We sat down with General Manager, Mr. Ezio Attilio Indiani, a highly-experienced gentleman and distinguished hotelier who has worked at some of the most prestigious luxury properties in the world, and the proud recipient of the 2002 Hermes Prize for ‘Best Hotel Director’ in the world.
Among Milan’s most historic hotels, the Principe di Savoia reflects more than just the city’s rich architectural heritage; it has also succeeded in up keeping its place as one of Europe’s most prestigious, luxury hotels. Located minutes from the famous Quadrilatero di Milano, the city’s official ‘alta moda’ district, the penetrating pulse at the Principe di Savoia hotel echoes the ever-evolving city of Milan, with a plethora of cultural events and high-profile sightings, alongside ultimate urban respite.
In an interview with LUXOS, Mr. Indiani walks us through his favourite nooks in the hotel, shares his view on what makes Milan the IT capital, and finally, tells us where he enjoys a drink among locals or a traditional, suburban feast. Get ready to take some notes.
Mr. Indiani, you have been the GM at Principe di Savoia for 12 years and counting – and still, there is always something exciting happening here. What’s your secret?
My secret is to truly love my job, to have a team that stimulates continuous change alongside innovation, and constantly seeks for ways to improve the way we work, day in and day out. The Principe di Savoia hotel, together with its guests, creates a dynamic environment and each day is unlike any other.
What makes this property stand out from the other Dorchester Collection properties?
Surely the Presidential Suite, on the tenth and last floor, which overs 500 square metres with a private swimming pool, Turkish bath and sauna – the space is unique in its kind. And, on the same floor, overlooking the skyline of Porta Nuova is our spa, Club10. Another flagship of the Dorchester Collection is the Prince Bar, a definitive go-to during Fashion Week and Salone del Mobile (Milan’s famous Design Week). Alongside these impressive structural elements, one can not overlook the hotel’s dedicated staff who genuinely represent the standards of our company.
What do you love most about Milan?
I love Milan’s dynamism and its many facets: it is the city of fashion, design, sport, art, hospitality and exceptional cuisine.
Where is your favourite place to have lunch?
At Acanto Ristorante, naturally.
What would you order at Acanto, the hotel’s gourmet restaurant?
The risotto with Mantuan pumpkin, the ‘Ostrica di Montagna’ (‘Mountain Oyster’) cheese which is very rare to find, pork cheek or the squid reduction with Ossetra caviar and crispy egg.
Where do you go to unwind? And is it in the city, seaside or countryside?
In the winter I love to ski, so I often go to La Thuile; while in the summer I love the sea in Sardinia, particularly Forte Village. However, when I want to relax and hide out for a few days, I retire on Lake Como.
Do you have a favourite museum/bookshop/gallery here in Milan?
Definitely Palazzo Reale (The Royal Palace of Milan) with its extraordinary and eclectic exhibits, and the Hoepli bookstore, where, in addition to the latest news, I find cookbooks that I love so much.
What would you recommend as the best day trip idea for your guests?
The hotel is located in a strategic position, close to all the city’s main points of interest. I would recommend a tour around the new quarters of Porta Nuova, Piazza Gae Aulenti, and a pleasant stroll towards the historic district of Isola and to finish, a walk around Brera with a must-stop at the Pinacoteca.
When off premises, where would we find you on an ordinary Sunday?
I love to relax on Lake Como, and enjoy going to the stadium to attend the matches of my favourite team, Milan.
Let’s go ultra local: do you have a favourite coffee spot?
The best places in Milan are at Sant'Ambroeus and Cova, where the city’s traditions meet the most innovative tastes.
What is your most prized possession in your wardrobe?
A wonderful suit by Stefano Ricci, a famous Florentine designer who has a boutique inside the Principe di Savoia hotel.
Where do you like to shop in town?
I personally prefer Stefano Ricci's suits and ties, Kiton's shirts, Brunello Cucinelli's cashmere, Isaiah's blazers, Monetti's casual wear, and Acqua di Parma's scented candles for my home.
What is your suggestion for travellers with kids in Milan?
I have discovered a great Milan for families, from the Museum of Natural History (Museo Civico di Storia Naturale), the Civic Aquarium of Milan (Acquario Civico) to the Planetarium. And finally, the new MUBA which is the Children's Museum of Milan.
Can you recommend a favourite place for authentic Milanese food?
Al Garghet is a historical Milanese establishment just outside the city, frequented only by the Milanese; Trippa offers Milanese cuisine and traditional Italian cooking – it is quite en vogue and popular among locals, and then there is Solferino, well-loved by international clientele.
What’s your one favourite room or space in the hotel?
Il Salotto, it is the crossroads of the world at the Principe di Savoia. Whenever I have the chance, I like to stop for half an hour and watch the world pass me by.