Is there a city more dedicated to refinement and sophistication than fair Milano? The home of fashion giants like Prada, Missoni, Armani, and Dolce & Gabbana and host to the weeklong Salone Internazionale del Mobile design fair, this northern Italian city is still brimming with plenty of hidden charms, says Rossana Orlandi, whose highly regarded eponymous furniture store and gallery opened just a decade ago.
Triennale di Milano
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Besides being the capital of fashion, Milan is also a center for design, and this museum is truly one of the city’s landmarks. Along with the interesting exhibitions, visit the sun-lit café for brunch; it looks out onto the romantic Parco Sempione. 6 Viale Alemagna, 011-39-02-724341; triennale.itWait and See
Housed in a former 18th-century convent, this concept store by Uberta Zambeletti has a fresh and charming selection of knitwear, dresses, and handbags. The area itself is ideal for walking, with interesting stores and galleries dotting the cobblestoned streets. 14 Via Santa Marta, 011-39-02-7208-0195; waitandsee.itGalleria Lia Rumma
Not far from the rising Porta Garibaldi district, this new Milanese gallery by Naples-born Lia Rumma is an absolute must to visit. The pieces range from artists of the Arte Povera movement to the biggest names in contemporary art, including Anselm Kiefer, William Kentridge, and Vanessa Beecroft. The building itself is also very interesting. 19 Via Stilicone, 011-39-02-2900-0101; liarumma.itRiva Reno Gelateria
This traditional spot serves some of the best ice cream in town. 8 Viale Col di Lana, 011-39-02-8940-8459; rivareno.comD’O
Escape for a while from the noise of the center at this fascinating restaurant at the entrance to the city, in Cornaredo, which is actually the hometown of the chef, Davide Oldani. The cuisine is brilliant, and every detail is really well curated. Reservations are required even for lunch. 18 Via Magenta, 011-39-02-936-2209; cucinapop.doBiblioteca Ambrosiana
One of the most important public collections of rare and prestigious books is housed here. You will find some of the masterpieces of European literature in the archives, including da Vinci’s Codices. 2 Piazza Pio XI, 011-39-02-806921; ambrosiana.euLiving
Aperitivo is an Italian institution and also a strong part of Milanese social life. This café faces the wonderful Arco della Pace square and is the perfect spot for a quality cocktail. 2 Piazza Sempione N, 011-39-02-3310-0824; livingmilano.comGiardini di Villa Reale
For a glimpse of Milanese family life, walk these romantic gardens with their central villa, lake, and sculptures. It’s one of the most famous meeting points in the city for parents.