I’ve always loved the atmosphere of a literary cafe. A place that smells like coffee and books, two of the pleasures in life. Often combined with a culturally fervent environment, interesting events, and welcoming people who do their job passionately. Breakfast with a newspaper or magazine in hand, lunch break alone with a good book. Something long for about French culture, which is not so easy to find in Italy.
Or rather, it is sometimes a pure and simple marketing operation to attract more customers. And I hate so much the feeling of something fake! While walking around, however, I have found authentic places, with selections of books, managed by a lovely staff and offering the taste I like.
LAPSUS CAFFE’ – via Meda, 38
An authentic place. More than any other. It is not easy to describe the feeling you experience when you get to Lapsus Caffè. You can feel the love of the owners, who don’t spend their time looking at the clock wishing to come back home as soon as possible. They try and make you happy and feel welcome, as a guest in their own home. We went with Patola, our puppy, and they welcomed her with a biscuit. Good homemade cakes, breakfasts with bread, butter and jam, smoothies. A room full of children’s books! In a brave neighborhood.
LIBROSTERIA – via Cesariano, 7
Another authentic place that smells like culture. Many second hand books, the ones you think would be unavailable. Organic food, infinite kindness and even good cocktails! Suitable for a relaxing breakfast or snack, for reading a book in peace, for attending some interesting events, for studying or working. I also like the fact that it is in a quiet, pedestrian square, just off Chinatown, with outdoor tables.
LIBRERIA DEL MONDO OFFESO – Piazza San Simpliciano, 7
One of the historical literary cafes in Milan. Opened in 2008 in Chinatown, it moved a year ago to the heart of Brera, one of the most beautiful neighborhoods in Milan. Here, asking for advice to the bookseller is a must, especially if you want a good “sensible” book. Many events organised, also open on Sundays.
GOGOL & COMPANY – via Savona, 101
I immediately fell in love with this literary cafe! I really love their books, of which there is a well-chosen selection, with a touch of freshness and lightness. And then there is a really nice cookbook section! The atmosphere is very friendly, many people study or work upstairs and there is a beautiful patio outside, for a sunny day. I am really fond of this area of Milan, still in the Tortona district but more peripheral, where you can discover many lofts and houses that were built recently.