TOP 5 REASONS TO VISIT MAGICAL MILAN
When people think of visiting Italy, it’s places like Rome, Florence and Venice that first come to mind. Leading interior and event stylist Steve Cordony thinks it’s a great shame Milan is often overlooked. As Italy’s design, media, fashion and financial centre, Milan is a city that offers an exciting mix of the old and the new. After a recent visit to attend the world’s biggest design fair, Salone Del Mobile, Cordony shares his favourite places to eat, shop, stay and soak in the culture.
1. AMAZING ART AND CULTURE
Milan is a city awash in culture. Depending on the length of your stay, you can satisfyingly scratch the surface or deep dive into the abundance of riches the city offers. Top of your list should be the Dominican convent of Santa Maria della Grazie, the home of one of the most famous paintings ever, Leonardo da Vinci’s The Last Supper, and a UNESCO World Heritage site. Then pay a visit to Casa degli Atellani, one of the masterpieces of the Renaissance, which is a triumph of aesthetics, design and originality. Fondazione Prada, meanwhile, is a cultural institution that showcases art, cinema, photography and more. Don’t miss a visit to Teatro La Scala, which opened in 1778, and is one of the leading opera and ballet theatres in the world.
2. GASTRONOMIC DELIGHTS
For Cordony, Milan has a world-beating restaurant scene that dishes up the best food in Italy. And his all-time favourite in Milan? Rovello 18, a smart bistro serving dishes that are Mediterranean in style, and use quality ingredients presented simply on the plate. An absolute must for Cordony is Latteria San Marco, which feels like a nonna’s home. The owners have operated the restaurant since 1965, and the menu changes to reflect the seasons. For a culinary adventure that traverses the country, try Trattoria Trippa, which offers food that is unfussy and uncomplicated and delivers one of the best trattoria experiences in the country.
3. WORLD’S SHOPPING CAPITAL
Milan is one of the undisputed fashion capitals of the world, and shopaholics could spend their entire visit to the city boutique-hopping. 10 Corso Como, a shopping and dining complex, gets rave reviews from Cordony, who loves its mix of art, fashion, music, design and culture. For contemporary Italian men’s and women’s fashion, include a visit to the Mauro Grifoni showroom. Laboratorio Paravicini has been creating gorgeous tableware in Milan for more than two decades. The pieces are skillfully crafted, artisan ceramic tableware and objets d’art.
4. SUMPTUOUS STAYS
As a city with an innate understanding of style and luxury, Milan offers an almost overwhelming array of hotels guaranteed to make any stay a memorable one. Whether it’s the magnificent Palazzo Parigi Hotel & Grand Spa, housed in a 17th century building located in the centre of Milan, or the exquisite Mandarin Oriental with some of the most luxurious rooms in the city, Milan is the place to spoil yourself. For a more intimate experience, head to Casa Cipriani Milano, found near the oldest Milanese gardens and featuring just 15 rooms and suites designed like an English gentlemen’s club.
5. THE MUST-DO OVERNIGHT TRIP
While you won’t run out of things to do in Milan, it’s worth making the short journey by rail or car to one of the world’s most picturesque locations, Lake Como. Located at the foot of the alps, it is Italy’s third largest lake. Take in the breathtaking scenery as you indulge in delicious food, fine wine and hotel stays that are a step beyond. Cordony’s favourite hotel in the world, Passalacqua, is a stunning villa designed and built at the end of the 18th century, and set on seven acres of terraced and manicured gardens overlooking the lake. There’s no shortage of five star dining experiences, from Il Sereno al Lago to La Terrazza Gualtiero Marchesi, through to the mouthwatering L’Antica and Trattoria del Porto. Movie buffs can visit Villa Erba, where Ocean’s Twelve was filmed, while Villa Carlotta offers a beautiful botanical garden along with a museum.
Cordony made the trip to Lake Como in the New Range Rover Sport, and enjoyed its seamless performance and refined luxury, whether he was cruising smoothly along the autostrada or navigating the narrow streets of Como.
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