Just got back from a whirlwind trip through Rome, Florence, and Milan.
No time and too jetlagged for a detailed report right now, but I can't not mention this restaurant:
Via B. Corio, 3, Milan, 20135 Italy
Small, intimate place in the Porta Romano area of Milan, on a quiet street - very reasonably priced, and entirely non-touristy, no English menu etc.
Calabrian cuisine - very hearty and spicy.
And...absolutely the best homemade pasta I've ever had anywhere. Both the pasta and the sauces. I had a bucatini w/ sardines, fenel, tomatoes and bright green bay leaves. My wife had linguini with tomato sauce made from cherry tomatoes, anchovies, and fresh oregano. A friend had a pasta with " 'nduja'" a kind of Calabrian sausage specialty. All of the sauces were very finely pureed - no chunks - and intensly flavorful. We all remarked how interesting it was that they all looked more or less the same, but tasted entirely different. Explosive with flavor and textures. These pastas were betw. 6-9 euros a plate.
We also had many fine antipasti, and a couple of us had secondos. I had a very simple plate w/ burrata (a mozzarella like cheese that just melts all over the place when you cut into it) with arrugula and greens - it was divine.
But the pasta is THE thing here. I just don't see how there's better pasta anywhere.