Piazza Gae Aulenti beneath the Unicredit Tower Piazza Gae Aulenti beneath the Unicredit Tower

Porta Nuova, Corso Como & Garibaldi: a guide

A constant flow of new twists on traditional themes, with a healthy pinch of avant-garde

Milan is a city that is surprisingly resistant to architectural change, but in the new Porta Nuova district you can see the contrast between the traditional streets with their yellow plaster-covered buildings (a colour supposedly chosen to simulate the colour of stone– once the most prestigious building material – seen at sunset) and the latest symphonies in steel and glass, including Italy’s tallest building, reaching 231 metres height. The Porta Nuova business district is a redevelopment that has created new pedestrian areas, cycle paths, a public park, and the innovative ‘Vertical Forest’ buildings clad with trees. In Piazza Gae Aulenti, look for the ‘Egg’ sculpture by Alberto Garutti, a sequence of brass pipes that enable people to communicate from one level to another.

Piazza Gae Aulenti

This circular space was designed by Cesar Pelli and it symbolizes Milan’s recent efforts to introduce some new tall buildings. It is right underneath the Unicredit Tower, the tallest skyscraper in Italy at 231 metres. In the same complex are the Bosco Verticale buildings with trees on the façade (Stefano Boeri, Gianandrea Barreca, Giovanni La Varra), the Unicredit Pavilion, and the Giardini di Porta Nuova. Piazza Gae Aulenti has fountains, a Grom ice-cream parlour and other stores, making it a lively location in summer, particularly as it is close to nightlife fulcrum Corso Como.

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10 Corso Como

corsocomo1010 Corso Como

This is perhaps the most famous design shop in Italy. Hidden from the main street and centred around a peaceful green courtyard, this labyrinth of aesthetically-oriented spaces stocking a variety of goods is a mecca for fashion and design lovers. Founded as a gallery space in the late 1980s by former magazine editor Carla Sozzani, 10 Corso Como has grown to become a bookstore, fashion and design store, roof garden, hotel and café. www.10corsocomo.com

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In this brick-lined boutique on Corso Como, Italian watch designer and entrepreneur Italo Fontana presents his massive timepieces based on his grandfather’s designs for watches intended for the Italian Navy, a project that never came to fruition. His reinterpretations often feature materials such as bronze and have crown protectors and other components that create a steampunk effect. www.uboatwatch.com

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Ceresio 7

ceresio7Ceresio 7

The 360-degree view of Milan alone makes it worth coming to Ceresio 7, a rooftop restaurant with outdoor terrace and pools. During the cooler season, you can cosy up in the many intimate alcoves and booth seats indoors while enjoying Chef Elio Sironi’s heartwarming dishes. A twist on classics, the Italian fare that you already know so well has been thoroughly updated: raw tuna alla bottarga, ‘cacio e pepe’ spaghetti, lime and bottarga, and lobster catalana salad, melon and yellow peppers. www.ceresio7.com

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Spazio 900

Spazio-900Spazio 900

This showroom presents classics of modern design: furniture, armchairs, tables, lighting appliances and a whole range of objects dating from the 1950s to the 1980s. Designers include Sottsass, Pesce, Colombo, Castiglioni, Panton, Nelson, Eames and others. Open Tuesday-Saturday 10am-12.30pm, 3.30pm-7.30pm. www.spazio900.com

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Eral 55

eral55Eral 55

This menswear boutique specialises in Italian tailoring, Japanese sportswear, Americana staples and vintage shoes. While the clothing is a definite draw, visiting Eral 55, decked out in warm, worn out rugs, wood details with walls and ceilings decorated by vintage photography and bicycles, is a experience in and of itself. www.eral55.com

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BERTON salaBerton

Friulian chef Andrea Berton welcomes you to his eponymous restaurant, where his signature touch shines through in many signature dishes. Whether you are already familiar with the chef from his days at the Taverna di Colloredo in Monte Albano, Il Ristorante Trussardi alla Scala, Pisacco or Dry, Berton will prove to be a star-lit experience. Make a reservation for the exclusive tables or private room, ideal for special occasions and business meetings. www.ristoranteberton.com

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Princi, Piazza XXV Aprile 5

princi2-facebookPrinci © Facebook

Princi began as a bakery and it has now become part of the city’s nightlife scene, with aperitifs, breakfast, lunch and dinner. Serving up excellent coffee, pastries and lunches in modern sophisticated surroundings, these two stores are justifiably always busy. It’s a self-service-type venue, very informal, worth a visit for experiencing the new shabby-chic aesthetic that is increasingly becoming a feature of Milan’s venues. www.princi.it

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primeRistorante Primè

Mediterranean cuisine of exceptional quality in this restaurant near Corso Como that has a lot of fish and seafood on the menu, alongside meat and vegetarian options. If you’re looking for some new taste sensations, you’ll find recipes such as Risotto with strawberries and Prosecco, or Home-made pasta with wild boar sauce and flakes of white chocolate. Open every day at dinner, and for lunch from Monday to Friday. www.ristoranteprime.it

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The Eataly concept, combining a food market, restaurants and bars dedicated exclusively to Italian products, was something entirely new when the first venue was opened in Turin in 2007. Its success is demonstrated by other venues of the same name opening all over Italy. The Piazza XXV Aprile store is on four floors, with 19 restaurants, and there is a calendar of live music, presentations, tastings and courses. Products can also be purchased online. www.eataly.net

1 Eral 55
2 Princi
3 Eataly
4 Primè
5 Berton
6 Corso Como 10
7 Piazza Gae Aulenti
8 U-Boat
9 Ceresio 7
10 Spazio 900