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36 hours in Milan


Milan is peaceful and tranquil, and keeps its finest treasures hidden away in hidden gardens, narrow alleys, and remote neighborhoods. Those who delve deeper into this vast and fast-paced city will be in for a treat. New destinations for architecture and design were adopted by the 60th edition of Salone del Mobili, the international furniture fair that headlines Milan’s annual Design Week, which was reorganized in June with its first full event since 2019. Today, there are optimistic energies on the streets. Where new cultural projects are reviving crippled industrial spaces, a diverse culinary scene is thriving, and unexpected discoveries await travelers to this resilient, resilient, ultra-chic city.

Friday: food in paper plates

What “Osteria alla Concornza” lacks – the kitchen – it makes up for in the wonderful atmosphere. In this bustling restaurant, which opened last year, with its well-mannered staff and old-fashioned decor, no one seems to mind that much of the food is served on paper plates. This is the second project of the famous chef Diego Rossi, from the “Trippa” restaurant, one of the most difficult restaurants in the city to book, and crowded with diners at night. Book ahead to join in the fun and feast on crostini – maybe lardo, pesto and parmigiano, or pancetta and artichoke – as well as cheese-stuffed focaccia and beef tongue with pickled vegetables. Dinner for two costs about 60 euros.

The Furniture Fair in Milan is one of the most famous places in the city (Shutterstock)

Saturday: Eat at the Baking Lab

Across town, a new wave of panfichi and pastisserie – bakeries and pastry shops – are looking for inspiration beyond Italy’s borders. For a sampling of this tasty trend, go to Tony Milano, a bakery, coffee shop and Baking Lab that opened last year. Named after the round, barrel-shaped oven traditionally used for baking bread in Georgia, this friendly venue serves up a range of baked goods, from vermicelli burek and delicious Icelandic cake to delicious peach and rosemary focaccia. For lunch, try the boat-shaped khachapuri adjaruli (Georgian cheese bread) made here with sourdough, stuffed with soft cheese, topped with a runny egg and served warm (€10).

Pastry and candy shops are widely spread in Milan (Shutterstock)

Find treasures

One would expect excellent trading venues in the Italian capital of fashion and design. But the real place to find truly unexpected items is Cloister. The multi-merchandise shop in Casa dei Griffe, a 15th-century mansion tucked away in one of the endless alleyways of Cinque Fee, is brimming with uncommon treasures, from vintage cloaks to workwear jackets – all in mint condition. EXCELLENT – to jewelry, decor, plants, perfume, art, and accessory. A recent excavation turned up an old pair of Hermès suede heels, men’s 1970s bathing shorts, vintage embroidered ribbons, and a collection of rare books and magazines.

Eat pasta

Forget the formal Italian dinner offering of primo, secondo and dolce, at the casual Pastamadri in the lively Porta Romana neighborhood, pasta moves from bottom to top on the ever-changing menu. Inside the light and cheerful dining room, with terrazzo floors and intricately detailed wood furniture, the new meal begins with light fried squid, pitta de manzo (meat in tartar sauce) with capers in pesto sauce, and fried zucchini flowers. Among the main dishes, of all kinds of fresh pasta, the standout was a heap of spaghetti ella chitara in yellow cherry tomato sauce, topped with a handful of fresh strachella cheese and red shrimp in sauce. Dinner for two costs about 75 euros.

Sunday: Milano Duomo

At some point, every visitor will stop and marvel at the Gothic facade and soaring columns of the Milan Duomo. But for a closer examination of this magnificent 14th-century cathedral, climb to the roof for a close-up view of the intricately detailed towers, as well as hundreds of unsightly gargoyles, statues and stone reliefs (ticket prices from €10). Then head out on an expansive panoramic tour, from the shimmering glass dome of Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II next to new glass-and-steel skyscrapers, and the Alps in the distance.

Main visiting places

Bar Paso, a classic coffee shop with a pink interior, is a favorite of both fashionistas and neighborhood dwellers.

Milan’s Duomo offers a view of soaring spiers and ugly gargoyles, as well as a sweeping view of the city and the Alps beyond.

Mercato Centrale Milano is a sprawling market for local food in the city’s main central railway station.

Exhibitions and attractions

Demor Central, home to the new headquarters of design firm DeMorestudio, is a cultural center with exhibition spaces.

– «Casa Museo Pucci di Stefano» is located in the former residence of a couple of art collectors, who together managed to collect an impressive collection of Italian art of the twentieth century.

Fondazione Prada Milan is a leading contemporary art venue housed in a former distillery.

Osservatorio is an exhibition showcasing visual works, photos, and videos that explore societal themes.

– Cloister, housed in a 15th-century mansion, is full of treasures, from gowns to plants and perfumes.

places to eat

Eating on tables distributed in a garden next to «Basilica de Sant’Eustorgio».

– The restaurant “Osteria alla Concornza” has old-fashioned decorations, and delicious dishes such as “focaccia” stuffed with cheese.

– Tony Milano’s bakery sells a variety of baked goods, from burek vermicelli to delicious focaccia bread with peach and rosemary.

Pastamadri raises pasta from the bottom up on its ever-changing menu.

– Lusty Café is a sunny, Scandinavian-inspired café (try the buttery cardamom cake).

The New York Times Service.