San Donato Milanese

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When you say to people “I’m going to Italy for work” they think you’re going to go to some sun-kissed medi­ev­al tour­ist spot to live la bella vita, when the real­ity is often more like San Donato Milanese.

San Donato is a post-war suburb of Milan built to house staff for Oliv­etti and ENI, the nation­al oil company. Do you like bike paths and mid-century blocks of flats, and don’t mind the lack of cobbles or pictur­esque medi­ev­al churches? Then you’ve found your spot in the Milton Keynes of Italy.

It’s however pretty easy to get into the city on the metro.

And the trains have a pleas­ing colour scheme.

Do you like corpor­ate headquar­ters? San Donato could be the place for you.

This was on Via Gram­sci. You can tell exactly when this area was built.

A lot of the streets were planned as a garden city, with areas of green­ery and cycle paths separ­at­ing the hous­ing from the streets. It’s a pleas­ant, conveni­ent place with good schools that is extremely dull.

Some of the build­ings have really nice details though.

Itali­an schools however do start brutally early, and I often left the accom­mod­a­tion before sunrise (not helped by the fact I was stay­ing much further away from the school than prom­ised).

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