Milan is one of my favourite cities in the world. The architectural beauty, food, people and energy – there’s just something about this city that draws me to it again and again. When i first visited the Duomo when I was 18, I literally shed tears when I reached the rooftop, looking and touching the incredible detailed carvings on every inch of this cathedral. It’s something you just have to see in person.
On this Insider’s List, I asked my dear friend Javier Bone-Carbone, a true Milanese and one of the most stylish, flamboyant (in the best way), effervescent man you’ll ever meet to share with us all his favorites in his city and boy did he deliver!
– LA LIBERA: This is probably my favorite resto in the city. For years, the usual hang-out spot of Gianni Versace and his crowd, it is still one of the true Milanese references for seasonal dishes and grand-cave. Not to miss the color calibrated outfits of the owner — he would pick a color scheme and follow it from bow-tie to socks.
– IL SALUMAIO di MONTENAPOLEONE: A classic– the most famous patio dining in Milan. Packed during fashion week, it’s the perfect stop for in-between shopping. When in a rush, I always like to go to the indoors charcuterie and order for a panino and a burrata to have sitting in the bar.
– GIACOMO BISTROT: Chic among chicness. Love the higher-than-normal chairs to match the marbled-topped intimate tables. Ask for a table in the library and let yourself be seduced by the cocktail list or the date in front of you.
– TIZZY’S NYC BAR & GRILL: If tired of pizza and pasta and craving some old New York familiar flavors, go to Tizzy’s. Meet her always behind the bar and surrounded by a sea of gorgeous part-time model waiters. Best choice of hamburgers (including a veggie option!) and the only place in town where you can get a true dirty martini.
***LA FIORENTINA: Although many milanese defend Spontini as the best thick pizza slice in town, I prefer La Fiorentina combined with a Peroni beer. Make your order “abbondante” (literally, “plenty”) only under special-hunger circumstances. Trust me, terrible decor and hideous lighting never tasted so good!
– CERESIO 7: Following Dolce & Gabbana, Giorgio Armani or Roberto Cavalli, the Dsquared2 brthers just open a panoramic rooftop restaurant that offers pool side cocktails with an interesting choice of decor. Quite hip.
– CAFE LETTERARIO TEATRO GRASSI: For a quiet drink with a friend and a long catch-up conversation go to this cafe, inside a 1400’s palazzo that holds today a theater. Super nice ambiance.
***LA VINERIA: If you happen to be down in the water canals Navigli area on a summer late afternoon, go have a glass of wine sitting outside La Vineria. You can also buy Tuscan wine and olive oil freshly poured out of the big barrels. Young loud crowd, cheap good wine always means great fun!
– VILLA NECCHI: Feel Tilda Swinton’s burgeous allure in “I Am Love” when visiting the unique Villa Necchi. Once considered the most exclusive state-of-the-art properties in Milano, the 1930’s villa boasts perfectly preserved interiors and the first private swimming pool in Milan.
– ROSSANA ORLANDI: Former tie factory with spaces that wind around a green courtyard where you can find contemporary and vintage furnitures and the gallery, dedicated to limited editions and unique pieces. The greatest forecaster and promoter of young and upcoming designers, discovered all around the world.
– HANGAR BICCOCA: Art Foundation established by Pirelli and curated by Andrea Lissoni. Engaging exhibitions, one of the few truly experimental-art spaces, with an exciting calendar of activities offered to the public for free.
– NILUFAR: Best furniture shop/ gallery in Milan. Owner Nina Yashar exquisite taste will lure you into spending all your savings into a must-have mid-century wall sconce.
– ANTONIA/EXCELSIOR: Outside the quadrilattero della moda, this store carries the best selection of clothing for both mena and women. They also curatethe fashion department at city center’s concept store Excelsior.
– PECK: Delicatessen and food souvenirs.
– MERCATINO NAVIGLI: Antique and vintage furniture street fair. Every last Sunday of the month.
– CAVALLI E NASTRI: Best shop for Italian-masters vintage clothing and hats.