Maison Borella, en famille
11:00 a.m. – Antonia, a good friend who lives in Milan, recommended that I stay and leave both my luggage and trouble behind at Maison Borella, an 18th century architectural gem redesigned with refined contemporary furniture. This discreet address is very welcoming, resting and family oriented.
Alzaia Naviglio Grande, 8
Future shock at Unicredit tower
1:00 p.m. – I first took advantage of the shady patio of my hotel, then chose to use public transportation to move downtown (traffic jams in Milan are the stuff of legends). Destination Alzaia Naviglio Grande.
1:25 p.m. – The shock I was in when discovering the Unicredit headquarters is as big as that first ristretto at the airport was strong. Just imagine, in front of you stands a 230 metre high glass tower, “hyperconnected, managing its own energy consumption, the sky as a reflection of the city's future”.
Piazza Gae Aulenti, 3
Stiff neck at the Duomo
3:00 p.m. – I grabbed a quick lunch in one of the facility's numerous restaurants, before heading towards the Piazza del Duomo and another cathedral, this one made of marble. Standing on its end, 108.50 metres high up, Giuseppe Perego's gold copper Madonnina looks upon the city, weapon in hand. It is the very first virgin I see of its kind. A guide tells me she holds “a halberd, a clever subterfuge which hides a lightning rod!”
Piazza del Duomo
Aperitivo at Dry
7:00 p.m. – Very close to the Piazza XXV Aprile, the Dry brings some night life to the Via Solferino, with aperitivo-based cocktails and pizzas! The Milano-Torino (base of Campari and vermouth) gives the place a distinct feel, enhanced by the designs of Tiziano Vudafieri. The Italian architect is celebrated from Milan to Shanghai for his ability to create unique and mouthwatering places. The night is on!
Dry Cocktails & Pizza
Via Solferino, 33
Lounge dinner at Carlo e Camilla in Segheria
11:00 p.m. – Under the soft light of crystal chandeliers, Antonia and I are finally having dinner one-to-one at Carlo e Camilla in Segheria. This old sawmill (segheria) provides for a loungey atmosphere and my friend and I literally melt over our dishes: she ordered some impressive pasta with oysters and basil, while I chose a mullet ceviche with small peas and burrata.
Carlo e Camilla in Segheria
Via Giuseppe Meda, 24
Very emotional facing da Vinci's Last Supper
Following morning, 9:00 a.m. – I'm having breakfast on the terrace of my bedroom, overlooking the canal. Giovanni, a friendly Italian guy I met at Carlo e Camilla, picks me up.
11:00 a.m. – This smart young man probably read too much Dan Brown (Da Vinci Code) and takes me to see the Last Supper, while trying to reveal some of its hidden meanings. Facing the fragile looking fresco in the Santa Maria delle Grazie's refectory, I feel I'm moved to tears.
Église Santa Maria delle Grazie
Piazza di Santa Maria delle Grazi
Shopping session in Milan's Golden Quad
Shopping session in Milan's Golden Quad
2:00 p.m. – I decided to skip lunch to go shopping on Via Monte Napoleone, at the centre of the famous Quadrilatero della Moda – Paris' Golden Triangle got beaten! There, it is a fashionista's dream, with designer shops all around: Armani, Dolce Gabbana, Versace, Roberto Cavalli, Valentino, Pucci, Gucci, Bottega Veneta and many more!
Bottega Veneta Home
Via Borgospesso, 5
Louise Bourgeois at Fondazione Prada
5:00 p.m. – Make way for culture! We plunge ourselves in the real labyrinth created at the Prada Foundation, located in a former distillery, redesigned by Dutch architect Rem Koolhaas. Conceived for multidisciplinary uses, the Fondazione is a waking dream, especially when visiting the Louise Bourgeois golden tower, nicknamed the “Haunted House”.
Largo Isarco, 2
Genuine Italian cuisine at Trattoria Madonnina
9:00 p.m. – Dinner in the city's oldest trattoria, Madonnina. The osso buco is plentiful and served on chequered tablecloths. Regulars, but also gourmet students, artists and businessmen all have their habits there. Very nice atmosphere and the promise of fresh products!
Trattoria Madonnina l'Osteria
Via Gentilino, 6
Last day, 11:00 a.m. – The taxi is already there, waiting to take me to the airport. But it's a promise to myself: next time I'm in Milan, I will get tickets to La Scala.