Ripa di Porta Ticinese, 69, 20143 Milano, Italy
As a dedicated Carouser and heavy metal fan, it would be stupid not to visit a venue that provides lashings of both, when on my travels. I fill myself up with Italy’s famous ‘aperitivo’ before making my way to one of Milan’s well-renowned heavy metal bars – Wizard.
After a beautiful, breezy and romantic walk along Naviglio, I arrive at the dark and dingy venue. The black and gold sign is reminiscent of a pub that you’d expect to see on the streets of Dublin. This is confirmed by the many images of Guinness on display.
It’s a Saturday night and the restaurants and bars along Naviglio are booming. People of all ages, locals and tourists are enjoying Italian cuisine, romancing and laughing. However, Wizard seems somewhat desolate. There are two intoxicated locals smoking outside, however they act as if they don’t really know where they are. Inside, is just 1 drunken, jolly punter singing along to his requests.
Upon entry, the barman smiles and welcomes me. I return his greeting with my very best and awfully pronounced ‘ciao’. The bar has a fantastic choice of both bottled and draught beers available from all over the world. They’re presented with pride across the back of the bar, with clear names and prices outlined traditionally on a chalk board. English? No problem. This bar is obviously catering for both regulars and tourists. It’s easy to order and delivered with true, Italian charm.
I grab my beer and stumble my way up a very steep and spirally flight of stairs. Trying to focus very carefully on not falling flat on my face; I imagine the many people who must have done just that on a drunken night. Finally safe and injury-free at the top, I take my place in a very cozy and private room at the back.
It then comes to my attention that the bar are playing the new Metallica album– Hardwired…to Self-Destruct. Until now, I’ve tried my darnedest to avoid listening to this album through sheer fear of more Metallic-disappointment. However, I give in, sit back and listen. The album does nothing but send me into nostalgic conversation about those times that Metallica used to make good albums…
Once the seal has broken, regular trips to the loo are inevitable, especially for me. Who knew you could work-out your glutes and piss at the same time? Well, I do after having to squat several times to pee into a very tiny hole. This though, is apparently the norm in some parts of Italy and didn’t really bother me very much.
I make my way down the hazardous spiral of hell once more to take a closer look at the bar. It’s decorated well with visuals of bands, local gigs and alcohol brands. There is also a large screen on display which is used for either football, movies or music videos.
Visiting Milan anytime soon? I’d certainly recommend Wizard. The atmosphere, although sombre on this Saturday night, is warm and welcoming. With good entertainment, friendly bar staff and high-quality booze galore, I know I’ll certainly be visiting again!