Weekend getaway in Milan
When someone mentions Milan I always have this image in my mind of very chic tall brunettes in stiletto heels walking as if they were starring in a George Michael video clip. It is indeed a city that savours fashion and design but it’s so much more than that. Nesting between mountains, lakes and century-old canals, Milan is a great starting point for Italy and a place where sophistication and innovation go hand in hand. I love how Italian design can be rational and playful at the same time and the best way to see this is by visiting the talk of the town Salone de Mobile which takes place in various venues every April. If design is not your thing then I’m sure food will win you over.
Milan is a busy city but one that is very walkable. It is worth venturing outside of the historic centre in the neighbourhoods of Brera, Isola, Ticinese, around Porta Romana and you will find plenty of wide sideways to stroll and amazing modern architecture to admire. The Navigli area is full of bars and the Tortona area is an arty working-class neighbourhood, home of the Mudec, one of Milan’s sleekest museums of Art and Contemporary design
Where to sleep
In Milan, the options for accommodation are as stylish as the city. I usually like to splurge a little or mix up our sleeping arrangments by choosing a more expensive hotel or B&B and maybe an Airbnb to split the cost. I like it when the place I stay has character and I don't prefer what is traditionally perceived as "luxury". So after this short intro here is my list:
The Airbnb Contemporary Greenhouse Loft in Porta Venezia was the reason I am going back to Milan (ok I'm exaggerating here but seriously, look how lovely it is!)
Where to eat
Always check availability and if possible book ahead especially for busy days such as Friday and Saturday. Check opening times, many trattorias open at 7:30 or 8:00 in the evening. Also, many stay closed on Sunday or Monday.
Trattoria Trippa in via Vassari is the best new opening of the city and your first not to miss while in Milano. There is a Whatsapp number which is will come handy to use for a booking if italian is not your forte
Latteria di San Marco is the place to go for amazing ravioli and Pastamadre is another favourite for Pasta. If pizza is your game then Dry, Lievità, Μarghe and Starita are all amazing choices
For really posh and expensive deserts in old-school surroundings have a go at Pasticceria Marchesi and Pasticceria Cova. If you still have an appetite for creamy gelato try Pavé - Gelati e Granite and informal Gelateria Artigianale 22 close to Fondazione Prada
Where to Drink
There are hundreds of options for a quality glass of wine or an Aperol Spritz, it really depends on where you find your self thirsty. The streets around Isola are filled with neighbourhood bars with al fresco seating while Brera is more upscale and formal. You are spoilt for choice in the Navigli area by the canal but the options there are a lot more touristy. One of the bars I loved is sophisticated Bar Basso, well known as the birthplace of Negroni Sbagliato was invented. Mag and Wood*ing are both amazing for cocktails while a former flower shop Fioraio Bianchi Caffè is great for wine
What not to miss
Do not miss a visit at Villa Necchi Campiglio (check opening times) and of course Fondazione Prada nothing to do with fashion I'm afraid, but featuring amazing contemporary exhibitions and the building itself is a marvel - located inside you will find the cafe designed by Wes Anderson. If the day is hot (or even if it's not) make sure to pay a visit to Bagni Misteriosi. A pool complex in the middle of Milan has taken its name from the famous Giorgio De Chirico artwork and serves as a place to refresh and relax during hot summer days but also as a backdrop for concerts and various open-air happenings.
Where to shop
Assuming you are not the type with enough disposable income to buy a Prada pair of high heels your best bet is to venture around the smaller neighbourhoods. I loved KC swimwear in via Tortona for the amazing mixed and matched patterned bikinis in African prints. I also spent an hour trying on perfumes in Profumo in Brera for rare fragrances and artisanal small batch productions. Lastly, Laboratorio Paravicini was my place to go for quirky ceramics and tableware with a Cavalli influence
Make sure to check my personalised google map which includes all the information you need for a weekend in Milan and many more. Click here