Milan in the springtime during the week of the Salon del Mobile in April, is a whipped frenzy of all things fabulous, buzzing with artsy design people, glamorous parties, and avant-garde exhibitions all over the city. This year marked my third year of traveling to Milan in April, and I loved it just as much as ever.
This year we stayed at the Room Mate Giulia, a new hotel designed by Patricia Urquiola, a spectacular designer- I am such a fan. The hotel design is clean and chic, with fun prints and rich textures, an unexpected combination of pinks and greens and I loved the combination of different metallic tones. The lighting was so flattering! I liked the kitschy branding, and the Giulia logo was super pretty; modern yet old world Italian. We were super comfortable and the best of all, although it is located in the middle of everything and right around the corner from the always busy Duomo, it was quiet and private.
Even just strolling through the streets, you will pass cocktail parties and exhibitions, both private and open to the public. Even the stores are in gorgeous overdrive, pimped to the nines, a feast for the eyes.
Obviously, the food in Milan is beyond ridiculous, I dream of it. I love that since we have traveled here before, my boyfriend and I have places we always go back to. It feels so comfortable to me. One of the places we never miss is Trattoria Torre de Pisa, which is very traditional Italian. Def book ahead, every time we are there we watch them turn away walk-ins. However, this time after they told me no on the phone and promptly hung up in my face, I went in a sweet talked the main man, and they moved a giant hunk of parmesan so we could sit. They can be a bit snippy, but it’s totally worth it. We also have a lunch or two at Pasta Madre, which is super casual and relaxed with AMAZING homemade pasta. It’s a must.
Some other Milan highlights are the super glamorous Dolce & Gabbana Bar Martini and the perfectly streamlined Armani Hotel. At Armani, I actually only had the perfumed nuts and olives with a cocktail, but they were the sexiest bar snacks of my life. If you’re looking for drinking and dancing, head over to the Armani Bamboo Bar for a little nightlife action. The Four Seasons Milan’s restaurant La Veranda is so elegant, and Jeff Leatham, my gay man crush, designs the flowers in their lobby. A lovely spot for a wine and cheese moment is the open roof terrace overlooking the Duomo, the Obica Mozzarella Bar. It’s a bit touristy, but the cheese is divine and the view is insane. God Save the Food is a packed hipster spot, perfect for a quick lunch and prosecco, also with a lot of healthy options. The Aperol Spritz Terraza is also super cool at night, located alongside the Duomo the vibe on the terrace is magical.
The main reason Milan is so supercharged during this week in April is because of the Salon de Mobile, the gigantic international furniture & design show that brings designers, architects, media and artisans in from all over the world. To navigate this sprawling showcase, be sure to bring your walking shoes- it is not a time for heels. Get ready to be wowed, but to also share the space with thousands of other people, all snapping photos and with their agenda in place. This is definitely something you coordinate beforehand, tickets and appointments alike. My reigning my favorite brand exhibitions at the show are Roche Bobois, Missoni Home, and Baxter.
Even with all of that’s going on, my favorite thing to do in Milan is to just cruise the streets without a plan and see the gorgeous architecture, the spring flowers and the small markets and cafes. It’s just magical to see the neighborhoods and everyday life just as they exist in this incredible city. I totally heart Milan!