[image via national geographic]
today’s city guide comes from artist paola serrao. her guide to the fashionable city of milan makes me want to hop on a plane and enjoy the beautiful museums and shopping the city has to offer. planning a trip? paola has included places to stay, as well as restaurants, concept shops, design fairs, boutiques and great bookstores. thanks to paola for her wonderful guide!
as always, if you have a favorite spot that’s missing, please feel free to add it in the comment section below.
CLICK HERE for the full milan guide after the jump…
MUSEUMS and FOUNDATIONS
Triennale: it’s a must for all design-addicted. The best venue if you want to see an exhibition on interior design or architecture. Have a coffee at the Design Cafe’ where every table and chair is a piece of contemporary furniture. 6 Alemagna street.
Brera Art Gallery is located in an ancient convent and houses paintings of artists like Raphael, Caravaggio, Titian, as well as, international artists such as Rembrandt and Van Dyck. On weekday mornings (from 9 am to 12 am) the museum opens also the botanical gardens: a relaxing stop between secular trees, in downtown Milan. 28, Brera street.
Antonio Mazzotta Foundation is a private foundation with the purpose of promoting modern and contemporary art exhibitions. The Foundation is at 50, Foro Buonaparte, in a late
Da Vinci’s Last Supper – the visit to Leonardo’s greatest wall painting is an experience you shouldn’t miss. The painting covers the back wall of the dining hall at Santa Maria delle Grazie, one of the most striking monuments of Lombard renaissance. Visitors have to book about a week in advance. 2, Piazza Santa Maria delle Grazie
PAPER, STATIONERY and ART SUPPLIES SHOPS
Fabriano Boutique is a luxury stationer’s. All products are made in Italy from Italian raw materials. I love Bouquet notebooks: seven notebooks in seven different types of high quality paper, tied together. 17, Ponte Vetero street.
A must if you like paper as media is Pasini. In 3 Tibaldi street you can find cardboard frames, paper, prints of popular subjects, wallpaper and bookbinding paper.
Vigano‘ sells three cuts beads, bugles, rocailles, all kind of glass, wood plastic stones and accessories for fashion embroidering or handworks. 39, Paolo da Cannobbio
street. If you want something ready to wear go to the other shop under the Vittorio Emanuele gallery, there vigano’ expose the best jewelery of italian handicraft
Spazio 900 sells or rent objects from ’50’s, ’60’s, ’70’s and ’80’s, out of production, end of series, or used: Knoll, M. Miller, Poltronara, Cassina, Artemide, Stilnovo, Flos and Arteluce; often you may come upon with pieces that cannot be found ’cause outside production. 51, Campania street.
Spazio Rossana Orlandi is a fascinating gallery shop that offers a constantly changing stock of contemporary design objects. This place become famous for the mix of vintage and experimental pieces. 14, Matteo Bandello street.
Spazio Bisazza is for decor lovers! Forget traditional mosaic, Bisazza provide a broad range of design that run from trompe-l’oeil fire place toWarhol inspired flowers. New collections are presented in the showroom as a succession of living environments, completed by furnishings. 2, Senato street.
1380 Design store- Full of chairs and furniture. Inside the space is a laboratory for restoration and restyling, where it is possible to have personalized, the items purchased. 1380 often hosts exhibitions of design and contemporary art. 7, Enrico Annibale Butti street.
Kartell specializes in molded furniture and is an icon of the made in Italy. Just few kilometers outside Milan, in a city called Noviglio, you can also visit Kartell museum, located inside Kartell factory. There you can also find some discounted items. Shop: Turati street @ Porta street. Museum and factory: 3, Delle Industrie street – Noviglio –
Libri e caffè has been the first bookstore in Milan where I’ve enjoyed the pleasure of reading sitting in an armchair surrounded by coffee’s aroma and background music. This bookshop is mainly focused on rare volumes and little know pubblishing houses. 1, Pietro Maestri street.
Design Library is a bookshop entirely dedicated to Italian design. Located in the Tortona area and designed by James Irvine. 11, Savona street.
L’Archivolto: specializes in architecture books, town planning, landscaping, design, decorative arts and local history. 2, Marsala street.
Milano Libri is my favourite bookstore. I spent hours and hours on the couch at the second floor dedicated to interior design, fashion an graphic. 2, Verdi street.
Books Import is specialized on illustrated books. The last friday of every month, books import, organize a cocktail between books: read and drink. 11, Achille Maiocchi street.
Hoepli – this bookshop is a monument to reading, for sure the largest bookshop in Milan. They mostly sell italian books but have a great selection of art, graphic and design books all in english. 5, Hoepli street.
10 Corso Como – it’s a must see store. It sells design books, Cds and must have fashion items of the season. This concept store includes also a photography- design gallery and a restaurant. 10 Corso Como remind me Colette in Paris, but more like an oriental bazaar. 10, Corso Como.
Habit Culti – When I visit this shop I get immediatly a calming and restful sensation. Habit Culti sells fragrances, clothing and anything related to the house and the person.
At the sub basement level the SPA offers massage treatments. 5, Angelo Mauri street.
High Tech – is an amazing store. I love to go there for the experience. High Tech sells furniture, homeware and stationary from all over the world. A special shuttle bus takes you from High Tech to the other megastore called Cargo where you’ll find international furnishing and home accessories. 12, Piazza XXV Aprile.
Love Therapy represents a little piece of the famous Fiorucci shop that was closed on 2003. Also if it is a tiny shop still worth a trip for the windows full of fun and fantasy. 1, Galleria Passarella
Pescheria da Claudio – It used to be a fishmonger’s shop but between 7 and 9 pm, you can sip white wine and eat fresh sashimi of swordfish, tuna and shrimp, delivered daily from the coast. 16, Ponte Vetero street.
Pasticceria Taveggia makes the best cappuccino and espresso in town, sip it while tasting their hand made brioches and pastries. 2, Visconti di Modrone street.
Shambala is housed in a renovated farmhouse with a beautiful garden that brings an asian atmosphere to Milan. Its only problem is that it is difficult to reach without a car.
The food is a mix of Vietnamese and Thai dishes. 337, Ripamonti street. –
Latteria Cucina Vegetariana is a crowded little milk and cheese shop turned into a vegetarian restaurant. Meals are amazing and the menu is huge. If you travelling alone
you can expect to share your table with other people. 6, Unione street.
Luini is a tiny bakery specialized in “panzerotti”, basically a dough filled with mozzerella and tomato, then fried. At Luini you can also find different sorts of bread and cakes. The place gets packed at lunchtime, so come early or be prepared. 16, Santa Radegonda street.
Giulio Pane e Ojo, offers Roman cuisine in a friendly and informal setting. Sit around small wooden tables you can taste traditional dishes such as spaghetti all’amatriciana and abbacchio. Reservation is absolutely recommended. 10, Muratori street.
Sant’Ambroseus is a classic cake-shop and tearoom. They have a great offer of cakes so beautiful to be considered pieces of art. I love their windows during Christmas time. 7, Corso Matteotti.
Peck is a delicatessen emporium over 3 floors, an institution for cheeses, hams and wines. On the last floor the tea room is an useful place where stop to take a rest. 9, Spadari street
MARKET and FAIR
Brera Antique Open Air Market is held every third sunday of each month in Brera district, just one block from Brera Art Gallery. This market selling books, antiques furniture,
lamps and prints. Once you’ve done enjoy a walk around this area. Fiori Chiari street.
Naviglio antique open air market is held the last sunday of each month except for july and august. There’s a bit of everything: antique toys, paintings, books, postcards and, if you’re lucky, some interesting pieces of italian design. Alzaia Naviglio Grande
The International Furniture fair known as design week is held in April. During that week the city celebrate contemporary design with furniture exhibitions, cocktail parties and chic soirees. Do not lose Satellite exhibition the show of upcoming design talents. 28, Strada Statale del Sempione -Rho
3Rooms are three luxury apartments located in 10 Corso Como shopping complex, overlooking the delightful courtyard. Each apartment has its own collection of iconic 20th century design pieces, all available to buy. Hotel services are minimal but room service and breakfast are guaranteed by the cafe’ downstairs. 10, Corso Como.
Bulgari – I never get the chance to stay in the hotel, but I spent some afternoons in the private garden: an unexpected oasis of exclusive tranquility, wonderfully located close to Milan’s botanical garden and near the fashion district. 7, Fratelli Gabba street.