When dehors change life: the example of via Sottocorno in Milan – Italian Cuisine

When dehors change life: the example of via Sottocorno in Milan


It is more and more the season for outdoor areas, which flourish in every city and every district. Milan is at the forefront of numbers and also of ideas: the example of a coordinated project that has made a street more enjoyable for gourmets and residents

Summer 2020 is ending, leaving us among the main legacies the return of travel by car (or camper), the rediscovery of the hinterland to the detriment of the beaches and the exponential development of outdoor areas in cities. The consequences of the previous months are evident, totally unpredictable, and which in the latter case have significantly changed the habits of the public and the geography of urban centers.
What happened?
After the lockdown, either because of the distancing rules or because of the low propensity of people to close themselves in the premises, the only way out for restaurateurs could only be to propose outdoor spaces. With different paths: the majority requested (and obtained) a few square meters more in front of your local, big or small. Apart from some differences in legislation and in the area granted, the Italian municipalities have given a free space which in some cases has allowed the previous terrace to be enlarged by 30-35% and in many others to create it from scratch.

1800 dehors only in Milan

The numbers are impressive, starting from Milan where no time has been wasted for psychological reasons: around 1800 concessions from the end of May to the end of July, for a total of 50 thousand square meters which were added to the 78 thousand already present. Some streets have been pedestrianized, in others limits of 30 km / h or 15 km / h have been imposed on cars in order to allow the safe laying of tables, even on the roadway. And if in July – with the city already half deserted – the results were good, it has been a couple of weeks that the outdoor tables (especially in the areas between the center and the suburbs) have been crowded. Milan, in many areas, has objectively improved, thanks to coordinated projects: the most interesting is that of via Sottocorno – a side street of Viale Premuda, not far from Piazza V Giornate – launched by a pool of restaurateurs of which part Danila Biuso patronne, with her husband Andrea Guaita of BBQ, local historian specializing in meat. «It is essential in such enterprises to involve the neighborhood and respect the people who live there. It must be as far from the nightlife as possible, if anything, something that helps the recovery of the premises and makes an area more pleasant. Here a real evening walk has been created, ”explains Biuso.

A small village

This is because, for the first time in Milan, eight restaurants in the same street have entrusted the theme to an architect, Carolina Vecchioni, which has carried out a real coordinated project. "I followed the practice from day one," he says. «I studied the guidelines, the floor plans, calculated the measurements and parameters necessary to bring the tables to the roadway in via Sottocorno. It took several weeks. It was really complicated, especially for the bureaucracy, but it was worth it. I live in the neighborhood, I define it as a small village . The consortium's expenditure was 5200 euros, all for the company that had to review the horizontal and vertical signs. The result is pleasant, even the (few) motorists who have to go at 15 km / h have noticed it as required by municipal legislation. "I took care of the technical part, but the credit goes to the restaurateurs who have customized their spaces with taste, opting for barriers made of camphor, pittosporum, myrtle, lavender, rosemary, oleander or wood hedges . An experiment that will close on October 31st, but important and innovative. "This time it was the emergency that stimulated the idea, I hope that more precise guidelines will arrive next year so that many via Sottocorno will be born in Milan", concludes Vecchioni. He is absolutely right, let's think about it already in the fall.

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