ESQUIRE TRAVEL GUIDE: MILAN
The city of Milan has everything – excellent food, ancient history, a wealth of art and some of the best shopping in Europe. This month, it also kicks off the Expo Milan 2015, running until October. If you’re heading over to check out the exposition, or just fancy a European city break, here’s what to do, eat and see in one of the most fashionable cities in the world.
Stay | Town House Galleria
If location is your priority in Milan, then you won’t find much better than the Town House Galleria. Situated in the shopping arcade Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, the luxury hotel markets itself as the world’s first seven-star hotel. We’re not sure how the Burj Al Arab feels about that, but nonetheless it’s about as luxury a city stay as you’ll find anywhere. Steps away from the Duomo Cathedral and Square, La Scala Theatre and the fashion district, the hotel is also attached to The World of Leonardo da Vinci Museum, where all guests can gain exclusive and complimentary access directly from the hotel. With just 27 rooms and suites, each room comes with all the comforts of home, along with state of the art technology.
Shop | Designer | 10 Corso Como
Stocked with the most interesting creations from the world’s most innovative brands (think Comme des Garçons, Maison Martin Margiela and Alexander McQueen), this retail-cum-dining complex was founded in 1990 by gallerist Carla Sozzani, and is still the most important shopping destination in Milan today. The Corso Como outlet, on Via Tazzoli, is also worth a visit.
Shop | Interior Design | Spazio Rossana Orlandi
Situated in a stunning former tile factory in the Magenta district, on Via Matteo Bandello, Spazio Rossana Orlandi is a gallery and furniture store. Though shipping can prove expensive, you might find it hard to resist one of Maarten Baas’ clay dining chairs or an overhead light by Jacopo Foggini.
Eat | Dinner | Cracco
Carlo Cracco is a celebrity in Italy, not only because of his cooking, but because he also hosts MasterChef Italy on telly. The Gordon Ramsay of Italy (but without the temper), Cracco has earned two Michelin stars for this Milanese restaurant. Join the city’s elite to feast on authentic yet contemporary dishes such as lemon risotto with anchovies and cocoa, and marinated salmon with foie gras.
Eat | Sushi | Nobu at Armani Hotel
The Milanese outpost of Nobu’s empire is located in the super-luxe Armani Hotel. If you’re lucky, post-sushi, you’ll be taken downstairs to Armani Privé for late-night drinks and dancing.
Must visit | Ceresio
Set on the top floor of DSquared2’s headquarters on Via Ceresio, this Art Deco-inspired rooftop bar boasts impressive views of the city, two enormous swimming pools and a fantastic restaurant. The American Bar — where you may spot label founders the Caten twins — is the jewel in the crown, serving drinks made with homemade bitters, such as the blood orange-laced house cocktail, Ceresio Spritz.
Art | Hangar Bicocca
A former industrial complex, Hangar Bicocca is one of the most interesting galleries in Milan. In a city dominated by classical art and architecture, the sprawling space hosts contemporary exhibitions, film screenings and events. Currently on show is Céline Condorelli’s first solo exhibition in Italy, which features a series of site-specific installations based on interior design. An inspiring diversion if you get bored of eating pasta and buying clothes (unlikely, we know).
Getting There | Etihad Airways
Fly to Milan direct from Abu Dhabi with Etihad Airways from Dhs1,770 economy.