Want to see a different side of Milan? Italian travel blogger Italo Rizzo gives his take on the Porta Nuova district in this travel info post.
There’s no need to wait for Expo Milano 2015 (the World Exposition that will take place from May 1 to October 31) to pay a visit to Milan. This Italian icon offers a lot of attractions to please even the most demanding of travellers, starting with its impressive skyline, the large number of fashion boutiques, trendy stores and a unique blend between neoclassic and cutting-edge architecture.
This article is focused on Porta Nuova district and surroundings, an area completely redesigned with several high rise buildings, cultural centres and a city park. Those who have never been to Milan before can experience a taste of the most modern city in Italy right here.
The following tips are fitting both for first-time visitors and returning tourists.
Piazza Gae Aulenti
Taking a walk in Gae Aulenti square allows you to appreciate the talent of the architect Cesar Pelli, who designed this square named after – you guessed it – Gae Aulenti, one of the most important Italian architects and one of the few women designing in the second half of 20th century.
The shape of the square reminds one of the old Italian squares but is more stylish thanks to its sculptural features and its reflective pool that mirrors the colours of the surrounding buildings. The square is at the feet of the tallest skyscraper in Italy, the Unicredit tower, and is located near to Garibaldi station and Corso Como, one of the most popular fashion streets in Milan.
This is the most futuristic side of the city, the place where technology, ecology and style are perfectly matched. The eco-sustainability concept is represented by the solar panels which generate energy for the Solar Tree, an innovative street lamp.
Have a coffee at a florist
Fioraio Bianchi Caffè is a flower shop evolved into a restaurant and a bistro located at Via Montebello, a vintage place where you can go for breakfast or lunch and enjoy a romantic atmosphere.
If you wish to buy an original floral composition or want to have a coffee at a truly Milanese venue with French heart, Fioraio Bianchi Caffè is without doubt the most suitable choice.
The menus include typical French pastries, delightful seasonal products and a well-selected wine list.
Wear a hat made by a fashion designer
Peter e Gallia is a renowned fashion store and, at the same time, a hidden gem of Milan. This small atelier, in fact, is situated at Via Moscova and is specialised in tailored hats for different kinds of customers. The owners collaborated with some of the main stylists such as Armani, Ferrè, Versace, Dior, Moschino and Prada.
With the help of a milliner you can buy a tailored hat, realized according to your personal style, your face and your preferences.
Enjoy Milan nightlife at the Clubroom
Milan is full of clubs, bar, disco, venues where people go to spend a fun evening. I suggest going to 11 Clubroom, located at the first floor of an Art Nouveau building, a venue more similar to an aristocratic residence than a disco club.
11 Clubroom has housed some of the coolest djs such as Kenny Carpenter, Steve Aoki, Satoshi Tomi and Miguel Campbell.
Book a hotel in Milan centre
Planning your holiday in Milan is easier if you consult local experts who can design itineraries upon your needs: the Hotel Windsor offers this service to its guests and is strategically located close to Porta Nuova district.
Discover Milan and its many attractions: this city may not have the art treasures of Rome and Florence, but is the only place in Italy where the contrast between past and future resonates with such vigour, and even charm.