“Milan, for me, is a city of discovery. You can find some amazing gardens behind some great houses; I also love finding beautiful galleries and incredible shops, but you have to explore. And the food is amazing.” – Francisco Costa
One of the charms of Milan is its varied cityscape. Unlike other Italian tourist cities such as Rome, Florence, Venice etc. Milan is a real Italian working city. To me, this is what the modern day Italy looks like, and this is how modern Italian people live. It pains me to hear people saying that there is nothing to do or see in Milan because this statement is so far from the truth. It also annoys me so much when every Milan Fashion Week, the only site being photographed from this amazing city seems to be the Duomo, as if this is all the whole city has to offer! Milan has been so underrated.
So this is my attempt to show you a few of the places that make this city so special, and hopefully get you all exploring a little more the next time you are in town…
· This golden architectural gem is designed by the renowned architect, Rem Koolhaas of OMA, and is one of the most exciting cultural institutions in Milan both in terms of its architecture and its exhibitions. Its main focus is on ideas and the ways in which mankind has transformed ideas into specific disciplines and cultural products such as literature, cinema, music, philosophy, art and science.
2. Duomo Di Milano & Galleria Vitterio Emanuele II
· The most Instagrammed site in Milan is this beautiful Italian Gothic cathedral and the nearby shopping arcade Galleria Vitterio Emanuele II, where you can find Rizzoli bookshop and several other interesting shops.
3. Liberia Bocca
· My favourite bookshop in Milan. Liberia Bocca’s eclectic interior décor is just as fascinating as its books collections. Here one can always find rare art books and several original books that cannot be found in London.
4. Palazzo Serbelloni
· This Palazzo is only open for visit during events, such as Salone Del Mobile where the building is transformed into exhibition space. It is not to be missed if you are in Milan during April because of its unique architectural features.
· A historic house museum in Monte Napoleone District, the permanent collections are primarily Italian Renaissance decorative arts but the most interesting feature of this museum is actually the architecture of the house and its pretty courtyard.
6. Brera & Navigli Districts
· Taking a stroll around the city’s Brera District with its bohemian vibe and plenty of hidden gardens, courtyards and beautiful Lombardian houses and architecture to see. This is perhaps my most favourite district in Milan for a chilled out afternoon because it is full of cool shops and restaurants, as well as plenty of new places to be discovered.
· Italian Minimalism at its best with great view of the terracotta rooftops across Milan. This is where to go for healthy lunch or light dinner and amazing cocktails. Perfect alternative to heavy Milanese traditional cuisines.
· The most amazing cakes, candies, ice-creams can be found at Paticceria Marchesi. The pastel green interior décor is also gorgeous and a very good example of how traditional architectural language can be transformed into contemporary design, with its silk wallpaper with little floral motifs. The best place for afternoon tea in town.
9. La Briciola
· The best place to have home cooked style, heart-warming traditional Milanese cuisine. Every time I come here, I feel like being transported to a magical garden courtyard, even though the restaurant does not have an outdoor area. Everything on the menu is very good.
· Pisacco is where food and art collides. Famed for its modern Milanese cooking style and small tapas size dishes, Pisacco is my favourite contemporary Milanese restaurant, which I have written extensively about in my previous blog post.
Dry Milano is a sister restaurant, opposite Pisacco serving the best pizzas and cocktails in town with the same great artistic décor, and very cool creative crowd. Although I am not usually a fan of pizzas, Dry is one of the few restaurants on my exception list. The pizzas here are served in small tapas sized portions, so they are perfect for sharing and trying out many different toppings on offer.
PHOTOGRAPHERS: Julia Jevzikova & May Naruemannalinee unless otherwise stated.
PHOTO EDITOR: Julia Jevzikova