Milan, the city of fashion and design, of art and culture, does not like to make a big show of itself, preferring understatement; it only forgets this during its fashion shows and the lively period of the Salone del Mobile, which is when the city reveals its international scope. And it sees its future mirrored in the new buildings of steel and glass, taller than the baroque steeples of the cathedral, which preannounce Expo 2015, to be held in the Lombard capital
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Duomo/quadrilatero della moda/Manzoni
The area around the Duomo, the Cathedral, and Galleria Vittorio Emanuele is, above all, for shopping. Luxury shopping, in the so-called “quadrilateral of fashion”, located within Via Montenapoleone, Via della Spiga, Corso Venezia and Via Manzoni, home to fashion houses, jeweller’s shops, showrooms and antique shops; and then there are the more mainstream areas in Corso Vittorio Emanuele, with the shop windows of prêt à porter designers and many international chains.
Cosa vedere/cosa fare
Dallo scorso anno, vicino all’Arengario, in piazza Duomo, è stato aperto il MUSEO DEL NOVECENTO (museodelnovecento.org); ospita una interessante collezione di opere di Fontana, Boccioni, Balla, Carrà, Morandi, De Chirico e l’opera Il Quarto Stato di Pellizza da Volpedo; riporta invece al periodo medioevale la piccola PIAZZA MERCANTI. Recente l’apertura all’interno di Palazzo Morando, in stile rococò, del MUSEO DEL COSTUME, della moda e dell’immagine (costumemodaimmagine.mi.it), in via Sant’Andrea. Risalendo corso Venezia con gli eleganti palazzi ottocenteschi e liberty, si raggiunge il PAC, il Padiglione di Arte Contemporanea, che propone mostre temporanee di alto profilo.
Some of the most elegant hotels are found in the centre: from the PARK HYATT (milan.park.hyatt. com) in the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele, to the ARMANI HOTEL (milan.armanihotels.com), overlooking Via Manzoni, which is near the 19th-century GRAND HOTEL ET DE MILAN (grandhoteletdemilan.it), just by the Teatro alla Scala. In Corso Matteotti, there is the contemporary BOSCOLO (milano.boscolohotels. com). Housed in a former convent, is the FOUR SEASONS (fourseasons.com). Nearby is the elegant CARLTON HOTEL BAGLIONI (baglionihotels.com).
See and do
Near the Arengario Palace, in Piazza del Duomo, the MUSEUM OF THE TWENTIETH CENTURY (museodelnovecento.org) houses works by Carrà, Fontana, Boccioni, Balla, Morandi, De Chirico and The Fourth State by Pellizza da Volpedo; the small PIAZZA MERCANTI takes you back to Medieval times. Recently opened in the Palazzo Morando is the MUSEUM OF COSTUME, FASHION AND THE IMAGE (costumemodaimmagine.mi.it). Along Corso Venezia, with its Liberty-style buildings, is the PAVILION OF CONTEMPORARY ART, which offers high-profile temporary exhibitions.
Eat and drink
The best place for a cappuccino is at PASTICCERIA COVA (pasticceriacova.com), located in Via Montenapoleone, or the nearby SANT’AMBROEUS (santambroeusmilano.it), in Corso Matteotti, two venues with a tasteful allure. Then you can return to the contemporary world at PECK bistro (peck. it), a Mecca for gourmets, OTTIMO MASSIMO (ottimomassimogourmet.it), with the best salads and panini in Milan, and in the “austere” dining room of the multi-award-winning chef Carlo CRACCO (ristorantecracco.it). In the evening an aperitivo is de rigueur, at BAR MARTINI (dolcegabbana.it/martini), attached to the boutique of Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana, or at the Hotel STRAF (straf.it), with its small bar and house DJ. Compact dimensions also characterise CAMPARINO (camparino.it), on the corner of Piazza del Duomo and Galleria Vittorio Emanuele, a genuine Milanese institution. After a few more steps you arrive on the Piazza della Scala, home to IL MARCHESINO (gualtieromarchesi.it), run by Gualtiero Marchesi, the father of new Italian cuisine, and TRUSSARDI ALLA SCALA (trussardiallascala.com), now with chef Luigi Taglienti in charge of the kitchens.
The elegant Quadrilatero hosts the flagship stores of the most important designers: from PRADA to BULGARI, CAVALLI to MOSCHINO, whose shop window is always a pleasure to behold, to DOLCE & GABBANA, which has a section inside their shop with clothes designed by emerging stylists, on the corner with Corso Venezia. Where the latter ends is where Corso Vittorio Emanuele begins, leading to Piazza del Duomo and welcoming international chains, with brands such as GAP, BANANA REPUBLIC and ABERCROMBIE & FITCH but also a luxury store, the EXCELSIOR, with its space for gourmands in the basement, and the department store LA RINASCENTE. Don’t miss the FERRARI STORE in Piazza del Liberty. ROSSOCORSA, the Ferrari dealership, is at Via dei Missaglia, 89.
Cadorna/ Triennale/ Sempione
If you follow the outline of the Castello Sforzesco, one way takes you to the Parco Sempione, and the other to the “Needle and Thread” sculpture that characterises Piazzale Cadorna. Swarming with people, it is the area for studios, offices and newspaper publishers, but you will also find tourists, map in hand, heading in the direction of Santa Maria delle Grazie, home to Da Vinci’s Last Supper, and the Cenacolo Vinciano Museum. Not far away are the cloisters of the Catholic University.
Eat and drink
For a quick breakfast with excellent pastries, there is SUGAR in the elegant Corso Vincenzo Monti, almost next door to PIZZERIA DA BIAGIO, for a pizza with a typical Neapolitan “moulding”. For a snack in the sunshine, the CAFÉ DESIGN at the Triennale, in the Park, also prepares elegant picnic baskets in late spring and summer. Among the ice-cream parlours, the most well-loved in the zone are SHOCKOLAT, in Via Boccaccio, and the nearby LATO G (latog.com), on the corner with Corso Vincenzo Monti. A touch of the rising sun, particularly appreciated by the fashion world, for a master chef’s sushi, by Hide Shinohara, at the restaurant ZERO (zeromagenta.it); the playfully named PANE E ACQUA (paneacqua.com) is located close to San Vittore Prison, and is run by talented chef Francesco Passalacqua, attached to the SPAZIO ROSSANA ORLANDI (rossanaorlandi. com). Walk a little beyond Corso Sempione to find L’UNICO RESTAURANT (unicorestaurant.it), in an atypical location for Milan, on the top floor of the WJC skyscraper, to taste the dishes of chef Fabio Baldassarre, or to visit Eros Picco’s INNOCENTI EVASIONI (innocentievasioni.com).
See and do
In addition to the places we have already described, which all definitely deserve a visit, such as the CENACOLO, with Da Vinci’s Last Supper (cenacolovinciano.net) – booking in advance is obligatory – there is also the small Archaeological Museum, which contains many treasures. The area is very popular with designers, who can find interesting art and design exhibitions at the TRIENNALE (triennale.it), immersed in parkland (a few years ago the TRIENNALE BOVISA also opened in the suburban district of that name). Again inside the Park, there is the TORRE BRANCA, designed by Giò Ponti, from which you can see the whole city from above; it is particularly interesting at this time, when the city is an open construction site, due to the Expo opening in 2015. Finally, there is also a tiny, little-known jewel, yet one that attracts dedicated art and design enthusiasts and students: the STUDIO MUSEO CASTIGLIONI (achillecastiglioni.it): an evocative, secluded place that retains the charismatic presence of the maestro.
Take a pleasant walk amid the shop windows along the pedestrianised Via Dante, or in Corso Magenta find menswear shops such as M BARDELLI (mbardelli.com), which opened in 1941 as a hat shop, almost opposite the SOANA grocery store (drogheriasoana.it), dating from 1947, and the PASTICCERIA MARCHESI (pasticceriamarchesi.it), which first opened in 1824, and whose shop front is always meticulously presented. Further along is the antique jeweller FAVILLA and two shops for the more discerning music enthusiast: BUSCEMI (buscemihifi.it) and BOTTEGA DISCANTICA (discantica.it). Shopping then continues in the elegant tree-lined avenue of Via Vincenzo Monti. ROSSOCORSA, the Ferrari dealership, has a second office at Viale di Porta Vercellina, 16.
Near Corso Magenta are three charming addresses. Nineteenth-century atmosphere and peace and quiet in the ANTICA LOCANDA LEONARDO (anticalocandaleonardo.com), while nearby are the CAMPERIO HOUSE SUITE & APARTMENTS (camperio.com), housed in a 15th-century building, on the site of an eighth-century church and convent. PALAZZO SEGRETI (palazzosegreti. com) plays with the spaces of the old building, using cement walls and wooden floors and recycled furnishings, alternated with design objects. And the ENTERPRISE BUSINESS HOTEL (enterprisehotel.com), situated at the bottom of Corso Sempione, is “total design”.
Brera/Via Garibaldi/Corso Como/Isola
Here you’ll find the Accademia di Brera, art shops to buy brushes and paints, art galleries facing on to paved streets where the fortune-tellers read cards for the passers-by in the evening. And then the Teatro Strehler and the Teatro Studio, and the pleasant Via Garibaldi, now a pedestrianised street, with its shops and bars for aperitifs lining the street leading to the renovated Porta Nuova, where the dizzy heights of Milan’s new skyscrapers cover the elegant Corso Como, predicted to be the new luxury shopping street, with their shade.
Two important openings are planned for 2013: MANDARIN MILANO, the Oriental luxury brand shop, and the W HOTEL; although the area already boasts a number of addresses associated with the world of fashion: BULGARI (bulgarihotels.com), with its elegant garden-oasis, has one of the best restaurants in the Lombard capital, with executive chef Andrea Ferrero, and an inviting spa; the unconventional MAISON MOSCHINO (maisonmoschino.com) hosts the CLANDESTINO restaurant of star chef Moreno Cedroni. Not far away, in Piazza della Repubblica, the PRINCIPE DI SAVOIA (hotelprincipedisavoia.com) is the favourite address for celebs, a classic hotel that finds a contemporary note in the American Bar and the lightness of the cuisine, with top-quality fresh ingredients used by Fabrizio Cadei
Eat and drink
In the morning you can drink coffee or cappuccino among the orchids of FIORAIO BIANCHI (fioraiobianchicaffe.it), which is excellent for a midday snack, or at BIANCO LATTE (biancolatte. it), in Via Turati. Appetisers or dinner, in Via Cusani, at the renovated PESCHERIA DA CLAUDIO or the new PISACCO (pisacco.it), a modern bistro with interiors designed by Tiziano Vudafieri, where overseeing the food on offer is two-star chef Andrea Berton (the opening of his own restaurant in the city is eagerly awaited). He has entrusted control of the kitchen to Matteo Gelmini, who uses seasonal ingredients for a menu of a few select dishes. RATANÀ (ratana.it) is particularly recommended for those who love meat, because it uses excellent local producers; chef Cesare Battisti takes the best of Milanese and Lombard cuisine, simplifying it. It is located in a house with a garden underneath the tall new buildings of the Isola.
In Piazzetta del Carmine there is MARC JACOBS (marcjacobs.com), store and café, while at the beginning of Via Brera CAVALLI E NASTRI (cavallienastri.com) is a point of reference for those who love vintage shops, and SPELTA (speltamilano.it) is the place for hand-stitched ballerina pumps. On Corso Como is the famous concept store CORSO COMO 10 (10corsocomo. com), with gallery, bookshop, café and restaurant. The outlet is located at Via Tazzoli, 10.
See and do
The antique rooms of the PINACOTECA DI BRERA (brera.beniculturali.it) house an important art collection. Among the best known, the Wedding of the Virgin by Raphael, the Madonna with Child by Giovanni Bellini, the Crucifixion by Bramantino and The Dead Christ by Mantegna. The TEATRO STREHLER (piccoloteatro.org ) stages avant-garde performances and concerts, but it is also worth buying a ticket for an evening at the smaller TEATRO STUDIO, another experimental theatre
via Torino/Navigli/via Savona
The streets leading from Via Torino to the columns of San Lorenzo and Corso di Porta Ticinese, as far as the Parco delle Basiliche, and the Navigli. The latter are the canals of ancient origin that Leonardo Da Vinci also worked on in the 16th century, used to transport goods.
Eat and drink
You can meet on Sunday mornings at the CUCCHI bar and pastry shop (pasticceriacucchi.it), founded in 1936 and one of the Historic Premises of Italy, for a coffee and to read the newspaper in a classic atmosphere. More fashionable is LES GITANES BISTROT (lesgitanesbistrot.it), in Via Forcella, which is also perfect for aperitifs or lunch. The small tables in the sun, even the pallid winter one, of the OSTERIA DEL PALLONE on Viale Gorizia, at the start of the Navigli, are always crowded; further along the canal there is an oasis called ERBA BRUSCA (erbabrusca.it), something of a novelty on the culinary scene, with its simple food and private garden that keeps the kitchen well stocked; it also hires out bicycles for Sunday excursions. Bar hop around Via Savona and Via Tortona, ending up at SUPERSTUDIO PIÙ or the old neighbourhood milk bar frequented by the city’s intellectuals and creatives
Located in the Ticinese area is CAN CAN, in Via Edmondo de Amicis, with its Parisian atmosphere; there are clothes, jewellery and accessories at MARIZA TASSY in Via Molino delle Armi and WOK (wok-store.com) the latter a concept store, and WAIT AND SEE (waitandsee.it) a must if you love filling your wardrobe with “bobo” (“bourgeois boheme”) clothing.
Less crowded than hotels in other areas, the Navigli is a rather quiet area during daytime, but in the evening, packed with venues and restaurants as it is, it becomes noisy and crowded. You can be closer to Via Torino by staying at the PETIT PALAIS HOTEL DE CHARME (petitpalais.it), or experience the Milanese night-time scene first-hand at the ART HOTEL NAVIGLI (arthotelnavigli.com); the industrial character of the area is reflected in the extravagant interior designs of NHOW (nhow-hotels.com).
See and do
Pay a visit to Via Torino and the small church of SANTA MARIA PRESSO SAN SATIRO, to see the apse by Donato Bramante with its ingenious trompe l’oeil. The sacred treasures of the churches of the diocese are collected inside the MUSEO DIOCESANO (museodiocesano.it), but it is the PARCO DELLE BASILICHE, which contains the basilicas of San Lorenzo and Sant’Eustorgio, that delights tourists. On the Navigli, the ANTIQUES MARKET (naviglilive.it) with more than 350 stalls, is held on the last Sunday of every month.
Published on The Official Ferrari Magazine issue 19, December 2012