Local tips about Milan: discover the city over fashion.
When you think about Milan, the first thing coming to your mind is fashion. You might get the impression that in a city which is the Mecca of fashion, the only thing the locals do is shop, shop, shop. But that's wrong: we also eat high quality food and visit contemporary art museums.
When you are flying to the fascinating and fashionable Milan, you better make sure that your wallet is full. Especially if you want to come back with some cool and local items in your luggage, because Milan is definitely not a cheap city. And, once again, it is not just about fashion. Despite the fact that four times a year (twice for each gender's new trends) models, stylists, fashion designers, managers, bloggers, VIPs, journalists, photographers, tailors, marketers and buyers literally invade the city, turning it into European fashion capital for a few days each time.
Generally speaking, fashion victims get their budget annihilated in the famous historical hearth of Milan, called Quadrilatero della Moda (or the fashion Quadrilateral), from Montenapoleone street to Corso Venezia, where lots of boutiques and luxury shops are settled. But don’t worry: if haute couture is not your thing, Milan has plenty more to offer you!
A few steps away from Montenapoleone and its expensive stores, there is the spectacular Cathedral, the Cathedral of Milan, which was built over a period of six centuries, starting all the way back in the 14th. It is one of the few examples of gothic architecture in Italy, making it a truly unique architectural gem. And with its 108 m height and its 135 spires, it definitely represent the city in a grandiose way.
If you are facing the cathedral, looking at your right, you will see the Museum of 900, with beautiful contemporary art, it displays the widest permanent collection of the city, from Boccioni to Fontana. It is located inside Palace dell'Arengario, a fascist-era building internally renovated by the Rota's group, one of the leading architects team in Italy.
But travelling around Italy never goes without enjoying some tasty Italian food, of course! Locals know how to treat themselves pretty well, and restaurants ranging from good to excellent quality are located in various areas around the city. In the evening, one of the most populated spots is around Darsena and Navigli - the canals system built to simplify transport between the city and the countryside since way back in the 1200th.
Once on the Navigli, you can choose to experience either an aperitivo, sipping a glass of wine together with a gourmet selection of appetizers, or to order typical Milanese food in restaurants as La Conchetta or at Luca & Andrea. Another place-to-be for a dinner is around Porta Romana, in Via Muratori precisely, and I do not say this just to praise my neighborhood!
When you are there, you can indulge in a several meal courses of authentic local food coming from different parts of Italy, like the Roman restaurant Giulio Pane Ojo (where you better book a table in advance), or the Ligurian one, U Barba.
For a drink, reach comfortably the area of Brera, where you can window shop for beautiful handicraft objects. Window shopping is also an answer in the central area of Milan, so as not to exhaust your budget in just one day!
But do not worry, there are ways of maintaining your bank account without missing out on actual shopping. Try to give a look around at DMagazine outlet (Via Manzoni 44), where you can find a broad fashion selection, from Armani to Versace, all on an amazing 50% off discount, or at Kilo Fashion, where the clothes are sold based on their weight.
But we, people from Milan, took fashion to a further level: fashion to us means food and drinks too, just check out the Martini Bistrot tied to the brand Dolce & Gabbana, or the restaurant Trussardi alla Scala . But it does not stop here: fashion also means museums and art. Indeed Armani inaugurated a design silo, to exhibit his 40 years of activity, while Prada opened the doors of its private contemporary art collection inside a former industrial building, totally transformed by the architect Rem Koolhaas.If you would like to meet contemporary artists literally inside a golden tower, this is something you do not wanna miss!