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Milan never stops and continuously inaugurates new places and landmarks. New architectural projects, exhibition spaces, restaurants and even squares. Read on for what’s happened in the past few months – all of which you won't find in the travel guides.
In Milan there’s always something happening. Prior to Expo 2015, the excitement was felt in the air, and the amazing thing is that following the end of the world-renowned fair, that energy boost has remained – and is certainly not losing intensity. Milan is moving faster and faster and this translates into exclusive events, new store openings and new city landmarks; everything changes before your eyes! Stores are revamping squares, as seen with the Apple Store; city districts are growing, like that of Porta Nuova; and the (sometimes controversial) Starbucks name has finally landed in the city.
A new exhibition space within the Fondazione Prada and a restaurant overlooking an exclusive city skyline. The six-floor area of the tower houses the “Atlas” project, begun after an encounter between Miuccia Prada and curator Germano Celant. The works realized between 1960 and 2016 are a mapping of the ideas and visions that drove the development of the collection and the collaborations with artists over the years. On the sixth and seventh floors are the Torre bar and restaurant with a panoramic rooftop terrace. Sit down for a drink and then continue with the contemporary regional menu by Prada’s chef. On the top floor, wander among the upside-down mushrooms to feel like Alice in Wonderland.
It might seem funny to foreigners, but Starbucks in Italy only opened in September 2018. It does not exist anywhere, except in Milan, where a majestic project in the heart of the city has been inaugurated. It’s not just your usual coffee shop, but the “deluxe” version with a visible roastery, tastings, different types of extractions and a cocktail bar. It got itself into a bit of a tizz, due to the American invasion into the world of espresso, its prices, the beauty of the architecture and the superior quality of the coffee. People queued for days and continue to do so. And, sure enough, the best espresso in Milan is served here.
A cultural centre, opened in late 2016, which revolutionized the urban aspect of a big slice of the city, the new Porta Volta district. The building, shared with Microsoft headquarters, is a project designed by studio Herzog & de Meuron. Five floors of pure glass surrounded by a garden shining in the sun. There is no art collection inside, but on the ground floor a Feltrinelli book shop, a hall for events and meetings and the magnificent reading room of the library, on the top floor. There’s a full calendar of cultural events and guided tours for the building. Otherwise, just go to visit the palace and enjoy the view from the top floor.
Niko Romito is the world’s most international Italian chef. Three Michelin stars in Castel di Sangro (Abruzzo) and Bvlgari Hotel restaurants in Beijing, Dubai, Shanghai and now in Milan with the same format. Italian cuisine, great classics brought to their essence. Modern yet comforting, where flavours are absolute and presentations minimal. It was one of the most anticipated openings of 2018 and has proved to be a success. “True taste is an absolute value, and as such, it can speak to everyone: both foreigners and Italians,” says chef Niko Romito. The inevitable dishes: spaghetti and tomato (not with tomato sauce), lasagne, Milanese veal chop and tiramisu. Try it.
It’s not a simple Apple Store where you go to get your phone repaired; on the contrary, only a minority of people go there for that reason. The new (and only) Apple Store in the centre of Milan is a renovation and architectural improvement project of Piazza Liberty, an open space and a new hub in Milan. Outside, an amphitheatre-stairway for events, two eight-metre-high walls of water lead you to the basement store. One of the most photographed corners of the year.