A walk through Milan is like flipping through the pages of a history textbook, but far more intriguing. With layered architecture lining each street and an abundance of museums and cultural institutions, not a day will go by where you don't learn something new about the glamourous city. Take a bite out of local eateries and visit boutiques founded by natives to truly get a sense of what it means to be made in Milan.
Santa Maria delle Grazie - The Last Supper
Despite warfare, unfavourable weather conditions, and woeful restoration attempts, Leonardo Da Vinci’s “The Last Supper” proudly hangs today next to the Santa Maria delle Grazie. Da Vinci, who was largely concerned with and perhaps desperate to create a ‘work of fame’, is presumed to have finished the masterpiece in 1498 after painting in intervals for about three years. The final product became so esteemed that artists around the world have recreated it in drawings, marble, wax, photographs, terracotta, and countless other art forms. The fascinating nature of the painting is largely because of its resilience in the face of endless upheaval. At one point, the piece was considered entirely ruined due to invasions, humidity, pollution, and blatant vandalism by French soldiers in 1796. Yet “The Last Supper” lived on; after numerous efforts and mishaps, many of its damages were reversed by a team of experts led by Pinin Brambilla Barcilon. The final restoration took twenty-one years to complete. The intricate painting is often referenced and serves as a symbol in Western culture through film and literature, and is considered one of the most famous paintings in the world. The mural sits outside of the Santa Maria delle Grazie, to the right of it in the Square.
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Rita and Cocktails
When traveling you will find yourself surrounded by unfamiliar faces, but what if you could enjoy a refreshing cocktail and delectable dish all while being treated like an old friend? As you enter Rita and Cocktails, you will be greeted by one of the “guys”—Fabio, Edoardo, or Gianluca, the barmen and creators behind the lively eatery and thoughtfully-crafted drinks. Rita and Cocktails is known for its reliability—it is listed in the Italian top ten of cocktail bars, and is a go-to place for many locals—and its creative take on the ordinary. The Mano Negra, a twist on an Old Fashioned with strong notes of amaranth orange and an overwhelming smoked flavor—is just one of many options that will take your taste buds on a journey. Founded in 2002, Rita and Cocktails has expanded tremendously; what was once a tight squeeze overflowing with glassware is now a more open space with a porch and bar top where customers can watch the expertise put into their drinks.
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If you are looking to purchase something that will withstand the test of time, a watch from Pisa Orologeria is a must-have. For the Pisas, watchmaking was an art and a family tradition, which is why they relocated to Milan from Gualtieri and opened the first Italian clock-making institution. A watch from Pisa Orologeria is not only a status symbol, but is also a piece of Milanese history that will sit elegantly on your wrist. The flagship store, which emits an atmosphere of passion and precision, sits in the centre of Milan in Via Verri. It is referred to as a historic palace that invites you to soak in the sophistication and grandeur of the accessory that does not only tell time, but also takes you back in it.
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