Design Library, Via Savona 11, Milan Design Library, Via Savona 11, Milan

Zona Tortona, Milan: Dynamic design district

A magnet for the city's creative set: Milan's 'zona Tortona' has become a centre of design, creating a new market for quirky restaurants, museums, shops and hotels.

Young designers, models and other beautiful people are to be found over the graffiti-covered bridge from Porta Genova in the uber cool Zona Tortona. Once a working class tangle of tenements and factories, this area of Milan has now become arguably the most dynamic destination in the city. Home to many creative companies, independent boutiques and alternative venues Zona Tortona is a refreshing change from other more classic, conformist parts of the city. Centred around the streets of Via Tortona and Via Savona this area is where the young Milanese experiment in fashion, design and food. Expect hip cafes, sophisticated eateries in airy settings and small designer boutiques or temporary stores offering one of a kind pieces.

Design Hotspots


LUXOS Outdoor-Marshal-Office-of-the-Wielkopolska-RegionOutdoor Marshal Office of the Wielkopolska Region, Superstudio

Via Tortona was just a sleepy, warehouse-filled neighbourhood southwest of Milan’s centre, when Italian Vogue art director Flavio Lucchini and photographer Fabrizio Ferri opened their ground-breaking photography studio there in 1983, naming it Superstudio. At the time, people thought they were crazy, but the design and fashion worlds followed where they led. During the Furniture Show, Superstudio Più is the venue for innovative design exhibitions, and one of the focal points of the city’s Fuorisalone activities.

Related: SuperDesign Show at Milan Design Week 2016

Design Library

LUXOS credit DesignLibrary Valeria-Portinari allestimento-sala-consultazioneDesign Library © Valeria Portinari

The Design Library on Via Savona was the first of its kind in Italy dedicated solely to design and houses back issues of design bibles Domus, Abitare and Ottagono, Phaidon design monographs, company catalogues and more. Every Thursday, in the light and airy building, speaker events take place showcasing Italian as well as international designers. The Library also includes a modern cafe serving light lunches, snacks and brunch.

Nonostante Marras


Shopping in Milan has been turned into an art form and nowhere more so than in the beautiful and original concept store by Sardinian designer Antonio Marras. This former workshop first opened in 2008 and since then has evolved to become a meeting place of fashion, art and culture. Browse Antonio Marras designs and accessories alongside jewellery from Italian favorite Monica Castiglioni, stationery from Valiko, oh-so-chic sunglasses by Matteo Molinari and sculptures by Pierpierino surrounded by bookcases, fairy lights and hanging lamps.

Related: The ones to watch at Milan's Salone del Mobile 2016

+121 Libreria Extemporanea

LUXOS 121 4+121 Libreria Extemporanea

If handmade books are your thing then head down to +121 Libreria Extemporanea on Via Savona. This little bookstore and gallery started life as a pop up, but has now gone permanent. Granted most of the books here are in Italian, but the creative children’s selection and cute design pieces provide ample material to enjoy.


LUXOS AlfrescoAlfresco

Enjoy modern Italian dishes cooked to precision in the tranquil outdoor garden of this former warehouse-turned-restaurant.

Related: The 7 best historic restaurants in Milan



Hidden away from the street, this restaurant delivers modern Italian fish dishes in stunning surroundings with an internal garden.

Osteria del Binari

LUXOSOsteria-bianari-2Osteria del Binari

A perfect spot to sample traditional Milanese dishes, including five different types of cotoletta, served up in beautiful surroundings, with tiled walls, red chandeliers and a back garden.

Related: A local's guide to breakfast, lunch and dinner in Milan



Behind a secret copper door in the small but fabulous design hotel, Magna Pars, this sophisticated drinking den boasts an onyx bar and a wide selection of Italian wines.

Les Gitanes Bistrot

LUXOS Les-gitanes-bistrotLes Gitanes Bistrot

Enjoy a champagne aperitivo or elegant dinner in this sophisticated monochromatic bistro surrounded by vintage Italian design objects.

Related: Brera, Milan: an artistic guide



A Mediterranean bistro with exquisite seasonal cuisine by chef Francesco Passalacqua. Make sure to pair each dish with one of the mixologist’s creative and thoughtful creations.

1 Liquidambar
2 Les Gitanes Bistrot
3 Superstudio
4 Superstudio Piu'
5 Design Library
6 Nonostante Marras
7 121+ Libreria exTemporanea
8 Alfresco
11 Osteria del Binari