If you venture beyond the heavily trodden tourist tracks between the Duomo, its neighbouring high-end shopping temple Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, and historic La Scala opera house, you will find a thoroughly modern city that crackles and sparks with life – especially during Design Week. Milan, after all, is the world capital of design. There’s nowhere better to see the work of the city’s deep pool of talent than its shops, bars and restaurants, which act as living testaments to the city’s enduring good taste. We’ve picked a few of the best to show you exactly what Milan has to offer.
Villa Necchi Campiglio
Piero Portaluppi’s Rationalist masterpiece should be at the top of every design tourist’s must-do list. Not only are the house and grounds perfectly preserved, the mid-century furnishings and impressive art collection make a cultural excursion to the villa absolutely necessary. Accessible exclusively by guided tours, call ahead to book one in your preferred language.
Opened in 2016, the Prada Foundation’s latest cultural offering in Italy is a step above the rest – literally. Housed in the glassed-in rafters of historic Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, it’s worth a visit both for the exciting contemporary photography exhibitions and the incredible view.
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BBPR architectural partnership’s 1950’s era skyscraper is a polarising figure on the Milan skyline. Both exalted and reviled, this modernist apartment building was designed as an interpretation of the typical form of a medieval Italian castle.
Artist Maurizio Cattelan did not exactly hide his feelings about the bankers inside of Italy’s central stock exchange when he was asked to install a sculpture at its entrance. Luckily, they had a sense of humour: what was supposed to be a temporary sculpture has remained there since 2010. Feel the love.
For more on Milan, visit our Destinations page.