From high-fashion flagships to illustrious landmarks, here’s what to do when you’re between meetings in Milan.
Is Leonardo da Vinci’s Last Supper, in the convent of Santa Maria delle Grazie, the greatest Renaissance painting? Judging for yourself can be a challenge – even hotel concierges can’t always guarantee short-notice tickets. The official Vivaticket site is a task in frustration; better to call on +39 02 9280 0360 (be patient) or pay a premium to visit the painting through a tour operator with a block allocation, such as Dark Rome or Viator.
Spring 2015 saw the debut of Rem Koolhaas’s airy new Fondazione Prada art centre (Largo Isarco 2) in a former distillery complex south of the centre. It’s an invigorating exercise in industrial salvage – one of the original buildings is now entirely clad in gold leaf. Adding a touch of whimsy (and some great gelato) is Bar Luce, designed by film director Wes Anderson. Summer 2016 draws include L’Image Volée (The Stolen Image), a group show exploring the idea of theft and appropriation in art.
At 10 Corso Como, a design and fashion emporium (Corso Como 10) owned by former Italian Vogue editor-in-chief Carla Sozzani and set in a traditional Milanese courtyard house, the prices can be challenging. But it’s a great one-stop shop for stylish gifts, including clothes, jewellery, books and hipster-baby soft toys. Recover from retail in the partly alfresco restaurant-café, which is a good venue for an informal meeting.
The home of A. C. Milan and F. C. Internazionale Milano, Stadio Giuseppe Meazza – known as San Siro – is the high temple of Italy’s soccer cult. The museum and tour is worthwhile for the latter, which takes in the changing rooms and a walk through the tunnel to the field. Check the website for closures due to matches and concerts.
Milan’s big event in summer 2016 is the Triennale International Exhibition 21st Century: Design After Design (until September 12), organised by the Triennale Design Museum (Viale Alemagna 6). The museum is hosting one of the most intriguing of 27 separate city-wide exhibitions, Neo Prehistory: 100 Verbs, which traces the history of design through words such as “hold” (a prehistoric hand axe) and “trend” (a Sony Walkman from 1979).
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