Starting this month, American Airlines is headed to Milan from JFK International Airport. We think you should come along with us. And there’s no better way to form the love affair of a lifetime with the city than to follow these famous locals as they take you on a personal tour.
Giuseppe di Cecca
Fashion stylist for international agency Tiziana Gibilisco Photographers
Tad is the perfect place to buy a present. The furniture and textile collections designed and produced by Tad are the beating heart of the concept store. ... On the ground floor, there’s a selection of pieces from emerging designers and prestigious labels as well as a backroom couture area dedicated to the most exclusive luxury. Outlet D Magazine is a specialized fashion emporium where you can find prestigious brands like Armani, Helmut Lang, and Gigli, while Le Solferine offers original vintage hats, accessories, and jewels from the best international collections.
Los Angeles Times fashion reporter
The restaurant to go to is Ristorante da Ilia. It’s just off Viale Veneto and very close to the Porta Venezia metro station. It’s been a favorite hole-in-the-wall for fashion journalists -- and the people they cover -- for years. It’s a crowded spot, and the tables are so close together in some parts of the rabbit warren of rooms that you might as well be dining communally, but it’s perfect for unwinding after a hectic day. They make their own pasta. I’d fork-stab anyone who tried to come between me and a plate of the house risotto, made with butter, brown stock, and Parmesan cheese.
Creator of jewelry brand Misani
I suggest the Duomo, an amazing testimony of Italian Gothic architecture. Visit the cathedral on the inside as well as on the outside. You can climb to the top, or there is an elevator around back to take you up and down. The Madonnina at the top is 108.5 meters from the ground, and tradition has it that nothing in Milano can be built higher than that. Via Vittorio Emanuele (behind the Duomo) offers stores, stores, and more stores.
Fashion and advertising photographer and visual artist (clients include Chanel, Victoria’s Secret, and Bulgari)
Milan is like a particular type of woman -- not beautiful, especially at first sight, but when you start seeing her more and she gives back to you, she becomes interesting and glamorous. The best places to go are inside -- inside the courtyard of an old building, in a house, in a charming restaurant, in bars, and in all the happenings and parties organized by creative figures, where design and fashion collide. [In Milan, it’s] easy to reach friends, easier than in Paris, London, or New York. You can have an extra life after work. … Le Biciclette and the fresco bar The Globe are good meeting points.
I love Brera, the favorite place of the bohemian painters and writers in the eighteenth century. The Pinacoteca di Brera, located at the Academy of Fine Arts [Accademia di belle Arti di Brera], where I studied, is a very special place to visit. I often go to admire The Lamentation over the Dead Christ, painted by Andrea Mantegna. For lunch, I love Fioraio Bianchi, which used to be a nice flower shop but has been converted into a restaurant full of bunches of flowers that you can buy. When I want a candlelit dinner in a Zen garden, I go to Yume, with its Japanese traditional kitchen.
Traci L. Slatton
Novelist, author of Immortal
Milan isn’t viewed by Italians as the most beautiful city in Italy, but it’s celebrated for cutting-edge, contemporary high design and for la moda, or fashion. Via Montenapoleone bustles with antique stores, boutiques, and art galleries that ravish the senses and inspire the soul. Stop for caffe macchiato and a delicious Milanese pastry [as you walk]. If you wander toward the Brera, try ristorante Nabucco.
Novelist and author of Head Above Water
I live, work, love, and generally survive by music, so there is not a Saturday that I don’t try to spend a blissful half hour at Buscemi, the single best independent record store in Milan. And when I say record store, I am not being disingenuous: Although Buscemi predominantly sells CDs, rest assured they
have vinyl as well. The air you breathe in this small shop is the same stuffy, heady air you used to breathe back when rock was in its 20s -- and you were too.
Award-winning industrial designer and director of Casini Studio
You can’t leave Milan without having the aperitif-time experience, a precious occasion after work to meet friends. The most hip places are the Bulgari Hotel, for a magical drink in the garden, and Radetzky, where in the summer you can have a beer or a glass of wine “on the road.” Also special is 10 Corso Como, a funky, cutting-edge place whose drink area is connected to a unique shop where you can find various design and fashion items. On the upper floor, there’s a bookshop and an art gallery. For wine and food shopping, you absolutely have to visit Peck (founded in 1883), close to the Duomo, and Il Salumaio di Montenapoleone, on the famous shopping road.
Chris “Ludacris” Bridges
My first time in Milan, I was looking forward to trying some authentic Italian cuisine. The first night, we went to Alle Langhe for pasta. It was traditional and very good. But it was my craving for pizza that led me to discover the “best pizza spot in the world” -- Maruzzella. It has the greatest pizza I have ever tasted. And I have to admit, the thought of that pizza stays with me -- I can’t wait to return to Milan!
Global traveler that you are, you surely have favorite places in all the cities you visit. Why not share them with others? Send us an e-mail with your picks at email@example.com, or go to www.americanwaymag.com/favorites and join the discussion.