Updated: Oct 2
Alright, buckle up, and follow me on my design lover's adventure in the vibrant city of Milan! I woke up bright and early, full of excitement, ready to explore the fashion and design capital of Italy.
"You know what's the best way to kick off my day in Milan? A visit to the Duomo and the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II mall! I can't count how many times I've been there, but every single time, I make sure to go early in the morning when it's not swarmed with people. That's when I can truly immerse myself in the mind-blowing design of both places without any interruptions. Seriously, the architecture is beyond words – it's like a design masterclass that you won't find anywhere else!"
Now to really kick off the day I head to the swanky Prada Museum, I found myself chilling at the oh-so-adorable Bar Luce, sipping on a creamy cappuccino. The coffee buzzed me up for the day's adventure ahead. I was stoked 'cause this museum is like a treasure trove of art and fashion goodness! With each sip, I felt the excitement building, knowing I'd be surrounded by creative wonders inside those walls.
Bar Luce, this cute little cafe tucked inside the Prada Museum (Fondazione Prada), is not just any ol' coffee joint – it's got style! I mean, seriously, the place is as chic as the fashion Prada serves up. So, with my caffeine fix sorted, I was all set to dive into those captivating exhibits and soak up the mind-blowing mix of art and fashion this museum is famous for.
With my coffee fix from Bar Luce, I was ready to rock the Fondazione Prada Museum! But, I gotta admit, it didn't totally blow my mind. It looked cool, no doubt, but the exhibits felt a bit safe and minimalistic. Still, as I explored deeper, I found some real hidden gems that made the visit worthwhile. The museum's design was on point, sleek and modern, and I enjoyed snapping some artsy pics for the 'gram. Overall, it was a decent experience, even if it didn't have that big "wow" factor I was hoping for.
Location: Fondazione Prada Museum, Largo Isarco, 2, 20139 Milano MI, Italy Contact Details: +39 02 5666 2611 Website: www.fondazioneprada.org
Onward to the Ralph Lauren Home Showroom! To my dismay, it was appointment-only. But no worries, I took some time to admire the stunning exterior, which was like a design masterpiece in itself. The classic elegance and attention to detail were evident even from the outside. I could see glimpses of fabulous through some windows and what seemed like a private event on the terrace. Oh how I wanted to be up there. Next time I will book that appointment!
Ralph Lauren Home Showroom: Location: Via San Barnaba, 28, 20122 Milano MI, Italy Website: www.ralphlaurenhome.com
Next, with low ish expectations, I visited for the first time, a now new favourite spot in Milan, the Galleria Rossana Orlandi! This place is a design lover's dream come true. As soon as I stepped inside, I was overwhelmed with a sense of wonder and inspiration. The Galleria is housed in a former factory, and the industrial vibes blended seamlessly with the artistic wonders on display.
Every corner of the Galleria is a visual treat, with a breathtaking selection of contemporary design and avant-garde art pieces. The curations were impeccable, with an eclectic mix of furniture, lighting, ceramics, textiles, and more. From established designers to emerging talents, Rossana Orlandi has an eye for the most unique and awe-inspiring creations.
I spent hours lost in the maze of creativity, admiring the stunning displays and getting lost in conversations with fellow design enthusiasts. The atmosphere was buzzing with excitement, and I couldn't resist picking up a few small pieces to take home with me.
I also discovered that the Galleria has a beautiful courtyard and garden, where I took a moment to relax and soak in the artistic ambiance. It's a tranquil oasis amidst the bustling city, making it the perfect place for design lovers to unwind and reflect.
Rossana Orlandi's gallery is not just a place to shop; it's an immersive experience that touches your soul and fuels your creative spirit. I left with a heart full of inspiration and a determination to come back for more in the future.
Galleria Rossana Orlandi: Location: Via Matteo Bandello, 14/16, 20123 Milano MI, Italy Website: www.rossanaorlandi.com
Brera Area: Location: Brera, 20121 Milano MI, Italy
Time to stroll through the luxurious Brera area! The world's top designer stores were lined up like candy stores for design enthusiasts like us. Dolce and Gabbana's store was a real showstopper, with its opulent displays and luxurious ambiance. The Italian fashion heritage was on full display, and I found myself swooning over every handcrafted detail. Not usually my style yet I was transfixed and dreaming of a glamorous warehouse style apartment draped in all of this furniture. It’s a must-see.
Dolce and Gabbana: Location: Via Montenapoleone, 2, 20121 Milano MI, Italy Website: www.dolcegabbana.com
Onward to Fornasetti, where the quirky and whimsical designs had captivated me. I have never fully understood the allure of this brand and the price points could turn even my hair curly, but I have to admit the store was epic. The creativity on display was mind-blowing, with the iconic Fornasetti motifs adorning everything from plates to furniture to home accessories. The showroom felt like an art gallery, and I found myself admiring each piece as if I were in front of a priceless masterpiece.
Fornasetti: Location: Corso Venezia, 21/A, 20121 Milano MI, Italy Website: www.fornasetti.com
Lunchtime! I found myself at what is now my Milan staple the Ralph Lauren Bar and Garden, and oh boy, it was not just a culinary delight but a design lover's dream. The restaurant was an extension of Ralph Lauren's iconic style, with plush seating, elegant table settings, and attention to every detail. I savoured every moment while enjoying a delicious meal, feeling like I was dining in a chic New York penthouse. I highly recommend the prawn cocktail and dare I admit it… the pigs in a blanket, whatever mustard they serve with it is simply stunning.
Ralph Lauren Bar and Garden: Location: Via San Barnaba, 28, 20122 Milano MI, Italy Website: www.ralphlaurenhome.com
After lunch, I got a bit carried away at Fendi. Those luxurious designs had me ordering some cushions for my home – oops! But hey, sometimes it's worth the splurge. I always thought everything was just plastered with brown F’s which I don’t really mind but it was so much more. So many different designs and styles, many of them actually quite subtle. The store staff, however, were the quintessential “I work here so I am going to be snobby” even though I was head to toe in designer labels, seriously snooze the attitude.
Fendi: Location: Via Montenapoleone, 3, 20121 Milano MI, Italy Website: www.fendi.com
Then, I stumbled upon a real design paradise – Raw and Co. This multi-floor store was a treasure trove of new and vintage furniture and homewares, and it left me in complete awe. As soon as I walked in, I was like a kid in a candy store, eyes wide with excitement as I explored all the aesthetic delights around me. From modern minimalist pieces that exuded contemporary elegance to timeless vintage finds with stories to tell, Raw and Co had something to satisfy every design enthusiast's taste.
The store's ambiance was welcoming and cosy, making it easy to spend hours wandering around and soaking in the design inspiration. It is spread over multiple floors and I think Multiple buildings. It's hard to say as once you’re inside it goes on and on through multiple different zones and “rooms” think glamorous Italian Ikea-style display rooms, I wanted to move into one of the rooms!
Raw and Co was more than just a store; it was an experience. I couldn't resist picking up a couple of treasures to bring a touch of design paradise back to my own abode. If you're a design lover like me, this place is an absolute must-visit when in Milan.
Location: Raw and Co, Viale Piave, 3, 20129 Milano MI, Italy Website: www.rawandco.it
In the laneways, I discovered charming independent vintage furniture stores. Though they were a bit wary of my videos, I couldn't resist capturing the timeless pieces that they offered. Hidden gems, indeed! Don’t get stuck on the main streets, wander and explore the laneways, you won't regret it.
I had a brief but unforgettable encounter with the stunning Triennale di Milano Design Museum. I am not generally a fan of Museums so much to the dismay of the cashier I was in and out in 40 minutes but the architecture and gardens were breathtaking and an Instagram paradise, I know I know it’s meant to be about the inside but it’s just not my thing although the photos of how different chairs leave different patterns on your bum did give me pause, it was cute!
Triennale di Milano Design Museum: Location: Viale Alemagna Emilio, 6, 20121 Milano MI, Italy Website: www.triennale.org
After a day of heightening my senses and exhausting my feet, I decided to treat myself to a little luxury at the Bulgari Hotel Milan. It was time for aperitivo, Italian style! Picture this: I lounged on a plush sofa in their elegant courtyard, surrounded by lush greenery and chic decor. The atmosphere was oh-so-classy, and the soft glow of the lights added a touch of romance to the evening. Sipping on a refreshing custom passionfruit cocktail, I couldn't help but feel like a true Milanese fashionista. It was the perfect way to unwind, soaking in the stylish ambiance of this design haven. If you ever find yourself in Milan, trust me, aperitivo at the Bulgari Hotel is an absolute must! 🍹💫
I concluded at the fabulous Vico Boutique Hotel – an absolute gem! It all started when I stumbled upon this charming facade during a leisurely morning walk. It had a noticeable absence of a reception desk and a locked front door, but that didn't deter me. I promptly emailed them, expressing my interest to inspect the place, and to my delight, they happily obliged.
Once inside, I was instantly captivated by the hotel's unique blend of Milanese tradition and modern aesthetics. The ambiance was simply delightful, and it felt like a hidden sanctuary for design enthusiasts like me. With its affordable yet chic vibe, the Vico Boutique Hotel had me swooning over every detail, from the tasteful decor to the thoughtful touches that exuded elegance and sophistication.
It was the perfect way to end my design-filled day in Milan, and I couldn't have asked for a better haven to relax and rejuvenate. If you're in town and looking for a charming escape with a touch of design magic, I can't recommend Vico Boutique Hotel enough. It's a true hidden gem that will steal your heart! 💕🏨
Vico Boutique Hotel: Location: Via Pietro Calvi, 20, 20129 Milano MI, Italy Website: www.vicoboutiquehotel.com
One of Milan's most enchanting hidden gems undoubtedly is the Antichità Resia store. Nestled away, it beckons to those with a penchant for timeless elegance. Inside, a treasure trove of vintage wonders awaits, ranging from small decorator items to an exquisite collection of high-quality vintage furnishings. Resia's expertise shines in their specialization in original Thonet pieces, boasting one of the most remarkable selections I've had the privilege to behold.
Antichità Resi: Location: Via Giorgio Giulini, 5, 20123 Milano MI, Italy
Whew, what a rollercoaster of emotions and inspiration! Milan, you truly stole my heart with your creativity and style. Until we meet again for another design-filled adventure! 🇮🇹💕