39. Bar Pasticceria San Marco
via San Marco, 35
In the more and more gentrified Brera, this café is one of the few genuine places nowadays, and I often go there. Between a passionate discussion about soccer, and an update of the life of the district, don’t miss their little rice cakes and the other treats prepared by Salvo, man of few words; if you want a coffee, put yourself into the hands of the lively Valentina.
Artistic curator at Expo Gate
40. Pasta Madre
via Bernardino Corio, 8
Up to me, the perfect place to have lunch: you can find the better dish of pasta in Milan. Not far from Porta Romana, the restaurant offers a typical Italian dish at the core of its menu, yet it has international allure. When you are sitting at a table at Pasta Madre, you can feel like you are in New York.
Creative director MSGM
via Pascoli, 70
The Polisquash really is an incredible place: located in a fascinating historical site in the area of universities, not far from the Politecnico, at the end of the ‘80s it has become the place to be for ‘squash purists,’ even organizing tournaments. Several important figures from Milan have been frequent players there, for instance [singer and songwriter] Enzo Jannacci. And if you really want to know why it is one of the best places in Milan, you just need to have a chat with Duncan, the owner, and his daughter Bronwen.
Casa Museo Boschi di Stefano, illustration by Karin Kellner
42. Casa Museo Boschi di Stefano
via Giorgio Jan, 15
The artworks donated by the Boschi –Di Stefano spouses represent a reasoned selection of a priceless collection: the House is worth a visit for those, but also for the pieces of furniture and the design of the rooms, reflecting some of the artistic motifs typical of the late ‘30s.
Alessandro De Felice
Publisher Rivista Studio
43. Orto Botanico di Brera
via Brera, 28
In spite of its central position, it is a real peaceful oasis for the senses, hidden behind the Pinacoteca. The perfect place for carving out a moment for yourself and relax: sitting on a bench in the sunlight, surrounded by centuries –old trees, wrapped by silence. If you live in a chaotic city such as Milan, this is real luxury.
Creative director N°21
Focus on: Orto Botanico di Brera
Not only it is an amazing green spot hidden at the heart of the city, but also an historical place: the Orto Botanico (Botanical Garden) of Brera, in fact, was created in 1774 during the Austrian domination, namely under the Empress Maria Theresa. Since the ‘80s, the maintenance of the place has been managed by the University of Milan, that in 2005 built the Astronomical Observatory – Botanical Garden of Brera, conceived to actively involve citizens with guided visits, observation evenings, botanical painting laboratories and thematic meetings ad hoc. The collection of the Orto Botanico is incredible: among the most interesting specimen – together with vegetables, officinal herbs and the collections of peonies and columbines – two of the oldest ginkgo bilobas in Europe, a 40 mt. high lime, a Caucasian walnut. A plant estate, and not only: wandering around the Orto, in fact, it is possible to admire some eighteenth century pools, and the observatory dating back to 1870, in which a Meridian Circle used to be located
via Gaetano de Castilla, 28
I’m in love with this restaurant, and for several reasons. First, it is now a familiar place to me: I often eat at the counter, quite informally yet always enjoying the quality of service and food. The restaurant is little, carefully well –finished: you always feel like you can see everything happens there; it is very elegant and cosy. Traditional Milanese cuisine is revisited through a particular and contemporary lens, try risottos. The wine list is incredible too: you can drink the wine you choose at dinner, or take them home at interesting prices.
Creative director De Padova
This secret club – you must go to the Mag Cafè, in Ripa di Porta Ticinese 43, and expressly ask for an invitation – recalls the era of American prohibitionism and it’s very fascinating also because of that. The entrance is inside the court of an old building, while the atmosphere is vintage and refined. It is a place for sipping unusual drinks, listening to unexpected jazz concerts and smoking cigarettes ‘behind the scenes.’
Creative director N°21
46. Nottingham Forest
viale Piave, 1
It still is the most prestigious cocktail bar. It was born about forty years ago thanks to the current owner’s father. That is, Dario Comini, a real genius: he travels a lot, he falls in love with the tastes he finds, and gets affected by mono –mania. There was a phase for Martini with gold –foil. Then smoked cocktails, broth –based cocktails (even with fish stock, impossible to drink), those based on tea. He masters molecular drinks: his Martini Mondrian is a Martini with four little spheres, variously coloured. You sip a bit of your cocktail, then you take a sphere with your coffee spoon and you put it on your tongue: it explodes on your palate with a surprising result. He calls himself a ‘barchef’ always dressed in black and rarely out of the counter; he’s very shy. He proposes a list of cocktails which is sort of a book, and another list specifically dedicated to Martini variations (over a hundred).
Deputy editor in ehief Corriere della Sera
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