From our correspondent Luisa de Bellis:
If you’re coming to Milan and you aim to get to know the city’s authentical soul, beyond its stereotyped image of “Italian capital of business, fashion, and design”, there is a place that you really can’t miss. Gogol’Ostello is both low budget (but high quality) accomodation – hosting travelers in rooms of 2, 4, or 6 people, all nicely decorated and with private bathroom) AND venue for cultural events. The cozy, colourful, welcoming Cafeteria has become, in a short time, an important meeting point for the multiethnic, open, active community of Milan, and locals come here to enjoy an every-day-different cultural programme.
Gogol’Ostello & Caffè letterario is “a space where travelers can meet people with ideas”, as described by Asli, its founder. So true. The times I have been there, I happened to share a table – and start a conversation with- a writer, a film producer, a photographer. Not to forget the guy who was giving a round to the whole world. These “people with ideas” come here because they feel welcome, being Asli seriously committed to promoting new artists and supporting people with innovative ideas.
This mission is the engine that moves everything: the space, embellished with pieces of local handcraft as well as pieces of furniture designed by people living in the Roman jail Rebibbia (www.artwo.it); the Cafeteria, serving mainly fair trade products, home made beers and tap water only.
Books are everywhere, book crossing is the must, and writers are frequent hosts within the cultural programme. But from classes of psychology to workshops of Feng Shui, from live music performances to photography exhibitions, Gogol’Ostello offers more than anyone else in Milan had ever offered before, in such a tiny place and with such personal touch.
On Wednesdays, foreign travelers can enjoy happy-hour while learning Italian with a professional teacher; happy-hour of Eritrean home made food has become a popular meeting on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays, as well as Sunday’s brunch of savoury and sweets.
I know, you are ready to go there now, but you still have a question…what about this weird name? The place is named after the band Gogol Bordello, which Asli is fan of. Not long ago, she received a phone call from the band’s agent, saying the musicians were in town for a concert and were curious to visit this new place they had inspired the name of. A few hours and Asli realized one of those life’s dreams: meeting her favourite band in her favourite place, her own place.
via Chieti 1, Milan