The country’s economic powerhouse, with its business and fashion, has often been regarded as the plainer cousin of the Italian cities. But this year, with the World Expo fast approaching, the city of Milan is beginning to open its doors and reveal its hidden beauty to the world. Voted the number one place to visit in 2015 by The New York Times this city has a huge amount to offer visitors. Here are just a few of the events taking place in Milan this April in the lead up to Expo Milano 2015.
Milan Design Week
In mid April Milan plays host to the Salone Internazionale del Mobile 2015, attracting furniture design aficionados from all over the world. The official design fair takes places in the massive Fiera complex in Rho to the west of the city, but all the serious fun is to be had in the huge fringe festival, called Fuorisalone that is spread around Brera, Tortona, Lambrate and other central areas of the city. Every spare building or space is turned into a design exhibition and restaurants open their doors to serve alcohol to revellers on the streets whilst live music, aperitivos and parties last late into the night.
Moooi by Marcel Wanders and Massimo Listri www.designdiffusion.com
Football: AC Milan vs Inter Milan
The Derby della Madonnina football match between AC Milan and Inter Milan takes place on Sunday 19 April. Since 2011 both teams have lagged behind Juventus in Serie A, but a chance to see these two classic rivals who both play at home in the iconic San Siro stadium should not be missed.
Photo courtesy of Paolo Bona
Reopening of Piazza XXIV Maggio and the Darsena
The Navigli region, in the south west of the city has long been a mecca for locals and visitors alike. Navigli means ‘canals’ and it is in this area that you can see the remnants of the city’s canal system, that was originally design by Leonardo da Vinci to transport marble to build the city’s Duomo.
Navigli’s focal point is the Darsena, a stretch of water that connects the two remaining canals beside which stands the imposing Neoclassical arch in Piazza XXIV Maggio. For the past year this entire area has been undergoing a 19 million euro redevelopment. On Sunday April 26 this historic and beautiful area will be reopened with great fanfare including a party with live music and street artists.
Photo courtesy of EXPO Milano 2015
Leonardo and Water
Continuing on the canal and da Vinci theme this exhibition, at Milan’s Aquarium, focuses on Leonardo’s studies on water, with drawings and prints of the city’s waterways in the early 16th century when the artist and scientist was working for Duke Lodovico Sforza. The Aquarium is an interesting building in itself, built in an Art Nouveau style with a small collection of marine life.
4 April - 31 October, Aquario Civico, Viale Gadio 2, Tel. +39 02 8846 5750
, for more information see EXPO in Città
Photo courtesy of www.arte.it
Leonardo da Vinci at Palazzo Reale
Titled ‘Leonardo 1452-1519’, this exhibition will begin on the artist’s birthday (15 April) and takes place in the stunning former royal palace beside the Duomo. It will be the largest show of its kind ever staged in Italy, with Leonardo’s drawings plus the San Gerolamo from the Vatican Museum. The Last Supper will be presented in the form of a video showing the fresco in its actual size. There will also be paintings by artists from about the same period, such as Antonello da Messina, Verrocchio, van Eyck and others.
15 April - 19 July, Palazzo Reale Piazza Duomo 12, for more information see EXPO in Città
Exposed: Milan creativity
An unconventional portrait of the city with 184 artists and creative portraits by photographer Marina Spironetti. Actors, directors, dancers, designers, musicians, writers talk about their city in unusual ways that shatter the usual stereotypes traditionally associated with the capital of Lombardy. The exhibition takes place in the fabulous Fabbrica del Vapore, a former factory that has been turned into an arts and cultural centre.
Photo courtesy of La Fabbrica del Vapore
If opera or ballet is your thing then good news, the season at La Scala is in full swing. In April you can catch Giselle, the classic ballet that tells the story of love, betrayal and redemption.
In May La Scala plays host to Turandot. Puccini’s last and unfinished opera was premiered here in 1926 without a finale. It returns with a version completed by Luciano Berio that is timed to coincide with the start of Milan Expo 2015.
Giselle: 2-17 April and Turandot: 1-23 May, Teatro alla Scala: Via Filodrammatici, 2, 20121, Tel. 02 88791, teatroallascala.org
Photo courtesy of teatroallascala.org
Food. Science from seeds to plate
This exhibition at the Natural History Museum is wholly on the Expo theme of feeding the planet, looking at the science of nutrition in an enjoyable, accessible way, with interactive exhibits, sensorial and hands-on workstations, animations and material exhibits.
Food. Science from seeds to plate, source: Modernist Cuisine LLC