emilia

History a few steps from Sant'Agostino B&B

Have half an hour of free time? Go out and have a visit to one of these historical places: it will be worth it.

Pasticceria Cucchi (Cucchi Bakery)

Added to the guide of Historical Italian Shops (Guida ai locali storici d'Italia), the Pasticceria Cucchi is located since 1936 at the corner of Corso Genova and Piazza Resistenza Partigiana. The descendants of the founders, Vittorina and Luigi Cucchi, continue with the tradition of quality and authenticity baking specialties of haute patisserie daily. Highly recommended for a sweet break or a quick lunch.

El Bechée

  • Corso Genova 25
  • 20123 Milano
  • Tel. 02 8372464
  • Fax 02 8372464
  • www.elbechee.it

In medieval Lombard Language, term becheé meant butcher: El Bechée is in fact a small traditional Milanese grillhouse, with a wide choice of high quality grilled meat or meat prepared according to popular recipes. These recipes are accompanied by both high quality wines and salads, soups, side dishes and pasta that change every week. All immersed in a whimsical and informal atmosphere.

The best of tradition... with a twist!

Scarazzini

  • Corso Genova 28
  • 20123 Milano
  • Tel. 02 58111038

Born in 1800 as a cutlery, this historic shop offers a real time travel experience between labels of high-end perfumery, footwear accessories and historic toiletry brands from the romantic retro flavour.

For the real nostalgic!

La Coloniale

In 1918, a small general store meets the curiosity about new worlds and their products, disseminating over Corso Genova the aromas and flavours of tea, coffee, cocoa, spices.

Today this legacy is continued by the supermarket La Coloniale end La Bottega del Vino wine shop, with its more than two thousand-quality brands.

Great Milan

An essential tour of the shops that made the history of Milan.

Peck

  • Via Spadari 9
  • 20123 Milano
  • Tel. 02 8023161
  • www.peck.it

This temple of international gastronomy was founded in 1883 by Francesco Peck, a salumi merchant from Prague. From selling only smoked meats, the product range was extended including fresh pasta, prepared meals and ravioli: at the beginning of the twentieth century Gabriele D'Annunzio, the writer Arnaldo Fraccaroli and actress Elsa Merlini regularly had lunch usually at Peck's.

Today you can buy ready-made dishes and specialties from all over the world in the magnificent shop or stop and enjoy traditional Milanese and Italian cuisine in the restaurant located on the entresol.

Cova

Historical pastry shop founded in 1817 by a soldier of Napoleon, it quickly became a destination for artists, writers and intellectuals of the likes of Verdi, Mazzini and Hemingway. Among the many specialties produced by hand according to old recipes, the real Milanese panettone is highly recommended, for which Verdi and his wife Peppina (Giuseppina Stepponi) went crazy.

If you're not in Milan at Christmas time, it's not that bad: you can comfort yourself with chocolate and their unsurpassed homemade pralines!

Savini

  • Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II
  • Via Ugo Foscolo 5
  • 20121 Milano
  • Tel. 02 72003433
  • www.savinimilano.it

When you sit at the tables of Cafe Savini you can order your drink, but while you sip, close your eyes and listen carefully. If you concentrate, maybe you can hear the voices of Contemporary History, which sat here to enjoy a quiet moment: Puccini, Marinetti, Verdi, De Chirico, Callas, Agnelli, Chaplin, Sinatra, Hemingway, D'Annunzio, Luchino Visconti, Henry Ford, Rainier and Grace of Monaco, Ava Gardner, Totò, Eugenio Montale and many, many others.

Savini is coffee, restaurant and taste: a single soul of excellence offered in three close experiences.

Libreria Bocca

  • Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II 12
  • 20121 Milano
  • Tel. 02 86462321 / 02 860806
  • Fax 02 876572
  • www.libreriabocca.com

The historic Bocca bookstore opened its doors in Turin in 1775, founded his brothers Giovanni Antonio Sebastiano and Secondo Bocca, printers of the House of Savoy.

The Milan branch is the only remaining of the five opened in Paris, Florence, Turin, and Rome. Authors such as Gioberti, Pellico, Previati, Segantini, Nietzsche, Kierkegaard, Freud published heir works for the first time with Bocca Publishers between the end of the 19th century and the first decades of the 20th.

Even if your shelves are already full of books, the oldest bookstore still in activities in the world is worth a visit!

Mutinelli

The house was founded in 1888, when the hat was a necessary accessory for fashionable men and women.

The original sign leads the way to the romantic old atmosphere of the shop, still decorated with original marble and flooring, and wrought iron furniture typical of first art nouveau and art deco.

The endless hats, sticks, gloves and other accessories of timeless elegance on show will captivate even the most progressive minds.

Antico Laboratorio Farmaceutico Milanese

  • Via Panfilo Castaldi 29
  • 20124 Milano
  • Tel. 02 29526633
  • www.alfami.it

At the beginning of the 17th century the hospital of Milan was a real city within a city: from the enormous complex, made famous by the XXXI chapter of “I promessi sposi”, today the Church of San Carlo in Via Lecco, and the five and a half rooms (or cells) in Via San Gregorio, in which victims of the plague were housed, still remain.

The site is surrounded by a section of the original moat, the "fountain of health", used to carry those affected by the plague into the structure and to separate them from the healthy and the city; today it is waterless and covered by green grass grown spontaneously.

The pharmacy of Lazzaretto is still active and is worth a visit, furnished with beautiful carved shelves, ceramic containers of medicinal herbs and the original coffered ceiling from 1750.

Antica Trattoria Bagutto

Perhaps many people don't know that the outskirts of Milan are home to the oldest restaurant in Italy and the second oldest in Europe: the Bagutto, in business since 1248.

The restaurant is built as a refreshment point near one of the crossing points of the Lambro, on Strada Paullese, which in ancient times linked Milan to Cremona already.

In 1807, Napoleon also stopped for lunch, which in terms of good food was picky and understood a lot. With such a testimonial, you can rest assured!

Antico Ristorante Boeucc

  • Piazza Belgioioso 2
  • 20121 Milano
  • Tel. 02 76020224 / 02 76022880
  • www.boeucc.it

The atmosphere of a noble, refined and somewhat austere Milan, that has seemingly disappeared is jealously preserved inside this restaurant founded in 1696, in the midst of Spanish domination. Its name, in fact, is nothing more than the translation to Milanese dialect of Spanish word “bodega”, the place where wine rests.

A remnant of saffron-spiced baroque sophistication, amidst the bustling nightlife of a city that seems to have lost its memory... except when it prepares to eat!

Preattoni

  • a Milano
  • Corso Buenos Aires 5 - Tel. 02 29523594
  • Via N.A. Porpora 5 - Tel. 02 2826078
  • Via C. Battisti 1 - Tel. 02 76002644
  • www.preattoni.it

To propose an afternoon of shopping in a cutlery seems absurd... if we are not talking about one of the three historic shops of Preattoni in Milan.

The first store opened in Brera in 1902 as place where one could sharpen their knifes, but soon also shaving razors, cutters, perfumes and beauty accessories made by hand and on demand were offered.

Today, in the vintage shelves you can find the crème of products and accessories for shaving and body care,  sold all over the world and still handcrafted to meet customers as exclusive as the Emir of Qatar.

A place where to shop to feel a bit of a dandy even in front of the bathroom mirror!

Antica Barbieria Colla

Opened in 1904, the Barbershop Colla is one of the historic shops of Milan.

Cut and beard have no secrets here. True to tradition, the cut is made only with scissors while shaving involves a special ritual that begins with a warm cloth on the face and ends with a cold one.

After a hard day of work or frenzy shopping, it's the best place to relax and sink into the warm and reassuring atmosphere that the original furnishing offers. Highlight: the early 20th century cast iron armchair-rocking horse for children.

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