When you grow up listening to Oasis and watching the Premier League you just wanna go there, Manchester, the city where music meets football and your soul can breathe a very english atmosphere.

Even though our first thought about England is normally connected with London, It’s important to know that capitalism and globalisation took root more there than anywhere else in the country, so that if you’re not looking for an easy selfie or you don’t wanna be part of the mainstream, you must visit other cities to find out what english culture is.

I mean, It’s not all about going where people expect you to go. It’s about having an english tea where local people are used to go in their spare time, buying a record in the most hidden music store of the city, having a beer in a traditional pub while you’re listening to drunk people singing folk music with a very authentic accent, and taking a look at the working class neighborhoods.

In my opinion Manchester is perfect if you’ve got the same purpose I had.

Why? Because it combines tradition with progress, old areas with great modernity (if you have a walk in Castlefield you’ll see Beetham Tower in the background, clear example of what I’ve just said), english habits with foreign influences (one inhabitant out of 8 is not from Manchester) and there is regular but generally light precipitation throughout the year (So you’d better bring your best umbrella, very english problem but It’s part of the game!).

Thanks to one of my best friends I have been in Manchester three times and from time to time I had the chance to discover new places and to do things that I hadn’t done before.

Certainly It was a real luck that my friend used to live there for three years, because he knew where to bring me day by day in order to let me be totally involved in the atmosphere of that city:

I really enjoyed walking down the streets of the Northern Quarter full of music shops and typical cofee bar as well as I enjoyed visiting Manchester Art Gallery with his big collection of paintings; you can really do quite everything you want.

It’s notable for the music scene that enables young bands to play their own music and people to go to see them after the usual pub crawl. So many bands have emerged from the Manchester music scene (Oasis, The Smiths, The Stone Roses, Chemical Brothers) and for me this was the main reason that made me decide to go there several times.

Its main pop music venue is Manchester Arena, where I saw Queens of the Stone Age live in 2017, other venues include Manchester ApolloAlbert HallVictoria Warehouse and the Manchester Academy

Manchester is well known as a city of sport and there are two decorated Premier League football clubs: Manchester United and Manchester City.  Manchester United plays its home games at Old Trafford, in the Manchester suburb of Trafford, the largest club football ground in the United Kingdom, while Manchester City’s home ground is the City of Manchester Stadium. Is there anything better to do than visiting those grounds for a football fan? The answer is Yes, because if you spend your week end in Manchester you absolutely have to go to see a footbal match. I had the possibility to visit Old Trafford the first time I went to Manchester, and the second time my friend gave me a ticket for “Man Utd – Newcastle” as a welcome present. If you’re a football fan I can ensure you that is an experience that deserves to be lived!

The city has a thriving theatre, opera and dance scene, with a number of large performance venues; It’s famous city of literature and It was the meeting place of Engels and Karl Marx.

The two began writing The Communist Manifesto in Chetham’s Library, founded in 1653 and claiming to be the oldest public library in the english world; Anthony Burgess wrote the dystopian satire A Clockwork Orange in 1962, while Charles Dickens is reputed to have set his novel Hard Times in the city.

For those who are interested in the nightlife there’s no proble because It has costantly expanded with investment in bars, public houses and clubs along with active support from the local authorities;  Public houses in the Canal Street area have had an LGBTQ clientele and now form the centre of Manchester’s LGBTQ community.

In addition it’s a very important pole for people who want to study thanks to its two famous universities: the University of Manchester, which includes Manchester Business School and the Manchester Metropolitan University.

I had a great time in this city and I’ll always bring with me wonderful memories.

I highly recommend you to go there as soon as possible if you want to feel a unique english atmosphere!

Andrea Argetta, insegnante di lingua inglese. Collabora con Centro Studi Ad Maiora