Art, fashion and design have deep roots in Italy’s second city. You’re probably familiar with Milan’s reputation as the city of fashion, but this time we want to show you a different side of the capital of Lombardy.
Forget the designer labels and discover the real Milan with these 6 plans. There’s so much more to Milan than just sightseeing; it has to be touched, smelt and tasted. Discover Milan’s 6 best-kept secrets.
1. Breakfast surrounded by Patricia Urquiola’s artwork
Can you imagine yourself spending the night and having breakfast the next morning in a museum? Well, in Milan you can. Just ask Giulia. She will lead you through a gallery featuring the work of renowned Spanish architect and designer Patricia Urquiola, whose artwork has been displayed at places like the MoMa in New York.
For a creative start to the day, enjoy a delicious breakfast while admiring the unique bright colours and lights of the city.
2. Search for treasures at the Mercatone del Naviglio Grande
A walk through this flea market is a real journey back in time. And not only because we say so; it’s right there in the old bridges, ancient wooden gates and the large array of collectibles you can find at the street stalls and shops: vinyl, jewellery, clothing, books…Who knows, you might even find that old Leonard Cohen record that you’d given up for lost. Or that vintage sweater you’ll fall madly in love with.
3. Discover new ways to admire art at the Cimitero Monumentale
No, we haven’t lost it. It turns out that the Cimitero Monumentale, one of Milan’s main cemeteries, is an open-air museum displaying some of the best art in the city. Stroll through its walkways to find impressive monuments such as the life-sized replica of Trajan’s Column, or the sculpted representation of The Last Supper that decorates the Campari family tomb. And yes that’s the same Campari family behind the iconic brand of bitter.
It’s a relaxing, peaceful way to spend a couple of hours and it will open your eyes to history and architecture in a very different way.
4. Taste Milan’s most traditional liqueur at the Museo Collezione Branca
If you’ve read this far, you’re probably the kind of traveller who’s looking for something more than just pizza and pasta. But some of Milan’s best flavours are to be found not only in its celebrated cuisine, but also in its drinks. Like the traditional liqueurs you’ll find at the Branca Museum.
Branca Museum displays the history of the Fernet-Branca company, an apéritif brand created in Milan back in the 19th century and still popular today as an apéritif or in cocktails.
Visit the distillery, walk among century-old barrels and enjoy the sweet smell of the liqueur. Thirsty? Time for a tasting. Salute!
5. Delve deep into Milan’s most instagrammable secret garden
Everyone likes to upload photos of their trips to Instagram, right? Well here’s your chance to set the bar really high. Seek out the hidden gem that is the Orto Botanico di Brera, the Brera Botanic Garden.
This secret garden was actually a project by the famous architects Zaha Hadid and Paola Navone to mark the occasion of the Salone Del Mobile furniture fair of 2012.
Today, this green oasis is real local favourite. Step into it and unleash your photographic skills!
6. Have dinner in a former art gallery
This former art gallery and artist hangout is now home to the Morgante Cocktail & Soul restaurant. You might think that’s a shame but far from it; Morgante has made great efforts to keep the essence of this place, where gastronomy becomes art. Their experimental dishes and cocktails are the perfect opportunity to try something new that you’ll hardly find anywhere else. Don’t believe us? Just check out their menu!