DRINK DESIGN FLORIST FOUNDATION FASHION URBAN LIFE ARCHITECTURE FOOD ATELIER ART BOOKS WALK
When you walk around Milan, people don’t wander here, you are often to pre-occupied by your thoughts and tend to look elsewhere, the sidewalk, the traffic lights, your mobile phone. Usually, you try to reach your destination as quickly as possible. But, when you make up for time, a few minutes before an appointment, you actually fall in love with what surrounds you, it is a wonderful day - "... that Lombard sky, so beautiful when it is beautiful, so splendid, so peaceful." Never was Manzoni more objective - we realize that we are in an ancient and yet dynamic city, capable of living with its past, but always with an eye to an effervescent and diverse future imbued with culture and projected towards something we do not know. Milan moves forward and transforms itself at a fast pace but always with sobriety, awareness and rigor. When you go through it, you can rediscover familiar places and come across others that you’ve never noticed. A short stroll through the city’s neighbourhoods, even in the suburbs, is enough to be amazed by something unexpected. Of course, you can always count on the impact of important landmarks produce, such as the Duomo, Santa Maria
delle Grazie, the new Piazza Gae Aulenti and the nearby Bosco Verticale, the Pirellone (an austere example of modernity), the new Bocconi University campus, but a small ice cream parlour or a bookshop that have remained unscathed by the changes, are just priceless. As good treasure hunters, we have selected a few addresses - physical, spiritual and, of course in Milan, historical places to discover.
Forward, backward, full speed ahead / Città studi
Liberia Cento Fiori was established in 1975, and specializes in psychology (the first city bookshop on this subject). After refurbishment, it reopens in grand style, expanding the offer while maintaining its usual focus on small independent publishing houses. Sometimes you happen to go in looking for a best seller, to get lost in a maze of titles and and end up coming out loaded with books that you never knew loaded with books that you never knew where there to find. You will be labbergasted by the number of “Milanese” surprises in store for you, starting from its logo designed by Barbara Calanca. Piazzale Dateo 5 tel. 02/36577757
Once a public outdoor swimming pool that thanks to Andrée Shammah’s vision and the architectural project by Michele De Lucchi, was turned into the Bagni Misteriosi. It’s a fascinating space that promotes cultural activities all year round as well as the opening of its two swimming pools during the summer. Adjacent to the Franco Parenti Theater, it is a place that the Milanese really like, also open for private events.
P.TA ROMANA + CORVETTO
Space to art
Designed by the OMA studio founded by Rem Koolhaas, the Prada Foundation combines pre-existing buildings and three new constructions including the nine-storey tower with a restaurant on top overlooking the city. Among the permanent collections and temporary exhibitions, don't miss the Grotto, a site-specific work by Thomas Demand and the bar designed by Wes Andersen. There is also a children's workshop. The Observatory is dedicated to photography, another exhibition space in the heart of the city, overlooking the Octagon in the historic Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II.
Photography, art, fashion, design, music and erotic literature in over 250 carefully selected international magazines. The Reading Room is a meeting place for enthusiasts, but also for those who just have the desire to leaf through avant-garde magazines.
For a contemporary research of avantgarde fashion, art and culture, Fabio Quaranta's sophisticated atelier presents Montesalieri, a collection of men's suits and androgynous women's garments. On appointment.
Publishing for design
Its premises in via Savona offer a national and international selection of books on design, architecture, art, photography, fashion, graphics as well as the books edited by the publishing house. Thanks to Corraini Editore's past partnership with Bruno Munari, particular attention is dedicated to the world of artist's books for children. Objects and small furnishing accessories are also for sale.
A silo for fashion
A former grain warehouse – hence the name – renovated by Giorgio Armani, hosts the showcase of this great fashion designer’s professional history. A permanent collection divided by the subjects that continue to inspire his creations. Several display areas for temporary exhibitions, a café overlooking the internal courtyard and a digital archive are available to the visitors. Everything to discover.
A drink at Bulloni’s
A wide choice of fine wines and liqueurs and a few tables to enjoy a glass in complete relax accompanied enjoy a relaxing glass accompanied by excellent appetizers. Not to miss the works of the futurist master Enrico Prampolini that since 1923 have been hanging behind the counter.
Bottega del vino
The few tables on the sidewalk – as well as those inside - are always taken by the discerning wine drinkers. La Coloniale, a sought-after wine shop with more than 1,000 labels and a choice of gourmet products for all tastes, is the right address for the sophisticated experts.
Teatro alla Scala Backstage
The Teatro alla Scala Laboratories- Ateliers are housed in the former industrial settlement of the Ansaldo steel mills. An imposing structure divided into three pavilions capable of hosting most of the craftsmanship needed for the stage sets. In addition to over 60,000 costumes, there are rehearsal rooms for the choir and the direction. Guided tours are organized on appointment.
A basis for culture
Inside the former Ansaldo industrial complex, one of the most important urban regeneration projects in Europe, there is Base, 12,000 m2 of laboratories, exhibitions spaces, shows, workshops, conferences, a large study room and an artist residence .There are also a bistro and casaBase, a low-cost, yet sophisticated hotel, created by mixing styles, vintage pieces and design prototypes.
A break among the ruins
An archaeological park that preserves the remains of a Roman amphitheatre. A place of peace where you can take a break. Next to it, the Antiquarium Alda Levi (who took part in the first digs in 1936), a former monastic convent, currently the seat of the Superintendence for the Archaeological Heritage of Lombardy. Open to the public.
A Bronze artisan
For four generations they have been making furnishing accessories in brass and bronze. Here bathroom accessories, handles, plates are reproduced according to the originals or in different styles. An ancient world still precious for the contemporary home.
In Aurora Zancanaro’s 50 square metre shop, renovated by Marina Sinibaldi, one can enjoy the magic of extraordinary bread making. Here everything is mixed with sourdough and flours produced by small artisan mills. Bread, pizzas on the peel, brioche bread, sweet and savoury biscuits of the highest quality are baked daily. Excellent panettone and colomba.
Religion and more
The Cloisters of Sant’Eustorgio are a symbol of the history of Milan’s religious tradition. Since 2016 they have been part of a museum complex – they include the Basilica of Sant’Eustorgio, the Museum of the Basilica of Sant’Eustorgio and the Diocesan Museum of Carlo Maria Martini. Various cultural initiatives, including religious ones, are held on the premises
An alchemical friendship
Among the charms of the Milanese ladies is that of mixing pure precious stones and simple gold bands. The jewels of Marta Caffarelli and Viola Naj Oleari are as essential as special. They are conceived as stories and take their inspiration from what surrounds us: nature, children, words, secrets, animals, roots. Atelier VM jewels, since 1998.
More than a bookshop
Verso is a bookshop-laboratory with an adjoining café to offer discovery reading itineraries and meeting opportunities. It’s the ideal place where to take a break, organize a business appointment while sipping a coffee, a herbal tea or a glass of wine. In addition to book presentations, themed meetings, readings, courses, cabaret and theatre evenings are regularly organized.
The house number one specialty is the pizza al trancio - thick, crunchy, tasty, with or without toppings - served in freshly baked slices from a strictly wood oven. In a seventies setting, the menu also offers special dishes made with a careful choice of ingredients, according to the Tuscan tradition. The vitello tonnato is excellent. Since 1927.
Inside the Red Church
Completed in 1932 on a project by the architect Giovanni Muzio, it features apparently sparse in terms of decoration and style. Since 1997, thanks to the involvement of the Dia Art Foundation and Fondazione Prada, the church permanently hosts Untitled, the latest work by the minimal artist Dan Flavin, finished two days before his death in 1996. A must see.
Atelier of ideas
A tiny space with a broad cultural vision. Mega is a place where art, architecture, design, music, photography, publishing and cinema combine and interact.
Gio Ponti Archive
The Gio Ponti Archives are hosted in the architect's former studio, located in the building - via Dezza 49 - he designed and lived in. It is archive of on photographic materials from the Ponti studio, arranged by his daughter Lisa, on the release of her book "Gio Ponti, the opera", and on important additions with new photos and data collection made by Salvatore Licitra from 1996 onwards.
Flavours from the Middle East
The best burgers in Milan are served here. In addition, kosher, that is, made with as well as specialising in Kosher cuisine for the Jewish diet. Denzel is a small, tastefully decorated place. Wide choice of dishes, which include fish and vegetarian recipes.
The trattoria of the past
Tagiura was born in 1963 as a café with billiards. Years later, when office blocks were built nearby, the restaurant was added. It serves platters of cold cuts and goat cheese for aperitifs. Dinner is à la carte. Excellent fresh pasta and risotto.
A drink in the Galleria
Verdi and Toscanini’s favourite after theatre café. It’s where Dudovich and Carrà used to stay up for a late night. King Umberto loved it because “the coffee was the best in town”. Umberto Boccioni portrayed it in the very famous Rissa in Galleria. Today a meeting place steeped in history and culture, more than a café it is a city landmark where style is unmistakable. The shaken Campari is an absolute must.
This historic shop in the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele offers a selection of the best items for smokers: new and edition pipes, cigars and accessories. The tobaccos are stored in special humidors to guarantee aroma and freshness. Also available online.
Architecture hidden among the bouquets
If you are looking for an unforgettable bouquet of flowers, this is the right address. In the historic headquarters in via Manzoni, designed by Guglielmo Ulrich, the floral choice is never trivial. The small desks are an invitation to write your card.
Everything has remained as it was in the days of the great Master. The shelves are full of objects, books, prototypes. This was arranged under the direction of Castiglioni’s heirs who created an archive of all the works and materials relating to the profitable activity of the Castiglionis. Exhibitions, conferences and themed lectures are periodically held here.
The Corrente foundation is located in the Casa delle Rondini, whose façade was entirely decorated with polychrome majolica by Ernesto Treccani. It houses a specialized library and various archive collections. The rich exhibition and conference programme, which ranges from political philosophy to aesthetics, from art history to urban planning, from psychoanalysis to literature, from theatre to photography, is definitely appealing.
Dialogue in the dark
It’s a Milanese association that welcomes and assists the visually impaired. A few years ago, they set up a sensory itinerary Dialogo nel Buio, an exhibition in the total absence of light where visitors must rely exclusively on the other four senses to explore the environments. Booking required.
The children's Rotonda
The Rotonda, built in the late 1600s in Baroque style, was first conceived as a cemetery of the adjoining Ca 'Granda hospital. Today it is a green space open to the public, home to temporary exhibitions and cultural events. It houses the first children's museum in the city (MUBA). > www.lombardiabeniculturali.it/ architetture/schede/LMD80-00207/
Love of art
Born from the will of Giorgio Carriero, the foundation bearing the same name aims at exploring new frontiers and has the peculiarity of not being linked to any private collection. It is dedicated to enthusiasts, but also a place for meeting and looking into the art of our times. A space designed by Mr. Carriero’s friend Gae Aulenti.
A glimpse at the sky
Ulrico Hoepli "Included it in the living system of the metropolis and secluded at the same time ". This is how the architect who designed it, Piero Portaluppi, describes The Planetarium. First opened in 1930, it was born from the will of the Italian-Swiss Ulrico Hoepli, founder of the publishing house bearing his name, mainly specialized in scientific texts - who bequeathed this little gem to the city. > www.lofficina.eu
Elegance and research
Nina Yashar has always been involved in design. Her galleries are a must for designer project fans. Nina organizes themed exhibitions, publishes books and follows several designers. The windows of via Spiga always have strong visual impact and show thorough research work. In the Depot located in via Jenner, a former industrial space renovated by architect Massimiliano Locatelli, different collections are on display on the different floors of the building: truly spectacular. Worth a visit.
Old world Aristocracy
I am love, a film directed by Luca Guadanino, brought the villa, designed in the early 1930s by architect Piero Portaluppi, under the spotlights. In the residence, surrounded by a secluded garden in the city centre, the atmosphere between the two wars is still lingering. It houses amazing art masterpieces. By the will of the Necchi sisters it is open to the public and is managed by FAI, the Italian National Trust.
A hat sculpture
A creative milliner workshop where hats are made with imaginative designs, turning them into small and poetic sculptures to be worn to measure. From the hands of Antonina Nafi De Luca, the hat designer, old and unused pieces are also revisited. Fans of limited edition hats and turbans should keep this address in mind. > www.altalen.it
A little bit of history
Built in 1695, after the collapse of the church next door, the Ossario degli Innocenti (the Ossuary of the Innocents), so called by the Milanese, and was erected when the nearby cemetery was no longer able to be expanded. The bones were then transferred to the pre-existing church dedicated to the passion of the Virgin Mary, to San Sebastiano and Sant'Ambrogio. A place of worship and veneration in the history of the city.
It may look like any other kiosk; however, besides offering a sophisticated selection of high quality flowers, it carries out design and styling activities, using decorative compositions of great impact.
The art to be discovered
A true reference point in the world of contemporary art. For more than 30 years, it has played a pivotal role introducing Italian artists to the world and exhibiting works by international designers in their Milanese gallery. A new exhibition space has recently opened in a splendid apartment designed by Piero Portaluppi besides the one located in piazzetta Belgioioso. London, Hong Kong and Paris are the other cities where other exhibition spaces have been opened. Moreover, these is the VSpace, a virtual gallery in times of Covid.
Luisa Cevese was trained in the world of fabrics and in 1996 founded Riedizioni, a brand based on the philosophy of using two opposite materials: fabrics and plastic. This is how refined and original bags, tablecloths, clothing accessories are created. Custom pieces to order.
In a former tie shop, a space dedicated to the culture of design. A place of great charm overlooking an internal garden. Led by Rossana Orlandi, it is also home to Guiltness Plastic, a project curated by Rossana and her daughter Nicoletta for the recovery of plastic waste. Not to be missed. > www.rossanaorlandi.com
Tempted by the irresistible
Their marron glacés are the best in town, but the Giovanni Galli confectionery factory also prepares the famous Boeri (chocolate covered cherry with liqueur), chocolate pralines and almond paste. The Corso di Porta Romana shop still retains its original wooden counter. Everything is made by hand, as it once was. A family tradition that began in 1911. > www.giovannigalli.com
De Santis is a true reference point. Since 1964, succulent sandwiches have been relentlessly prepared in its 13 square metre shop. More than 200 recipes available. The success led to the opening of other branches: on the top floor of la Rinascente and in Via Cesare Battisti, a stone's throw from the courthouse. > www.paninidesantis.it
Meucci only has thirteen tables and is located at a stone's throw from the Dal Verme theatre. Customers are not attracted by its environment, but by the thin and well-cooked pizza it is served. Friendly staff and reasonable prices. > Via San Giovanni sul Muro, 18 tel. 02 86450526
The origins of the project
An address for the history of industrial design lovers. This vast heritage is made up of the Historical Design Archive, the Danese Fund (from 1957 to 1991) and the Art Collections with an impressive number of works by Bruno Munari (from 1927 to 1996). > www.fondazionevodozdanese.org
The foundation where the Milanese architect's studio once was located is housed in a 1930 building designed by Portaluppi. Exhibitions and conferences take place in two large rooms restored to perfection. The large library and archive complete with furniture, objects, films and photographs are available for studies and research. > www.portaluppi.org
The classical world
It’s the city’s reference point for classicalmusic. Musical scores, LPs, CDs and DVDs of the best music productions. The Edizioni Discantica catalogue is also well stocked. > www.discantica.it > www.bottiglieriabulloni.it
Bramante's Trompe l'oeil
In the small church of Santa Maria at San Satiro near the Duomo, there is a real Renaissance treasure: the fake Bramante choir, an illusionist masterpiece. Not to be missed! > Via Torino 17
The Ca 'Granda
The project has been attributed to Filarete, who in 1457 began the construction of the great city hospital. The works were completed in the seventeenth century and today the square-shaped courtyard of imposing dimensions is part of Milan’s Università Statale. Worth a visit. > www.unimi.it/it
The Fashion Patisserie
Among the city’s oldest pastry shops with a passion for excellence handed down for generations. Marchesi offers sweets and pralines as in the past, as well as tasty savoury dishes. It has also two new branches: via Montenapoleone 9 and Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II thanks to the recent takeover by the Prada Group. > www.pasticceriamarchesi.com
Created to promote an "honest and ethical" way of designing in the original location of Franco Albini and Franca Helg’s architectural firm in via Telesio 13, where about 22,000 drawings, the photographic archive with more than 6,000 period photos and 2,500 slides are kept, as well as maquettes, writings, letters, technical reports, books and magazines belonging to the studio library. > www.francoalbini.com
A laboratory, a gallery, a publishing house and a biennial award. All dedicated to the world of contemporary ceramics. Between art and design, it promotes more than 20 international artists in Italy and abroad. > www.officinesaffi.com
One of the city’s first covered markets, dating back to 1933, its rationalist vault clearly recalls the great railway stations of the 19th century. Today, like yesterday, it houses several food stalls, a restaurant with specialties from Puglia and a small bar. The throbbing heart of the lively Nolo district. Viale Monza, 54
El Chiorrillano serves the best Andean country cuisine in town. It ranges from very fresh Chevice to the Tiradito, a typical dish based on raw fish, yellow chilli and rocoto: Do not miss the Pisco Sour, their welcome cocktail. No shortage of Latin American tunes during dinner. Via Ferrante Aporti, 28 Tel. 02/2847802
The Design Deli
The first café-design shop in Milan. On the one hand, they do Graphic Design and communication; on the other, they serve aperitifs with salamibased snacks. Live music > www.salumeriadeldesign.com
The merging passion for coffee and wine have created the Caffineria. In the morning, croissants and steaming coffee are served to customers trying to work glued to the screen of their computers; in the evening a selection of wines from independent producers opens up new horizons. A guitar hangs on the walls for those wishing to entertain the public. > www.caffineria-milano.it
Milan rising — in 12 architectures
La Triennale di Milano by Giovanni Muzio — 1931/33 Viale Alemagna 6
Bosco Verticale by Stefano Boeri, Gianandrea Barreca e Giovanni La Varra — 2014 Torre De Castillia
Università Bocconi by Giuseppe Pagano — 1936/42 Via Sarfatti 25
Campus Università Bocconi by Studio SANAA — 2019 Via Castelbarco 27
Grattacielo Pirelli o Pirellone by Gio Ponti — 1960 Via Fabio Filzi 22 – Piazzale Duca d’Aosta 5-7a
Casa Rustici by Pietro Lingeri e Giuseppe Terragni 1933/35, Corso Sempione 36
Fondazione Feltrinelli by Herzog&DeMeuron — 2016 Viale Pasubio e viale Crispi
Palazzo INA by Piero Bottoni — 1953/58 Corso Sempione 33
Torre Prada by Rem Koolhaas — 2018 Viale Isarco 2
Torre Velasca by BBPR — 1961 Piazza Velasca 5
Palazzo Lombardia by Pei Cobb Freed & Partners, Caputo Partnership, SDPartners — 2010 Piazza Città di Lombardia
Nuova Bocconi by Grafton Architects — 2008 viale Guglielmo Röntgen 1
Sculptures to wear
Her jewels, mainly in bronze and inspired to nature, are small modular sculptures. The most famous collection, Pistilli, expresses itself at best in the rings. Monica Castiglioni's creativity, however, is unstoppable and also extends to photography. She lives between Milan and New York. > www.monicacastiglioni.com
Algranti Lab works mainly to order with different degrees of customization. It uses recycled materials, such as iron and wood that make each piece unique. Here you’ll find tables, cabinets, kitchens, bookcases. To be discovered. > www.algrantilab.it
Like in the bazaar
The African Oriental Craft was born in Milan back in 1965 and is the hub of the Eritrean community in Milan. Place of gathering and work, it’s something in between the Islamic souks and the Middle Eastern bazaars. Wholesale and retail sale of ethnic handicrafts mainly from the Africa and the Middle East. > www.aoc34.it
Jazz above all
The club, the music, the restaurant. It's the Blue Note. One of the meccas of jazz music, it is world famous for its multiple venues (in New York it’s mythical). It hosts about 350 shows a year and the weekly programming from Tuesday to Sunday features two concerts a day. > www.bluenotemilano.com
17 recommended itineraries, a map to find one’s way and guided tours available. A real open-air museum. Due to the very high artistic value of the sculptures and architecture, the Cimitero Monumentale is amongst the most important cemeteries in Italy and Europe. > monumentale.comune.milano.it
The elegance of the project
Luisa delle Piane has been running the gallery bearing her same name since 1994. In all these years, she has been carrying out a skilful research work in the decorative arts, 20th century and contemporary design. She curates editions and scouts exclusive pieces of furniture. The grace and elegance of the hostess give a unique imprint to this special place. > www.gallerialuisadellepiane.it
Chinese street food
Anyone who passes in front of the Ravioleria Sarpi can see the rigorously hand-made preparation of the Chinese ravioli to be steamed cooked. The meat filling comes from the nearby Sirtori Butcher. An absolute must. Via Paolo Sarpi, 27
Wine and poetry
Cantine Isola is the place where to find inexpensive and quality bottles for a smart daily consumption. There is no shortage of the most sought-after labels. At the counter, delicious snacks are served to accompany the wine by the glass. Tuesday is poetry night, some of the poems are also read in the local dialect. > www.cantineisola.com