aka Pilena between Riga and Paris

#kidsgazettetravel Milano

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This was first time in many years I changed my travel destination… Milano instead of Paris. And I must say it was a good choice, because sometimes you have to step out of your comfort zone and have new challenges. I started planning my trip as soon as the plane tickets were in my pocket. Did you know I am a control freak and a crazy holiday planner?… my family members even call me a travel guide. Well I am fine with that as far as they are happy and enjoying.

So this post will be about MILANO, the places I visited and enjoyed. Some… very touristic ones, and “must visit” in every Milano city guide, but some – real treasures!

MUSEUMS and SIGHTS

When I travel, first thing I do is look for great modern art and 20th century architecture and design, so… (I will not give you touristic or history info, as you can find it on google) Personal advice: when you are planning your visits pay attention to museum Opening hours and days, because they differ!

VILLA NECCHI

This was a real “wow” – I just couldn’t stop smiling and felt like I could live there forever! Celebrated architect and author of many interior design objects Portaluppi is a genius. One of the most beautiful villas I have ever visited!

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NOVECENTO MODERN ART MUSEUM

Interesting experience, though I can’t say this was my favorite. Nice building and view though.

ORTO BOTANICO DI BRERA

Very beautiful and not polished botanical garden in the middle of Milano (Brera district). It is part of a large cultural compound housed in Brera Palace, which includes the Brera Pinacoteca, the Astronomical Observatory, the National Library and the Academy of Fine Arts. I suggest you don’t miss the library…

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FONDAZIONE PRADA

This was one of the great moments I compared to how I feel after watching an impressive movie… Not a good one or bad one, but the one that makes you think. The building and architecture, every detail was something you have never seen before, even the WC’s were “cool”! And there was a Bar Luce designed by world famous film director Wes Anderson – it felt so freaky 50s. Though aftertaste was like the building complex was greater than the arts (of course there were the big names like Hirst, Man Ray, Cattelan, Hockney, Lichtenstein, Koons)… but I bet it is just the beginning as Mrs Prada is doing a great investment in the history of 21st century culture!

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There were some places I still missed, but wanted to see:

HANGAR BICOCCAContemporary art museum in former factory with monumental permanent installations & temporary shows.

WOW SPAZIO FUMETTO – if you like comics and is free of charge.

FOOD

This is another important aspect when you are traveling, and is better (at least I think so) to eat like a local, so I always read reviews, scroll through instagram to find some good places. This was my choice for the trip:

BAR JAMAICA

In the district of Brera. It is a legendary place from 50s though established in 1911. According to local lore, Mussolini had an unpaid tab here when he became prime minister in 1922. In the 1950s Jamaica became a favoured hangout of journalists and artists (Giacometti included), and it started holding art and photography shows long before anybody else thought of combining the arts with alcohol. Google some pics of Jamaica and you will get the feeling.

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LATTERIA SAN MARCO

A real place to dine like a local, with just 9 tables, Papa in the kitchen and mama in the hall. Once a small dairy shop selling milk and eggs, this tiny latteria in the Porta Nuova neighborhood expanded its menu during the impoverished years that followed World War II to include old-school Milanese dishes. Owner and chef Arturo Maggi employs a little alchemy by cooking in solid silver pots and pans to “purify” the food and improve digestion. The food was great!

ANTICA TRATTORIA DELLA PESA

Great food and atmosphere, specially known for Milanese cutlet and risotto. If you don’t get a table in the restaurant, you can always have a place in the bistro just around the corner, having the same menu.

BAR MAGENTA

One of the oldest bars in Milano… since 1907. The place which according to legend started “aperitivo”. Nice interior decorations and a very tasty Tonno Tonnato.

BAR CAMPARINO AKA ZUCCA

You can find it near Milan Duomo. In 1867, Gaspare Campari set up his home, restaurant and wine shop at this location. Over the years, many notable people stopped here, including Giuseppe Verdi and Arturo Toscanini, who came after performances at nearby la Scala. It has amazing mosaics on the wall by Angelo d’Andrea. I suggest you stay at the bar and watch people pass by and bartenders at work. (The above pic Me standing at the bar shot there)

DROGHERIA MILANESE

Didn’t go for dinner, just for a shot of limoncello, but if I had one more night to dine out this would be the place – very lively, young people, great interior.

BAR LUCE

The one I mentioned before done by Wes Andreson!

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SHOPS

Milano is THE place for shopping… now I am sure – both if you have a small budget or want to spend a fortune!

SPAZIO ROSSANA ORLANDI

If you like design and arts combined, this place is a must visit. It has a magical garden, where every piece (table, cup, sculpture) can be yours for quite a high price and then you are guided through the shop inside by a competent assistant, being excited about every piece sold at the shop. Have chat and don’t be shy! It is located in the backyard and not so easily found.

CORSO COMO 10

For design and book lovers. The Italian version of Colette (Paris)…selling super stylish garments, shoes, perfumes, candles, jewellery. Then don’t miss a lunch or dinner at the restaurant or drink a cocktail at the bar! Loved it + it doesn’t change in many years, so you will get what you expect!

Photo: Nr 1/2/3/7/8/10/15 shot on film; Zenit camera by Bindemane & Mihelsons