Its own inhabitants know it very well: Milan's beauty is a secret one. Away from the spotlight of fashion shows and design weeks, the immortal charm of this elegant city hides inside its antique buildings, in the courtyards and secluded gardens. From its heavy wooden doorways, every day Milanese ladies walk out in their impeccable outfits, whether they are heading to their busy offices or the next cultural event.
Both contemporary and rooted in its important past, Milan will never stop surprising you, or us. Every visit adds magic to your travel memories.
Find some new tips here.
Felix lo Basso Restaurant
Felice lo Basso, one of Italy’s rising chefs, comes from Puglia, the Southern Italy region that treasures the most renowned Italian culinary excellences. But his career took off on the heights of the Dolomites, deep in the north of the country. These two opposites have blended incredibly in its cooking. Dine so close to the spires of the Duomo cathedral that you can nearly touch them: Felix lo Basso is the place to be seated at.
Galleria Vittorio Emanuele, Piazza Duomo 21, 5° floor
Tel. +39 (02) 4952 8914
Il luogo di Aimo e Nadia
Like a much-loved, tailored coat that will never go out of style, Aimo and Nadia Moroni have been a must for nearly 50 years when it comes to fine dining in Milan. Today, Aimo still hangs out in the kitchen, where he has welcomed and trained two young and energetic chefs: Alessandro Negrini and Fabio Pisani. It’s a nostalgic choice, and a never-go-wrong venue, where regulars catch up.
Via Privata Raimondo Montecuccoli 6
Tel. +39 (02) 4168 86
The quintessential Italian aperitivo experience was recently reinvented by the Michelin-starred chef Andrea Berton, who has paired the finest cocktails with pizza gourmand. Located in the artsy neighbourhood of Brera, the essential design of Dry welcomes its guests with a big, central bench. From here, everyone can check out what's going on out on the street and, of course, vice-versa. One cocktail we love is the French 75.
Via Solferino, 33, 20124 Milano
Tel. +39 (02) 6379 3414
Only in Milan: Casa Base is a pretty cool hostel, a very stylish and convenient starting point to explore the Fuori Salone during International Design Week (4-9 April 2017). Already known as the new artists' residency in Milan and located near via Tortona, the trendy area of the former Ansaldo Steelworks factory, Casa Base has ten bright rooms, all furnished with original pieces from the 1950s and 1960s. The design pieces are by Vitra and the Lebanese PSLAB Studio. Be sure to book in advance: all this style comes with affordable prices and it's not easy to find a vacant room.
Via Bergognone 34, Milan
Forget the big brands; meet one of the most interesting designers on the Milanese scene: Colomba Leddi. In her unique research process, Colomba uses any little object that fascinates her, from pebbles, and leaves to Uzbek carpets, flowers, and feathers. She mixes everything up, creates a digital pattern and uses it to print fabrics for her own fashion designs, including coats, skirts, pants and shirts. Every single piece is unique and her atelier is full of surprises.
Via Revere 13
Tel. +39 (02) 4801 4146
Leonardo da Vinci was the guy we invented the word genius for. But he was also one of the most prominent Milanese, back in the 16th century. Hired by Ludovico il Moro to brighten up the duke’s dinner parties in his Castello Sforzesco, Leonardo had been living around the area of the castle and—of course—stayed at the Santa Maria delle Grazie convent when he was sent there in detention for having put too much effort into some indoor fireworks shows (and many of the duke's guests had to jump out of the castle window to save their lives).
In Santa Maria delle Grazie, da Vinci painted his most famous masterpiece after La Gioconda: Il Cenacolo. Recently restored and open to the public, it is always worth a visit. Booking online is advised, as the whole world seems to be waiting in line.
Near Santa Maria delle Grazie, you can also pay a visit to La Vigna di Leonardo in the Atellani residence, where four apartments are available for rent.
Santa Maria delle Grazie, via Giuseppe Antonio Sassi, 3
Tel. +39 (02) 8942 1146
La Vigna di Leonardo
Corso Magenta 65
Tickets ph. +39 (02) 4816 150
A CENTURY OF MILANESE ARCHITECTURE
By Giuliana Gramigna
and Sergio Mazza
Milan is its architecture, and the story of Milan is written along its streets, on its walls; behind its doorways. Get a glimpse of it through this amazing photographic work.