Paolo sarpi a little bit of china in milan

Paolo Sarpi: a little bit of China in Milan

Paolo Sarpi: a little bit of China in Milan

In downtown Milan, not far from Parco Sempione, there is a pedestrian area that is different from any other in the city: it is via Paolo Sarpi, the beating heart of Milan's Chinatown.

If you expect the typical red door welcoming you into the area, then you will be disappointed, because the gap bridging between the cultures is almost invisible and only a careful eye can spot the shop signs in Chinese all around.

What makes this busy street so different is the mix of traditional Chinese shops and historical Milanese boutiques.  So, here, you will find the famous Cantine Isola winery near a shop window of traditional Chinese cheongsam clothing; the Baita del Formaggio sells its delicious cheeses near the recently inaugurated Oriental Mall.

For a taste of Oriental culture in the city, just take a walk through this pedestrian area where the Chinese newsvendor sells his newspapers across the streets, young girls smile in front of windows full of luxuriant wedding dresses and groups of friends eat with chopsticks sitting at the tables of the bars.

In this part of the city, you can find some of the most famous Chinese restaurants in Milan (a couple of names? Jin Yong and Wang Jiao), along with numerous supermarkets for Asian food products and high-tech stores.

The best time to walk through Via Paolo Sarpi is during the traditional parade celebrating Chinese New Year, during which dances, plays and wonderful choreographies make Chinese and Italian come together in the most famous multi-ethnic part of the city.

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