It’s true Milan is more Bright Lights, Big City and less la dolce vita than Rome, say, or Venice, but sometimes its refreshing to escape nonna’s Italy for a sharp blast of precision shopping, industrial design and a newly emerging cityscape of skyscrapers from Zaha Hadid and Daniel Libeskind et al. For unlike Rome and its never-ending history lesson, Milan is Italy’s city of the future, or at least the only Italian city actively dedicated to modernism. You see, the main currency in Milan isn’t the Euro, or amazing designer gadgetry, or even the fabulous shoes. It’s inspiration.
Planning my own time in Milan, this is what inspires me:
- Urban art projects sponsored by the Trussardi Foundation and a sidewalk scene that makes the fashion runways seem almost redundant
- Gian Giacomo Poldi-Pezzoli’s ‘house museum’ with its historically themed rooms and impossibly beautiful portraits of Cleopatra and the much-loved Portrait of a Woman by Piero Pollaiolo
- Marvellous quotidian details and Art Deco architecture at Piero Portaluppi’s 1930s Villa Necchi Campiglio, designed for Pavian heiresses Nedda and Gigina Necchi and the set of Italian film Io Sono l’Amore (I Am Love)
- Private dinners and cutting-edge culinary events at lab kitchen Teatro 7
- Sabrina Landini’s Navigli apartment, available through i-escape