„How beautiful is Milan? In any case, the city sets the trends.“ Sylvie Konzack and Kai Böcking
The Milanese are proud: proud of their status as the fashion capital of Europe, their luxurious shopping temples, their historic buildings and that they invented the Wiener Schnitzel before the Austrians. But of course, it is not only the “Cotoletta alla milanese” (traditionally baked golden yellow and with bones in) that makes the trip to Italy’s second largest city, whose charm is a little bit cooler in the winter. The cathedral, omnipresent in Milan pictures, can truly be seen. Just as undoubtedly the monastery Santa Maria delle Grazie, where Leonardo da Vinci’s “The Last Supper” is located. Far away from it, walking through the streets and alleys, you will soon see a normal urban Milan – including its great gastronomy..
When EXPO 2015 was running at full speed, the “Mandarin Oriental Milan” opened up a real eye-catcher in this design-spoiled city. Just three minutes from the Opera House, designer Antonio Citterio created a breathtaking boutique hotel from four historic buildings. It offers 104 rooms and suites, 900 square metres of spa and the concierge Mario Picozzi, who not only recommends the in-house restaurants and amenities, but also has some really cool tips in store for discoverers like us.
The Nyx Milan, in turn, seduces art lovers to leaps for joy – with full-wall street art and the claim of an unadapted lifestyle. Quite immodestly, they see themselves as experts and trend-setters of Milan. “The hotel encompasses a world of ideas. Everyone can do what they want here. Everyone here is part of a living concept,” hotel manager Linda Mariotti sums it up. Instead of well-sorted individual paintings on the wall, the “EAD Crew” (Joys, Peeta, Yama, and made514, among others), known in Italy, has immortalized itself throughout the hotel with graffiti art in three-dimensional style. The hotel frequently hosts fashion shows, design weeks and exhibitions – and thus uses endless opportunities to tell stories about itself.
Let’s make it short: In Milan there is (almost) only good food. Gourmets must go to Peck in Via Spadari: a three-storey gourmet department store of superlatives.
You can get something really good to eat at Panino Giusto, Corso Garibaldi: 40 types of panini, homemade bread, and now there are some branches, but still always good.
And if you want to dine out, the “Trussardi alla Scala” is the place to be: Here, the ambitious chefs bring grandiose dishes to your plate in a truly pure ambience. On the ground floor there is a nice bar for the aperitivo.
But let’s leave the really good tips to a Milanese: The entrepreneur Matteo Ghedini has described an exciting tour of Milan’s best restaurants, pubs and bars for us in his guest author article. There is something for everyone here – and much more!
Business Quick Getaway
What remains are the possibilities for a quick “get out of town”. And there are plenty of exciting ones in Milan. The Lago di Garda, for example, is great. However, we should not delude ourselves: In spring and summer it is completely overrun. And there are great lake alternatives, such as Lago Maggiore and Lago di Como, where there are usually not quite as many tourists. Verona also stands for a lively life and a festival of open-air opera – a city that is really always worth a trip.
For those who like it quieter and greener, we recommend Borghetto sul Mincio, 12 km from the south side of Lago di Garda. Mill and water wheels, alleys, bridges and tortellini – the former fortified village is known and loved throughout Italy for this. Nearby is also the really worth seeing Parco Giardino Sigurtà. At the latest here: Just let it drift and enjoy Bleisure in the best sense.
For Kai Böcking and Sylvie Konzack …
Milan is not the most beautiful city in Italy, but one of the most impressive in terms of economic power, decades of fashion and design status plus the self-confidence of the Milanese. But just as many say the latter about the people of Munich, and there are also many down-to-earth people here.
Fotos: © iStock/ventdusud, Mandarin Oriental Milan