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The Insiders’ Guide to Milan

A guide to Mr Armani's favourite spots in Milano

WHERE — Milan
PHOTOGRAPHY — Jessie Bush & Flaherty
IN COLLABORATION WITH — Armani
WEARING — Emporio Armani

No-one knows a city like a local. And there are few people that are more synonymous with Milano than Giorgio Armani. So this may just be THE ultimate guide to Milan; where to stay, eat, shop and explore as recommended by none other than Mr Armani.

I’ve been lucky enough to visit Milan multiple times, but it’s not an easy city to wrap your head around. For example, you’ll be hard-pressed to find somewhere to eat between 2.30pm and 7.30pm. Flagging a taxi down is a flat No (you’ll need to find a taxi rank instead). However, it’s also a beautiful city — replete with romantic cobbled streets, impressive architecture and impossibly-well-dressed locals. Essentially, it’s a city worth getting to know.

I loved exploring Milan through the eyes of Mr Armani; not just because he has impeccable taste and is Italian as they come, but because I often explore a new place with my own preferences in mind. So, rather than hunting down the best vege spots or coffee shops (what can I say; I’m predictable), I spent my time in Milano like the locals do.

^ The sun-filled Caffe Fernanda at the Pinacoteca di Brera. Wearing Emporio Armani blazer, blue jeans and boots

^ The beautiful Pinacoteca di Brera.

^ Intricate detailing on the roof of the Santa Maria delle Grazie.

^ Walking through Galleria Vittorio

VISIT

Another local favourite of Mr Armani’s, and home to the infamous Last Supper, Santa Maria delle Grazie is a museum and church truly worth a visit. Naturally, given that it’s home to one of Leonardo da Vinci’s most famous paintings, it pays to book tickets to visit online first – otherwise you probably won’t be seeing the work up close.

Santa Maria delle Grazie, Piazza di Santa Maria delle Grazie, 20123 Milano

STAY

At the Armani Hotel Milano for unadulterated luxury, impeccable service and conveniently close to pretty much all the best spots in the city. This is the kind of hotel that you book for a special occasion, so make the most of the incredible bar on the top floor with some of the best views of Milan (where the slatted windows shift as the sun shifts for the most impressive light) and the super chic spa, which includes a heated pool that you can soak in whilst looking out over the city.

Armani Hotel Milano, Via Alessandro Manzoni

^ One of Mr Armani’s favourite restaurants, Antica Trattoria della Pesa, serving up traditional Milanese fare

^ Slatted sunlight at Bamboo bar at the Armani Hotel

^ The grand roof of the Santa Maria delle Grazie

SHOP

At the Armani / Libri, which—despite the name—is not a heavily-branded experience. Instead, it’s easily one of the most thoughtfully curated bookstores I’ve ever explored, with many cool titles I’ve never come across elsewhere. Be warned, you’ll leave wishing you could fill your suitcase with books.

Armani / Libri, Via Croce Rossa

^ Looking up at Galleria Vittorio

VISIT

Museo Poldi Pezzoli, a 19th century art museum—a calm, quiet sanctuary in the middle of the city which is one of Mr Armani ‘s favourite spots to visit. The museum has some pretty incredible collections spread across two beautiful floors (the building itself is pretty incredible), and is the perfect place to escape from the hustle of the city for an hour or two.

Museo Poldi Pezzoli, Via Alessandro Manzoni

^ Wearing Emporio Armani trench coat, bag and heels outside the Duomo

VISIT

The Armani/Silos, which is a fashion and art museum dedicated to an impressive retrospective of the history of the Armani brand. The building itself is actually an old grain store (hence the name), which makes for an impressive structure in itself. Viewing a retrospective of a brand isn’t like walking through a store; instead, it’s a little more like a beautiful glimpse of history, seeing iconic pieces worn on stage or the red carpet in the 80’s and 90’s right through to today. A must-see for anyone interested in fashion through the 21st century.

Armani/Silos, Via Bergognone, 40

^ Wearing Emporio Armani jacket and boots at Museo Poldi Pezzoli

^ Wearing Emporio Armani trench coat, bag, blue jeans and heels

EAT

At one of Mr Armani’s favourite restaurants in the city, Antica Trattoria della Pesa, a chic spot serving up traditional Milanese fare. It’s worth visiting for the homemade pasta alone, although the antiques furnishings and friendly staff don’t hurt either.

Antica Trattoria della Pesa, Viale Pasubio, 10

^ Getting some culture at Museo Poldi Pezzoli

VISIT

Pinacoteca di Brera is the main public gallery in Milan which Mr Armani recommended that we visit. Wander through the courtyard then head inside for a feast of impressive Italian paintings.

Pinacoteca di Brera, Via Brera, 28

DRINK

At the Caffe Fernanda, the recently renovated bar and cafe on the top floor of Pinacoteca di Brera. The interiors are in the style of old 50’s glamour, making it arguably the chicest museum cafe of all time. Although, if the weather is nice, the sun-filled terrace outside does steal the show. Head there for an espresso or spritz after you’ve explored the museum.

Caffe Fernanda, upstairs at Pinacoteca di Brera, Via Brera, 28

^ Wearing Emporio Armani denim jacket (as a dress) and boots

EAT

At the Armani/Ristorante, on the top floor of the the Armani Hotel, although remember to make a booking. Grab a drink at the Bamboo Bar next door first while the sun is setting, then settle in to enjoy a creative approach to modern Italian cuisine.

Armani/Ristorante, Via Alessandro Manzoni, 31

Grab an espresso and croissant and the newly renovated Emporio Armani Caffe’ Milano, with slick interiors that are as chic as they are Instagram-friendly. By day you can pop in for a quick caffeine hit at the bar or a long lunch in the light-filled dining room; then swing by for an aperitivo at the end of the day as the place really gets going. Regardless of when you go, it’ll always be filled with locals.

Emporio Armani Caffe’ Milano, Via Croce Rossa, 2

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