"We decided to interview Michele Azzoni because the Ostello Bello is both a welcoming place for foreigners and a "home" for Milanese people."


Interview by Perimetro, photo by Sha Ribeiro

What is Milano for you today? What is your relationship with the city?

My relationship with Milan is of total reciprocity.

I am critical and demanding of the city as the city is demanding with me.

I demand commitment and respect for my needs as a citizen, but I know that in turn I must commit myself and give my contribution in some way. Milan, without the commitment of its inhabitants, would never have been able to undertake the evolutionary path of which today we see some results.

In the past it was described as a gray and unwelcoming place.

The biggest merit of this city, in my opinion, is to have overcome its own stereotypes.

Why did you choose Via Torino? What do you like? What makes this neighborhood special?

I was born in the Barona area, and has been my center for many years.

My first explorations, as a boy, made me live this area as a kind of village in its own right.

By bike I could reach the Duomo or the Battivacco farmhouse in the countryside, taking about the same time: a few minutes.

On one side the center of a pulsating city, on the other its rural roots.

In the mid-eighties via Torino was an incredible place.

It was the place of encounter, and sometimes of confrontation, of all youth countercultures. There were Rockabillies Punks, Metalheads, Darks and so on.


Between Ticinese and the Duomo there were the only shops in the city that offered everything the different groups needed to express themselves: books, records, clothing, accessories and musical instruments.


The memory of a gray yet colorful city is alive in my memory, where the bright colors of the first colored hair stood out on the gray of the buildings.



Do you have a route that your are fond of?

I have a soft spot for the Largo Carrobbio - Colonne di San Lorenzo stretch: it is a place that I have been hanging out for a long time and that I still frequent.


I really like the rectangular shape that contains what looks like a gigantic playground that connects via Torino to Corso Ticinese and in fact that stretch of road was one of the places where, thanks to the youthful ferment, the DNA of the city was defined for the place in we live in today.