72 Hours in Milan, Italy: Where To Stay, Where To Play

72 Hours in Milan, Italy: Where To Stay, Where To Play

Making your way to Milan? Here are the V-approved spots to stay, play, shop, eat, drink and sightsee.

Making your way to Milan? Here are the V-approved spots to stay, play, shop, eat, drink and sightsee.

Milan is semi-atypical when you consider Italy’s grand cities—it does not necessarily or even noticeably retain the steeped-and-storied charm of places like Rome, Venice, Florence, et al. But that isn’t to say Milan is any less special because of such. It’s a working metropole, arguably Italy’s most modern, and despite its industrial rattle it has plenty to do and to see. We recommend going to Milan in the winter—the northern Italian air is crisp, the sunlight is clear and the temperatures are tolerably brisk. (Summers can be swampy.) From fashion to furniture to Fornasetti porcelain, here’s a very quick rundown for a long weekend in Milano.

Where to Stay:

We have stayed in a number of Milanese hotels and can say that the Baglioni Hotel Carlton is one of our favorites. It’s not sleek and trendy or even overly luxe. Rather, it’s got natural character in spades, and a kind of worn comfiness that feels familiar—we imagine it’s the Italian version of, say, The Surrey in NYC. Ask for a terrace room facing the Duomo—even in winter, it’s nice to sip a morning espresso and mentally prepare for the day (which, in V's case, usually means readying oneself for an insane, city-spanning route map to get to the day’s fashion shows).

Where to Play:

If you’re new to Milan, check out the impressive Duomo, a cathedral located in the city center. Take a selfie while you’re at it—everyone else will be doing it, too. (Though in winter, the crowds are, obviously, less dense.)

What to Shop:

Take advantage of Milan’s unrivaled fashion legacy—and go big, or go home. If you stay at the Baglioni, it’s connected to Via Della Spiga, which is ostensibly your gateway to Italian retail mania. Fausto Puglisi has a standalone store there. His designs (which now include menswear) are riotous and indulgent. The man also creates great, chunky-flashy accessories, which make for cool souvenirs. Also worth shopping when in town: Gucci’s flagship, which, under Alessandro Michele’s eye, has become the sartorial equivalent of a double rainbow (very colorful, very rare); Moschino, its designs packed with Jeremy Scott’s laugh-out-loud (and sometimes dark) humor; and 10 Corso Como from Carla Sozzani, which, on March 15, introduced an exclusive thirteen-piece capsule of striped knits from the Sonia Rykiel archives, remastered by the house’s current artistic director, Julie de Libran.

Where to Eat and Drink:

People love Contraste, the relatively new restaurant from the Michelin-starred chef Matias Perdomo. Il Solferino is a classic. For a scene (fashion fixture Anna Dello Russo can often be spotted here), grab a drink at Dolce & Gabbana’s Bar Martini. (La Chiesetta is also good for drinks.) And, post-dinner, why not try dancing at Milan’s infamously debauched, longstanding nightclub, Plastic?

What to See:

If you do one thing in Milan, go to the Fondazione Prada. From an architectural, artful and environmental perspective, it has to be one of the most impressive places on the planet. Even if you just walk around outside without getting a museum ticket, it’s worth perusing—every sightline, every material finish, every angle is exactingly and mesmerizingly considered. It features permanent installations by Robert Gober and Louise Bourgeois. It also has a strong current exhibition by the artist Pamela Rosenkranz. It also has Bar Luce—a cafe designed by Wes Anderson. It is delicious. Order: the “Mediterraneo” tuna sandwich. It’s the best snack in Milan, bar none.

Baglioni Hotel Carlton via @nickremsen
Credits: Cover Photo Courtesy of Nick Remsen

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