Saturday, November 28, 2015

Word of The Week

Lo sconto - discount/reduction

I went on a quick supermarket run earlier and picked up a few things which had a sconto, including a few cheeky birre for Saturday night! Yesterday was also a day of sconti, it was the first year that Black Friday had a noticable effect in Italy. Some Italian chains had sconti, such as electrical store Unieuro which had a series of Black Fridays, and Kiko which is doing 30% off all items over the long weekend (very very tempting!). I ordered Indian last night from Just Eat, they had a sconto of 25% off orders - that too good to resist!

Monday, November 23, 2015

Crazy Cat Café

On Saturday morning I went with two of my friends - both cat owners - to check out Milan's one and only cat cafè! I love cats, even though I unfortunately don't have any of my own, and when we heard that it had opened towards the end of October we absolutely had to go!

The cafè is a short walk from Milano Centrale station, towards Corso Buenos Aires. When we arrived there was a short queue outside, the staff let people in on a table-in-table-out basis, as to not exceed a number of 30 customers at a time. There's a list of rules to abide by, obvious things such as not feeding them, letting them sleep if they wish to do so, and not taking photos with flash (photos without flash are encouraged however). And dogs are not allowed. The atmosphere is relaxed, as set out in the rules, there were a couple of kids who were a little bit excited, but the rest of the customers were respectful towards the feline bosses of the cafè.

There are six cats, named Elvis, Blondie, Freddy, Patty, Mina, and Bowie; and they're all young, aged between 6-7 months. They all seemed relaxed and happy to play with the customers. We played with a couple of them using the toys which are provided by the restaurant, and they let us pet them. They wander around (and on!) the tables and chairs, at times not seeming all that fussed about the company around them. One cat was so relaxed that when he came out into the restaurant, he climbed up onto a shelf where there were a few pots of cat nip plants, and after being fussed over, curled up behind the pots and went happily to sleep!

We went for a late cappuccino, but they also do meals and aperitivo - the 'miaojito' on the aperitivo menu cracked us up! The cappuccino was very nice, and served in a pretty cat-shaped mug. Not being your average cafè, prices are slightly higher, our cappuccino cost 1.50 euro each, and there's also a coperto (cover charge) of 1 euro which goes to the cats for their 'cat therapy'.

They have a room at the back of the cafè for the cats, where they can rest and eat away from the customers. We could see one of the cats' paws going back and forward through the gap at the bottom of the door, and from there they have cat flaps for when they want to come back into the cafè and socialise.

I definitely felt the benefits of cat therapy, and it's an experience I hope to repeat soon!

Crazy Cat Cafè
Via Napo Torriani 5
M2 Centrale, M3 Repubblica, (M1 Lima), Tram lines 1 and 5 Piazza Cincinnato (tram 33 Viale Tunisia)

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Sunday Classic

The No.1 song in Italy 55 years ago today was by Mina, Il cielo in una stanza (which translates to 'The sky in a room', doesn't sound quite so poetic in English, does it?)

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Word of The Week

guardare - to watch

Oh, Netflix's arrival in Italy has been a wonderful thing. I'm already on the third (!) season of Orange is The New Black, I've also been watching BoJack Horseman, Under The Dome, and I re-watched an episode of Black Mirror... It's too easy to sit there and let Netflix automatically take me to the next episode of a show, and the next, and the next...

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Ciao Netflix!

This is what Netflix looks like in Italy!

Ok, so I'm a bit late to the party only writing about it now, but after an evening at the cinema and a weekend in Rome I only signed up to Netflix on Tuesday. It finally arrived in Italy last Thursday, the 22nd of October - coincidentally the anniversary of my arrival in Italy! - after much hype and discussion online.

I hadn't been crafty and tried to watch the US/UK Netflix before its' arrival in Italy, so it was all new to me. Well, not all new seeing how well-known it is all over the world, and the success of its' own productions outside Italy, but I'd never actually tried this much-talked about toy myself. And I was very excited!

What I was most excited about was the availability of original audio for English-language shows. All the TV shows and films on Netflix have original audio as well as Italian, and also subtitles for both languages (handy if you're learning!). Their original productions also have additional languages such as Spanish and French. I only have bog-standard digital TV, and only very few channels give you the option to watch shows with the original audio. Understanding Italian isn't a problem for me, but I've never quite got used to dubbing, I just can't get my head around shows and films set so obviously in another country where the characters are speaking Italian.

Everything I've been watching so far has been US shows. Specifically Orange is The New Black! It's not quite what I expected, but I'm really enjoying it. The balance between serious issues and comedy works really well. There isn't a great deal of Italian stuff (at least at the moment), and it's mostly films, nothing that appeals that much to me, but then again I'm not a big fan of Italian cinema. Everyone gets a month's free trial to start off with, and I intend on making the most of it, and I intend on exploring it as much as I can!