In the center of Milan, just a few blocks away from Parco Sempione, sits a rustic osteria that feels as though it should be miles away from the city. Exposed bricks, clutter, knick-knacks, and enough wine to fill several villages occupy the walls and ceilings – but it’s the jolly owner who really makes this place special.
To fully understand the beauty of Osteria Ciccus, one must understand that such establishments are a bit of a dying art – at least in Milan. Traditionally, osterias provided clientele with a non-pretentious place to enjoy a laid-back drink…but the line has become blurred in cities across Italy, with many restaurants adopting the name solely to attract visitors.
But this osteria, ladies and gentlemen, is the real deal. The owner makes the experience an unforgettable one, greeting each visitor with an amount of enthusiasm that makes each and every person feel special. He’ll recommend wine selections, practice his English with you, ask you where you’re from, and – if you’re lucky – get excited enough to honk the rather loud horn behind the bar.
Whether you fancy wine (glasses from €5, bottles from €25) or a cutting board of cheese and freshly cut meats (€10 to €30), Osteria Ciccus will take care of you while you soak in the cozy, welcoming atmosphere. Those only opting for drinks will be brought some complimentary cheese and salami to nibble on.
It’s a good place to visit no matter the season, but the perfect place to escape from the winter cold. If you happen to find yourself in Mantova, Bergamo, or Brescia, you can check out the locations there. (Don’t worry, this place doesn’t feel like a chain at all). However, if you want to meet the world’s coolest osteria owner, you’ll need to stick to the Milan branch.
Address: Via Canonica, 13