The Amalfi Coast may be the hottest destination on Instagram this summer, but September is Milan’s month to shine. Italy’s premier fashion week, which runs from September 20 – 26 this year, has packed runways flooded with editors, influencers and advertisers, all rushing from show to show (usually in heels, less so). However, the city shines in its beauty during downtime – at night or between shows.
Prepare yourself for the never-ending parade of pasta, pizza and wine…it’s Italy after all. But the city is bursting with interesting art and architecture, often hidden behind an intimidatingly large gate or in an unexpected courtyard. You can visit the works of Leonardo da Vinci, and after a short walk you will reach the Fondazione Prada, passing unexpected modern art galleries and ending the day with a Negroni or a giant Gianduja gelato. All this to say, it is a city that can please all senses.
Before you book your next visit, whether it’s to see the runways or just for your own pleasure, you’ll want to bookmark these fashion-inside tips, from 5-star hotels to hole-in-the-wall lunch spots. And of course, shopping.
Where to stay
If you are looking for a luxurious experience, artist Jenny Walton He recommends the 5-star Grand Hotel (and if you have a chance, stop by the jewelry store Gioelleria Pennisi on the ground floor). For a more affordable option, classmate Julia is her take on the central location. “You can wake up and have breakfast at the Galleria at Marchesi (and then shop at Prada).” If you prefer a modern approach, try the View Hotel Milan, which is a little further from the city center, but has a view from the rooftop (and pool). Hotel Senato is where pollster Federica Parruccini goes, “It also has the best little garden hideaway, where you can sit all year round for a drink or a morning coffee and a newspaper (I always read the papers every morning in Milan). For me, it’s an oasis from the MFW madness.”
Where to eat dinner
Da Giacomo is a popular spot for those who want to see and be seen during Fashion Week. Another favorite (albeit hidden) in the Brera neighborhood is La Lateria. A tip from Walton: “[There are] There are no reservations, so you have to get there early because it’s very small. b The cutSenior fashion writer Emilia Petrarca It’s hard to go wrong in Milan, but it stands out as an insider’s secret. “When I started going five years ago, the publicists at Prada recommended Cantina della Vetra, and I trust their taste more than anyone else,” she says. “I’ve been going every tour since then. It’s nothing fancy, but that’s why I love it. They also have a table outside in the public square, and once I saw someone slapping them. Classic!”
If you’re visiting the city, one of Pucarini’s top picks is La Specialita, especially if you have a special appetite. “It’s an extensive list, and they always agree with improvements to any dish, which is hard to find in Milan,” she says. “It’s a family property, and by extension, the owners and staff treat you like family. This is one of the things I love about Milan…each restaurant has a distinct family feel, and makes the city feel like home. She also recommends Rugantino, a Roman restaurant she recommends for large groups.
Where to eat lunch
When it comes to lunchtime, pasta seems to be the theme du jour (it it is. Italy after all). “I shouldn’t tell you this because there are only a few tables,” Petrarca said. “The last time I went, the lady who made the pasta served me straight from the kitchen.” A midday hotel check-in at Walton is a must. “I like a good spaghetti pomodoro at the Bulgari hotel or Armani has a really good pasta,” she says. If you’re feeling more of a pizza vibe, Pucarini suggests the Papermoon. “Why can’t we eat pizza for lunch like this in America?” she said. “In Milan, I’ll eat a whole cake, drink a glass of wine, and an hour later I’ll be in the front row greeting press, none the worse for wear.
Where to drink
“Everybody’s going to tell you Bar Basso, and they’re not wrong,” says Petrarca of the Milanese bar where the Negroni was first invented. “It may sound ridiculous, but it’s worth it.” If you’re looking for a drink with a view, Walton suggests the rooftop bar at the Armani Hotel for sunset drinks. If you’re near the Duomo, head to Krakow and the bakery Marchesi is a favorite for a snack and a drink between shows.
Where to stop for coffee between shows
Although great for evening drinks, Marchesi is popular with morning coffee goers. Petrarch suggests a visit to the Duomo Prada Marchesi. “It’s like going for tea in the plaza, only make it Prada (and Italian),” she says. If you’re in need of an afternoon or evening espresso (Italians have milk in their morning coffee, but it’s banned straight away after 11am), check out the Biancolatte. “This is a new place, and it’s open from morning to night,” Pucarini said. “It’s very Italian and you won’t find anything American.”
Where to buy
Milan is a city of consumers. With famous Italian brands such as Gucci, Prada and Bottega Veneta to pay a visit, the city also recommends a healthy selection of fine wines. “Try Cavalli e Nastri or Madame Pauline,” Walton says. 10 Corso Como (and its exit) are also popular destinations. A final hot tip from Petrarca: “For gifts, I also go to the top floor of La Rinascente mall, where there are packaged foods that are easy to throw in a suitcase.”
Where to look
Both Petrarca and Walton say the Fondazione Prada is a must-see if you have some extra time in the city. You can also pop into Bar Luce, the attached cafe designed by Wes Anderson. Depending on how much time you have, you can do a quick trip [Lake] Como for lunch,” Parruccini said. “It’s 20 minutes by train. When you get there, hop in a taxi and head to Villa d’Este for a nice glass of wine or wander around town; It’s so beautiful and peaceful.”
Where is the Zen moment?
When Walton needs a break, she heads to Parco Sempione or Giardini Publicci Indro Montanelli, “there are some big areas where dogs run free so you can have some great dog-watching,” she says. When Petrarca needs some downtime, she turns to the luxury of Zen. “Bulgari Hotel,” she says. “I would never be able to stay here, but their garden is hidden and incredibly luxurious.” When Puccacarini painted The Last Supper, he suggested visiting La Vigna di Leonardo, a hidden vineyard behind the house where Leonardo da Vinci lived. “It’s probably the most beautiful place in Milan,” she said. If all else fails, you can always relax with a plate of fresh pasta and red wine.