To say Milan is only one of the top design capitals of the world could be an understatement. It has been at the top of the list since Leonardo Da Vinci lived and created here for twenty years and left his genius in engineering, architecture, inventing, sculpting and art. Today Milan certainly excels in fashion design, but it also leads in architecture, interior design, furniture design, graphic design, international finance, and the culinary arts. It is a vibrant city, a city of marvels to take your time to explore.
WHERE TO STAY
Hotel Magna Pars Suites Milano
If you want to stay in a design-forward hotel, Hotel Magna Pars Suites is a well-located, luxury hotel that features all-suites. It was formerly a perfume factory, so large spaces, big windows, lots of brick and steel, beautiful courtyard with trees, a rooftop deck, and spacious rooms with chic décor and artwork is just what you need. Hotel Magna Pars Suites is in the heart of Milan’s design district and surrounded by small designers, many of whom sell from their shops. Don’t miss out on a walk around the block to find something unique to wear. But don’t worry about not knowing the city and what to do and see. This chic family-owned hotel is part of the RockStar Hotels worldwide hotel brand, which has different membership levels. Join RockStar Hotels with a choice of membership types for a very minimal fee. You can book your stay immediately and get the inside info with a customized travel itinerary prepared by RockStar’s Milan insiders in addition to gifts, discounts, special packages, upgrades and late checkout if available. Here at Magna Pars Suites Milano the welcome amenity is a luscious chocolate cake and sweet berries. You will also be offered a guided visit to the Perfume Laboratory “LabSolue” where you can learn about fragrances and sample the 39 essences here from floral, woodsy, fruity and floral, and lots of other perks only available to RockStar members. And who wouldn’t want to “do Milan” like a rock star?
The “essence” of Magna Pars Suites Milano is sleek design and its history as a celebrated perfume factory. Each essence in the perfume lab is numbered, and each suite room number corresponds with an essence number. Depending on your room number you may have a floral scented room like Gardenia which is #20, or a fruit like Fig #202, or aromatic wood like Sandalwood #7, all via a room diffuser. It is a delightful concept and adds to the atmosphere and uniqueness of the place. You can also take the scent home with you by purchasing your favorite as a candle or home fragrance from the LabSolue shop. The hotel is on a quiet street, has an attentive and friendly staff, and because the suites are more of a well-designed and spacious pied-à-terre rather than a hotel room this is the ideal home-away-from-home for you to rock it in Milan.
WHERE TO DINE
Milan has many options and here are just a few…
The Hotel Magna Pars has the DA NOI open for brunch on Saturday, or lunch and dinner each day. The food is simple, fresh, well prepared and delicious. Tip: Depending on when you arrive and check-in, you may be very hungry between services. Never fear, they are all about their guests’ comfort and are very kind and hospitable. Just ask. They make a really good prosciutto sandwich.
Olio Cucina Fresca
This gem of a restaurant is all about the flavors and dishes of the Apulian food and wine tradition. Two young restaurateurs Mr. Fusillo and Mr. Totaro have combined their love of their native food from Pugila by bringing it here to Milan. They couple traditional and modern recipes with the best traditional products from Puglia like olive oil, black pork, shrimp and tomatoes served in their bright, modern restaurant in Milan. (Piazzale Lavater 1, 20129 Milan, 02-20520503)
La Veranda Restaurant – Four Seasons Hotel Milano
Come early before your reservation at the restaurant to sit in the spectacular lobby to enjoy “aperitivo” the Italian version of happy hour. Have a smart drink or perhaps an Aperol Spritz and taste the little bites they bring out while you people watch. But don’t have too many as La Veranda Restaurant is an exceptional experience and you will not want to miss any of their courses.
La Veranda Restaurant is the flagship restaurant at the Four Seasons Hotel Milano. The hotel is tucked into a quiet street in the middle of the fashion district. Once a convent built for nuns in the 15th century, the beautiful building features an interior courtyard garden. La Veranda’s windows look out to that tranquil green space and a series of exterior stone walkways accented with laurel bushes and boxwoods clipped into geometric shapes. Care for a romantic table for two by the window? No problem. Select the “Tasting Menu” for the freshest seasonal offerings prepared with a deft hand by Sous Chef Alessandro Pietropaoli. Ask your sommelier for a custom pairing of Italian wines for each course. Dining here is a joy, and you will fully appreciate the level of collaboration between all of the facets; Chef Pietropaoli, the sommelier and wine cellar, the maître and wait staff, and the inspirational location, all creating a most memorable Milano meal.
WHAT TO DO
Milan has music, shopping, and museums aplenty. It is a shopper’s paradise, but be prepared for the price tags of the exquisite offerings of the designer brands equating with your level of credit card status. The Via Montenapoleone is ground zero for your spree but since this is the land of design you will have other options with some Milan designers’ selling direct from their workshops and studios in other parts of the city. Tip: RockStar Hotels experts can clue you in on where to find them via your customized personal travel guide for Milan. A priceless amenity for a stay in Milan!
Shopping of course, it is after all, an art form here. And the epitome of this art starts at the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II. This elegant Bell Epoch arcade is a collection of designer stores, restaurants, gelaterias, coffee and aperitif shops, and the art bookshop from the 1930’s- Libreria Bocca. The double-arcades of the Galleria connect to the Piazza Duomo and the Piazza della Scala (La Scala Opera House). It features mosaic floors that tell a story of the Kingdom of Italy with the coat of arms from Turin, Florence and Rome, and an enclosed ceiling of iron and glass-a marvel of construction in the late 1800s when it was built.
Go to www.turismo.milano.it, the official Milan guide for itineraries and info on the sights. Check out www.milanmuseumguide.com for info on the museums, find out what is open on a Monday- traditionally a closed day, and book a tour to see Leonardo da Vinci’s Vineyard or Teatro alla Scalla+.
The Blue Note in Milan is something special. A true jazz club, their restaurant is also surprisingly good. Fine cocktails, spirits and wines create an intimate atmosphere with the top jazz, blues, Latin, Brazilian and Italian music artists from around the world performing a few yards from your table. The space is large compared to the Blue Note in New York and you will enjoy a memorable evening listening to the likes of Chick Corea, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Billy Cobham, Wynton Marsalis, Maceo Parker, Gino Paoli, McCoy Tiner, Ahmad Jamal and many more. For show info, reservations or to purchase tickets go to www.bluenotemilano.com.
Day Trip: Exclusive Getaway Tip
Four Seasons Hotel Milano guests can book their Exclusive Lake Como Escape through the hotel. From Milan you will fly by private helicopter about 15 minutes to the Western shore of Lake Como to land on the heli-pad at the private Villa Giuseppina. Board your private boat cruise to tour the lake with aperitivos and canapés prepared by the hotel’s Chef accompanied by champagne. Once docked at the villa, guests will indulge in a four-course gourmet meal served alfresco on the terrace with wine pairings. A complete staff from the Four Seasons Hotel Milano (including a butler and private chefs) will serve you on an extravagant table set with cascades of flowers designed by Artistic Director Vincenzo Dascanio. The package is completely customizable, and is offered for day and evening visits from June to October 2018. Reserve when you book your room via the Four Seasons Hotel Milano.