One of the most legendary bars in Milan, Le Trottoir (‘pavement’ in French) captures the free spirit of old, crazy Navigli, with drag queens, Rastas, graffiti artists and radical anarchists all shaking the joint to live rock, jazz and hip-hop, and a piano for impromptu performances.
Housed in a landmark dazio (an ex-customs toll gate on the Darsena docks), the irony of its location is not lost on this anti-establishment institution – which relocated from Brera in 2003 following a messy legal tussle with its landlord.
One supporter, noir novelist Andrea G. Pinketts, was so outraged by the eviction that he chained himself to the building. His loyalty has been immortalized in Le Trottoir’s Sala Andrea G. Pinketts, a fabulous psychedelic-yellow fairytale-frescoed room on the upper floor.
Apparently he does a lot of writing here, but concentrating among the combined energy of up to 600 revellers must be taxing. In fact, so animated is Le Trottoir that it sometimes literally rolls out onto the pavement – hence ‘trottoir’.