Urban Italy unfolds a wealth of spectacular travel experiences. The rich historical sites of Rome, founded in 753 BC The artistic exuberance of Florence. The epic splendor of romantic seafaring Venice with its Grand Canal and more than 110 islands and 400 bridges. The architecture, gastronomy and heritage of Palermo in Sicily, a crossroads of civilizations for millennia. These very popular cities attract the greatest interest from travelers to Italy. However, you will be amply rewarded when you turn your attention to another unmistakable gem: Milan – a world capital of high design, fashion excellence, innovative aesthetics, bountiful creativity and cultural dynamism. Milan is determined, hardworking and forward-thinking Great! A stunning new book leads the way: Milan chic ($95; produced by Assouline Publishing), written by veteran journalist and author Massimo Nava. Large (10 x 13 inches), heavy (over 6 pounds), and silk-covered, it contains 296 thick glossy pages, many of which feature the work of acclaimed photographer Oberto Gili.
Milan chic illuminates notable public places as well as secluded oases. “A short walk from the fashion district, where sophisticated women carry shiny shopping bags with famous labels, you can see a range of visitors from Japan, America and Europe,” says Nava. “You are in a quiet square in the pedestrian zone, right in front of a narrow door, waiting to be let in and you can only get in by prior reservation. You don’t waste time. In this case, time has the face of Santa Maria delle Grazie, a building made of warm reddish bricks. In the refectory of this beautiful Gothic-Renaissance church is one of the most famous masterpieces in the world, that of Leonardo da Vinci The last supperalso known thanks to Dan Browns Da Vinci Code. But not many know that the mural was painted and preserved in Milan The last supper begins you on a spiritual journey into the secret history of the city.”
Here is a sample of Milan chic‘s words and images to ignite your wanderlust. Settle into the book itself and embark on an imaginative journey abroad while perhaps sipping an espresso or Campari aperitif At home. There is much of immaculately dressed Milan to discover at your fingertips, such as the beautiful old town of Brera with “its colourful, narrow streets and palaces… a district where fashion and nightlife combine, a classic meeting place after a cinema or theatre,” recommends Nava. Note Milan’s greenery (like Stefano Boeri’s Vertical Forest), popular culinary hotspots, fabled mansions, glamorous shops, galleries, clothing houses and craft workshops. Above all, understand that Milan’s remarkable essence is best expressed in its hidden courtyards and building interiors. Milan chic reveals generous insights behind these closed doors.
Also, take a look at photos of some of the city’s most sought-after talented personalities: architects, artists, designers, restaurateurs, scientists and other visionaries. Her passion for this northern Italian metro magnet is irresistible; Quotes are shared below. Dare to be seduced by the intoxicating magic of Milan.
“Excitement, seduction and work in Milan keep hearts and minds alive,” muses artist Sofia Cacciapaglia. “Milan is characterized by its two walls that enclose it like a crown. In Milan, everyone walks fast, people run here and there… Time flies… The pace of the city is fast and agile… [This is a city] by ‘organized’ creativity and by those who love elegance in all things.”
“Milan is unclassifiable because it is so special,” says writer Daniela Morera. “Synchronized with the present, polite and respectful, it is a work without end, but also romantic with discreetly hidden gardens … It is not a silhouette but a real body full of nuances, filled with current culture, style. ..and contemporary art foundations like Prada and HangarBicocca [that are] unrivaled in the world. Even our street vendors display fruit and vegetables in a gorgeous way.”
“In Milan… everything is on a human level. I drive a scooter and can go from one end of the city to the other in 30 minutes,” explains designer Stefano Giovannoni. “At the same time, Milan is a hybrid city where diversity and international convergence in a very small area facilitate intercultural exchange. It is an open and welcoming city for newcomers, very livable for young minds who deserve to thrive in the world.”
“I love the way it sounds: MI-LA-NO, three perfect syllables… A stroll through Milan’s streets, squares, courtyards and neighborhoods, all different… Every day is a surprise, a Movie outdoors! …We are the reflection of Greek culture, of Roman emperors, of an incomparable aesthetic thought,” says artist Luca Pignatelli.
“Milan has always been a city of avant-garde, at the forefront of progress, the place where trends arrive first, but which also has great respect for the past – not a museum past locked in glass cases – but one in which that you can still live with,” enthuses architect Mario Abruzzese.
“Milan is a city traditionally open to creative people from all over the world who want to work in a positive, hard-working atmosphere. I was born in Rome, but Milan gave me my home, my own family and the opportunity to pursue my dreams as an artisan in a friendly and professional environment,” says furniture designer Osanna Visconti. “Milan is a city of secret beauty worth discovering, where art, music, design, fashion and architecture merge in an ideal energy.”
“I really have to say thank you to one of the most amazing cities in the world. Milan welcomed me, opened its doors and invited me to a truly beautiful dream, and none of this would have been possible without the help of my wonderful Milanese friends and mentors,” says artist Hugh Findletar. “These special people have guided me on the path to elegance and helped me discover the true meaning of chic! And that is the essence of my Milano.”
“In Milan one thinks of La Scala, the great palaces, the ironwork of the gates, the secret gardens, the mosaics by Gio Ponti, Lake Como – in short, everything that makes the city theatrical, creative and extravagant”. explains designer Bruno Moinard.
“Milan is very different from any other Italian city: a place where the balance between beautiful and ugly, old and new has become an identity over time. His ability to preserve hidden places and experiences that are not very visible or well-known is a source of constant discovery,” explain architect/artist Vincenzo De Cotiis and Claudia Rose De Cotiis, CEO/Co-Founder of Vincenzo De Cotiis Architecture and Gallery. “We love Milan precisely for this reason… [It is] a strong center of contemporary renewal.”
For more information on traveling to Italy, visit the Italian National Tourist Board North America.