American photographer living in Milan
Milan usually isn’t on the top of people’s lists when they plan a trip to Italy, but after 11 years of living here I can honestly say that it’s better than ever. It’s a great place to spend a weekend or to begin a larger tour of Italy. One of my favorite things about Milan has always been it’s location. It’s close to the sea, close to the mountains and lakes and has 3 airports that will get you just about anywhere.
For me, Milan is a walking city. There is plenty of transportation to get you from one side to the other but the beauty is just wandering and taking in the architecture, the shop windows and the cafe’s. While the Milanese themselves are always in a rush, (whether they get anything done is another story), guests to the city can take their time and soak up the energy.
A trip to the very center of the city to see the Duomo, the cathedral, and the famous covered gallery is a must but I wouldn’t spend too much time as it is tourist central. A few places to visit while you’re there are the Leica Photography Gallery and the Gallerie D’Italia which was built in an old bank where the originally tellers are still part of the exhibits. If you’re in the area, a lovely stop for lunch or just a coffee and some sweets is T’A Bistrot. I adore their blue velvet chairs and black marble decor.
The newly done area around the Garibaldi/Isola neighbourhoods include the sky scrapers in Piazza Gae Auelenti and the famed vertical forest condominiums. It’s also a wonderful area to window shop or grab an Aperitivo before dinner. The famous Corso Como 10 concept store is in this area, if you go make sure you check out their second floor photography gallery and art book shop. The brand new Eataly at the end of Corso Como makes excellent pizza among other things. It’s also the home of Alice, the cities famed seafood restaurant.
On the opposite side of the city is the Naviglio neighborhood, named for the canals originally designed by Leonardo DaVinci that run through it. Start by walking down Ripa di Porta Ticinese with all of it’s little boutiques and make sure to stop into Bivio Milan’s first resale shop of it’s kind where you can find all those luxury items you’d expect here without the big price tag. When you’re done shopping the new MUDEC museum of culture is a must see. For a coffee or Apertivo have a walk down the Naviglio Grande where you can pick from any number of bars and cafe’s. A personally favorite of mine is Rita for their original cocktails.
A perfect end to a trip in Milan is dinner at Erba Brusca where chef Alice DelCourt creates delicious dishes with locally sourced ingredients, some grown in their own backyard.
Pictures by Jessica Pepper-Peterson