Travel 3 minutes 18 June 2024

2 days in Milan for Design Lovers

A Fashionable Itinerary in the Style Capital.

With its creative spirit, Milan is the world’s capital of design, and its city center is dotted with museums, exhibitions, and foundations dedicated to the arts and sciences. The Lombard capital’s sophisticated modern-contemporary approach to all aspects of living has shaped the city’s shops, palaces, and the MICHELIN Guide restaurants, as well as the luxurious MICHELIN hotel selection. Milan’s ever-busy schedule means that visiting the major cultural and culinary attractions requires a bit of planning. 


Here's how to make the most of your two-day visit to Milan. 

Day 1

Morning: Discover the history of design at the Triennale

Located between the Castello Sforzesco and Torre Branca, the Triennale Milano was founded with the International Exhibition of 1923 (today one of the most important events in the world in terms of design and architecture) and also houses the Museum of Italian Design with a permanent collection and a theatre with dance and music performances. It is one of the most culturally significant places in the city. From the Triennale building you can also easily walk to the Civic Aquarium, the Arch of Peace, and the Pinacoteca di Brera.

Castello Sforzesco - Mauro_Repossini/iStock
Castello Sforzesco - Mauro_Repossini/iStock

Lunch: Enjoy a leisurely meal at Acanto

The elegant and modern Acanto restaurant located inside the One MICHELIN Key Hotel Principe di Savoia, is synonymous with impeccable service and refined dishes with classic-contemporary flavors. In the warmer months, the restaurant welcomes patrons (who include regulars, businesspeople, and international celebrities) outdoors in the refined garden. The fresh and well-kept à la carte menu uses carefully selected seasonal ingredients.


Acanto
Acanto

Afternoon: Spa session at the Archbishop's Palace

After a walk in the Quadrilatero della Moda, visit the Portrait Milano, a hotel awarded Two MICHELIN Keys and whose acclaimed opening has returned the magnificent cloister of the Archbishop's Palace to the city. Part of the Lungarno Collection, the hotel features a new spa. The Longevity Spa is open to the public and offers advanced biohacking and anti-aging practices aimed at achieving a renewed balance between health and mental energy. In addition to the several rooms for holistic treatments, the Portrait's spa incorporates a swimming pool, Turkish bath, sauna, relaxation area, and gym.

Portrait Milano
Portrait Milano

Aperitivo: Sip a cocktail at the home of the Negroni Sbagliato

One of the best spots to savor the atmosphere of Milan is at the historic Bar Basso, a popular after-work outpost to see and be seen. It’s also the birthplace of the Negroni Sbagliato, created in 1972. Look for the neon sign; this Via Plinio address offers coveted outdoor tables, while inside there is a flair for design. 

Bar Basso
Bar Basso

Dinner: Dine in the footsteps of Alvar Aalto

In the nearby Alvar Aalto square named after the Finnish architect and designer, the One MICHELIN Star AALTO inside Torre Solaria (which, at 143 meters above sea level is the tallest residential building in Italy), offers an elegant experience that reflects the avant-garde character of the city. Surrounded by a panoramic room with stone, wood, and glass, guests can taste Chef Takeshi Iwai’s menus blending Japanese and Italian cuisine. 

AALTO - N. Bernardi
AALTO - N. Bernardi

Night: Stay in the Imperial Suite at the Principe di Savoia

The convenient location in Piazza della Repubblica, the views of the city and the luxury services typical of the hotels of the Dorchester Collection make the One MICHELIN Key Hotel Principe di Savoia one of the best addresses in Milan. The hotel experience includes a limousine with which to explore the city comfortably, while the upper floors house a spa, indoor swimming pool, hot tub, gym, and panoramic terrace. In addition, there is a garden and eleven meeting rooms.

As one of the most exclusive hotels in Italy, the Principe di Savoia is a timeless temple of luxury with crystal chandeliers in the lobby and antique decorated chests in the rooms. For the best accommodation, stay in the Imperial Executive Suite furnished by interior designer Celeste Dell'Anna, although no matter which room level you choose, enjoy room service with white linen tablecloths, silver trays, and antique cutlery. Four-poster beds with luxe linens complete the picture. 

Hotel Principe di Savoia, Dorchester Collection
Hotel Principe di Savoia, Dorchester Collection

Day 2

Morning: Design, according to Castiglioni

The Achille Castiglioni Foundation was opened in 2011 with the aim of cataloguing, archiving, and digitizing projects, drawings, photos, and models of the great master. From Tuesday to Saturday, there are guided tours for individuals or groups to discover his memorable creations designed more than half a century ago that are now cult objects. Among the many design works signed by Achille Castiglioni are the Mezzadro and Sella chairs (1957), the Tubino desk lamp (1951), the Arco (1962) and Toio floor lamps and the Allunaggio seat designed in 1962.


The Achille Castiglioni Foundation
The Achille Castiglioni Foundation

Lunch – Your choice of Bib Gourmands in Milan 

Santa Maria delle Grazie and the Citylife district are adjacent to the Castiglioni Foundation but thanks to Milan’s excellent public transportation system, you can quickly reach the Navigli, the Tortona area, and the more secluded MICHELIN Bib Gourmand La Cucina dei Frigoriferi Milanesi. The central areas of Milan have five other Bib Gourmands including Serendib, Da Giannino - L'Angolo d'Abruzzo, and Le Nove Scodelle.


Da Giannino - L'Angolo d'Abruzzo
Da Giannino - L'Angolo d'Abruzzo

Afternoon – Cult stops for design lovers

Created from the redevelopment of various areas, the new headquarters of the ADI Design Museum Compasso d'Oro, boasting a permanent exhibition of the collection, opened to the public in May 2021. After visiting this museum, further examples of the link between Milan and the different interpretations of the design universe can be explored in depth at the Spazio Marras, the Spazio Rossana Orlandi and at the Dimore Gallery.


Aperitif – Low-fi and karaoke

From easy-listening and low-fi beats carefully selected by vinyl collectors to Madame Cheng's flamboyant karaoke rooms on the first and second floors of the building, Ronin occupies an entire building in the Chinatown area and is considered one of the most eclectic venues in the city. The address presents contemporary vibrations supported by different interpretations of Japanese gastronomic culture, with each room having its own identity related to food, sounds, and mixology. The space also includes a hidden cocktail bar and a members’ club.


Ronin Karaoke
Ronin Karaoke

Dinner – Multi-Starred epilogue

In Milan, The MICHELIN Guide Italy features more than 159 restaurants and 9 Bib Gourmands. There are 34 One Star restaurants, 4 Two Star restaurants, and 1 Three Star, Enrico Bartolini at Mudec. Among the most celebrated restaurants in the city, Davide Oldani's Two MICHELIN Star and Green Star D'O in Cornaredo has a deep bond with design (the chef even designed the utensils). Meanwhile, the Capitaneo brothers of the Two MICHELIN Star Verso Capitaneo, feature a contemporary approach. Located in Piazza del Duomo, this restaurant ensures a memorable conclusion to your two-day visit in Milan.


Verso Capitaneo - Andrea Fongo
Verso Capitaneo - Andrea Fongo

Address Book:


Triennale Milano - Viale Emilio Alemagna 6
Milan
Bar Basso - Via Plinio 39
Milan
Fondazione Achille Castiglioni - Piazza Castello 27
Milan
ADI Design Museum Compasso d'Oro - Via Ceresio 7 - Milan

Ronin - Via Vittorio Alfieri 17, Milan

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