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Pink FLoyd Legend

Things to do in Milan this week – February 22-28

Things to do in Milan this week – February 22-28

The best things to do in Milan this week, including Music, Art, Museums, Shopping and Restaurants, chosen by Bella Milano Tours.

Simply the Best 2018

Simply the Best 2018

WINE FESTIVAL – “Simply the Best” is the name of a wine festival that will be hosted in Museo della Scienza e Tecnologia on Monday 26. The top 50 Italian wine producers, chosen among those awarded by the most authoritative wine guides, will offer tastings of their best wines. Ticket: 25 euro, tastings included. In via Olona 6, open 5 pm to 9.30 pm.

PINK FLOYD TRIBUTE – The Italian group Pink Floyd Legend is the only one who since 2012 plays the Pink Floyd album “Atom Heart Mother” integrally, accompanied by a symphonic orchestra and choir (as in the original recording). A two-hour music and light show, made even more impressive by a circular 5 mt screen. Teatro degli Arcimboldi, Monday 26, 9 pm.

ART – A rich exhibition about German painter Albrecht Durer has just opened at Palazzo Reale, in Duomo square. More than 130 works from 40 international museum are on display, including watercolours, oils, drawings, manuscripts, side by side with a selection of works by other German artists such as Lucas Cranach and Albrecht Altdorfer. Open 9.30am-7.30pm, Monday 2.30-7.30 pm, Thu and Sat 9.30am-10.30 pm,

Albrecht Durer, Portrait of a young Venetian woman

Albrecht Durer, Portrait of a young Venetian woman

FREE CLASSICAL MUSIC – Friday 23, 5.30 pm, in Biblioteca Sormani (the public library of Milan), Sala del Grechetto, lecture-concert about Bach. Saturday 24, 8.30 pm, in Tempio Valdese, via Francesco Sforza 12, trio concerts by Beethoven and Schubert. Sunday 25, 6 pm, in Conservatorio, Bach and Mozart music for harpsichord. Monday 26, 9 pm, in Auditorium Gaber, Anna Dmytrenko will play works for piano by Rachmaninoff, Ciaikovskij, Coorelli, Barber.

ANTIQUES MARKET – On Sunday 25, along the picturesque Naviglio Grande (in the Canal district), the Antiques Market of Navigli consists of  over 380 stalls where you can hunt down art, furniture and jewellery. From 9 am to 7 pm. Stop at one of the cafés for a bountiful aperitif or a charming dinner along the quiet waters of the canal.

MUST DO – A guided walking tour in Milan with us! :-)

Frida Kahlo

Frida Kahlo – from Mexico to Milan

Frida Kahlo – From Mexico to Milan

Frida Kahlo was a fascinating woman and an original artist. Her works are as colourful as her native Mexico,  but they also have strong autobiografical elements, representing a sort of sincere, disarming diary of her life. And what a life!

Self-portrait, 1940

Self-portrait, 1940

The best way to get to know this remarkable figure of the past century is to visit the recently opened exhibitionFrida Kahlo – Beyond the myth“, at Mudec in Milan, which lays bare Frida’s soul through her oils, drawings, watercolours, letters and photographs.

Frida Kahlo was born Magdalena Carmen Frieda Calderon in 1907 to a Hungarian/German-Jewish father and a mother of Spanish and Mexican Indian descent. Later, Frida proudly claimed to have changed the German spelling of her name from “Frieda” to “Frida”.

Becoming a painter was not a part of Frida’s career goals, yet her dream of becoming a doctor vanished when, at the age of 18, she suffered a tragic car accident that devastated her body. During her convalescence, Frida began to take painting seriously “to combat the boredom and pain” she said. Over the next three decades, she would produce a relatively small yet consistent and arresting body of work. She developed a sort of folkloric style of painting, quite unique, both drawing from the popular artistic tradition of her country and also reflecting the influence of her husband Diego Rivera, a celebrated Mexican muralist.

The wounded deer, 1946

The wounded deer, 1946

All her works, meticulously painted, somehow captures the multifaceted aspects of her personality: the constant physical pain she endured all her life; her inability to have children; the emotional distress caused by her turbulent relationship with Rivera; her political activism.

But what will strike visitors will be the extraordinary mix of sensuality, wit and irony that her paintings reveal. In spite of her lifelong physical ordeals, her work is a hymn to life and to the unstoppable force of nature.

During these cold grey February days, an exhibition that will lift the spirit!


February 21st, 2018


"The Fourth Estate"

Things to do in Milan this week – February 1-7

Things to do in Milan this week – February 1-7

The best things to do in Milan this week, including Music, Art, Museums, Shopping and Restaurants, chosen by Bella Milano Tours.

Olio Officina Festival

Olio Officina Festival

OIL CULTURE – From Thursday 1 to Saturday 3, visit the seventh edition of Olio Officina Festival, with tastings, lectures, and events about extra vergin oil. Producers from all over the world will be there, for a sensory feast open to anybody. Vinegar, a usual companion to oil, will be co-protagonist. At Palazzo delle Stelline, corso Magenta 61. Free admission on Thursday, from 7 pm. Friday and Saturday, ticket 15 euro.

MUSIC – Concert rehearsals are always fascinating, with the conductor instructing the orchestra according to his own interpretation of the music. When La Scala Opera House is the venue, the event gets more juicy. Myung-Whun Chung will be on the podium on Sunday 4 at 10.30 am, rehearsing Brahms’ Concert for violin and orchestra op. 77. On Monday evening, the actual concert will be at 8 pm.

AUGMENTED REALITY – “The Fourth Estate” is an iconic painting by Giuseppe Pellizza da Volpedo, hanging in the central Museo del Novecento, just in Duomo square. It shows striking workers (members of the fourth estate) marching. Pellizza da Volpedo used a very peculiar technique, divisionism, in order to obtain the maximus possible luminosity. From Friday 2 to Sunday 4 you will be able to download an app which allows you to explore the painting in an extraordinary way, and to learn the stories of some of the men depicted. You may even take a picture of yourself together with the “man with the hat”. Free admission.

Cascina Cuccagna

Cascina Cuccagna

PHOTOGRAPHS – The photo album of Corporal Antonio R. born in 1913, accidentally found in a drawer after his Death, is on display at Cascina Cuccagna, a farmhouse magically surviving in Milan. Stop at the farmer’s market, have a snack or a proper meal at the restaurant, or simply enjoy a cup of tea at the café. In via Cuccagna 2.

MUST DO – A guided walking tour in Milan with us! :-)



Maurizio Cattelan

Who is Maurizio Cattelan?

Who is Maurizio Cattelan, and what does he have to do with Milan and our guided walking tours?

"The Ninth Hour"

“The Ninth Hour”

Cattelan, an Italian contemporary artist, has recently hit the news for a rather funny dispute involving the Guggenheim Museum in New York, Mr. Donald Trump and a very peculiar sculpture: an 18-karat, fully functioning, solid gold toilet — an interactive work titled “America” that critics have described as pointed satire aimed at the excess of wealth in this country. The whole story is rather funny, and that is no surprise when Cattelan is involved. Cattelan’s work , which have sold for millions of dollars, are often satirical and provocative, such as  a sculpture depicting Pope John Paul II lying on the ground after being hit by a meteorite.

He co-founded the magazine Toilet Paper (long before the Guggenheim’s “America”!) and in 2011 a retrospective exhibition of his works, “All”, was organized at the Guggenheim Museum, where all his works were hung up  like laundry to dry.
But Cattelan is also one of the protagonist of our guided tours, the creator of a sculpture that we admire at one of the stops in the Highlights and Beyond tour and an increasingly beloved highlight of our city. It is named “L.O.V.E.”, it proudly stands in front of the building where the Italian Stock Exchange is located, right in the middle of the financial district, and it represents… well,  an 11-metre white marble middle finger sticking straight up from an otherwise fingerless hand.



Sheer vulgarity? Pointless provocation? Easy satire? Not at all, or maybe yes, in part, but that is not the whole story. Cattelan has always resisted interpreting his work, telling interviewers he would leave that to his audience. As it always is the case with art, multiple interpretations are possible.

Join us on a guided tour of our city, and we will reveal you the hidden messages of the naughty boy of the art world.

Affordable Art Fair

Things to do in Milan this week – January 25-31

Things to do in Milan this week – January 25-31

The best things to do in Milan this week, including Music, Art, Museums, Shopping and Restaurants, chosen by Bella Milano Tours.

ANTIQUES MARKET – On Sunday 28, along the picturesque Naviglio Grande (in the Canal district), the Antiques Market of Navigli consists of  over 350 stalls where you can hunt down art, furniture and jewellery. From 9 am to 7 pm. Stop at one of the cafés for a bountiful aperitif or a charming dinner along the quiet waters of the canal.

ART FAIR – From January 26 to 28 the Affordable Art Fair offers first-time collectors the chance to buy artworks at a decent price (maximum cost allowed: 6,000 euro). This is the 8th edition of AAF in Milan, involving 85 international art galleries. Do not expect famous names but take this as an opportunity to discover new emerging talents. At Superstudio Più, in via Tortona 27.

CLASSICAL MUSIC – On January 27, International Holocaust Remembrance Day, Milan will commemorate the tragedy of Shoah with a number of concerts; this is a selection of the ones which are free and located in special venues:

– in Palazzina Liberty, largo Marinai d’Italia, at 2.30 pm a concert of music based on Shakespears’s sonnets;

– in the Gothic church of San Cristoforo sul Naviglio, via San Cristoforo 3, at 4 pm music by Couperin played by an ensemble including flute, clavichord, violin, viola; in the same Church at 9 pm the ensemble “Hornpipe” will performe;

– at Conservatorio, in via Conservatorio 12, a youth choir will sing music by Mozart, Hindemith, Ilse Weber, Ravel, Rodrigo, Hemsi.

JAZZ – A rich weekend lays ahead: Salumeria della Musica, Blue Note, Masada are the places to be. The latter in particular will host guitarist David Torn in a live performance at 10 pm on Sunday 28. Info here.

Shoah Memorial

Shoah Memorial

SPECIAL TIP – Italy has its share of guilt in the persecution of Jews. In the years 1943–1945, fifteen trains left from Milan’s Central Railway Station carrying Jews and other persecuted people to concentration or death camps. Thousands of people were loaded onto livestock cars and taken away to be killed. The recently opened Shoah Memorial is a dramatic reminder of such past tragedy and a warning against fascism. It is located exactly in the area where deported people were gathered and loaded on the trains. Simply breathtaking.

MUST DO – A guided walking tour in Milan with us! :-)





Milan in 2018

What is in store for Milan in 2018

What is in store for Milan in 2018
Fashion and art and all things nice: that is what’s in store for Milan in 2018. The calendar is simply overflowing with events, so let’s take a closer look.

January 12-15 – Men’s Fashion Week – At the last Fashion Week, in June 2017, the overall takeaway was that designers were ignoring trends and proposing what they do best. We will see in a few days if such attitude is confirmed also for the Fall/Winter 2018 collections. Follow live events here.

Donatella Versace

Donatella Versace

February 21-27 – Milan’s Fashion Week - The woman collection fashion shows are the most awaited moment of the international fashion system.

March 2-4 – Museocity will turn Milan into a mega arts centre with extended opening hours, special exhibitions and children’s workshops. And 15 extraordinary venues, such as artist ateliers and designer and architect studios, will be open to curious visitors.

April 9-15 – Art Week – An extensive programme of events, inaugurations and special openings all revolving around Miart, the fair dedicated to contemporary art.

April 17-22 - Design Week – If Edinburgh International Festival is accompanied by the exuberant Fringe Festival, Milan’s Salone del Mobile is matched with the Fuorisalone, possibly  the world’s most important date with design. Created from grassroots and organized by the municipal districts, during the Salone del Mobile it transforms the city into an exciting collective design event with entire urban areas transformed by temporary exhibitions.

Ludovico Einaudi - Pianocity 2014

Ludovico Einaudi – Pianocity 2014

May 18-20 – Pianocity - The annual peaceful invasion of pianos: over 400 concerts, piano lessons, tributes to great Masters and debut performances, often in unconventional places.

June 4-10 – Photo Week - At its second edition, a week full of exhibitions, meetings, guided tours, workshops and openings.

September 17-23 - Movie Week – Screenings right across the city in collaboration with Milano FIlm Festival; a whirlwind of exhibitions and special events in cinemas, plus, meetings with actors and directors

November 8-10 – Bookcity - Over 1000 events, both for bookworms and accidental readers.

And even more is yet to come!







Inside Caravaggio – a new look at the works of a genius

While in Milan, take some time off the tour of the city and visit an exhibit that will change the way you look at the works of one of the greatest painters of all times, Caravaggio.

At Inside Caravaggio“, more than 20 masterpieces on loan from several of most famous museums are exhibited alongside their respective radiographic images, showing what lies beneath the surface of the paintings and revealing the changes that the artist made between draft and final work. But the visitor’s experience will go deeper than that. You will be able to discover the painter’s artistic evolution throughout his work and artistic career, and at the same time follow the events of Caravaggio’s life, as this tormented soul slowly slides towards darkness and despair.

Inside Caravaggio

Inside Caravaggio

Caravaggio made dramatic use of chiaroscuro – the contrast of light and dark in an artwork – that came to be known as tenebrism. In his paintings, shadows were pitch dark and subjects were typically transfixed by bright shafts of light. Caravaggio’s works often features violent struggles, torture and death; he worked rapidly, with live models, preferring to forego drawings and work directly onto the canvas.

Instead of preparatory drawings, the artist would trace rough indications in the first layers of paint with the handle of his brush, and then go right ahead with the rest of his paintings. But as you continue your visit to the exhibition, following the evolution of Caravaggio’s art, you will slowly realise that what you are witnessing is a visual history of his life: from his humble beginnings in his paintings of genre scenes, still-lifes and using himself or his roommate as a model, to his rise to success around 1600, to the darkest of paintings during his last years as a fugitive, having murdered a man. And as the end approaches, look carefully at the technique he is using. He would cover the canvas in a dark colour and then paint his subjects by simply adding the details that were inundated with light. His last paintings are just made of a dark, slightly disturbing background and a few strokes of painbrush applied only where a ray of light hits his models.

Michelangelo Merisi was born in Milan, in 1571. This exhibit is the best homage paid by our city to the genius of this Lombard artist, considered the most revolutionary of his time.


Lu' Bar at Gam

Art, beauty and a cup of coffee

It’s a hard work being a tourist, but who else is more entitled to enjoying a perfect combination of art, beauty and a cup of coffee than a visitor to Milan? So head straight to one of the elegant cafeterias  housed in some of the best museums of our city.

Villa Necchi Campiglio - swimming pool

Villa Necchi Campiglio – swimming pool

Our favourite is the cafe’ of Villa Necchi Campiglio, a jewel of the Thirties formerly owned by one of the richest Italian families. Sip your espresso while sitting by the swimming pool and enjoying the view of the park, and feel as if you were a character from the movie “I am love“, starring Tilda Swinton and shot precisely in this mansion, nestled in the heart of Milan.
Director Wes Anderson is the creative genius who designed Bar Luce. Located in glamorous Fondazione Prada, it will turn the gloomiest, November day into a joyful experience. Remenber the pastel coloured, vintage look of Anderson’s movies? You’ll start believing you are on the set of one of them. Enjoy a glass of amaro liqueur at a table next to the pinball machine, and then deep dive into one of the amazing exhibits of Fondazione Prada, which is housed in a former distillery dramatically renovated by starchitect Rem Koolhaas.
Bar Luce at Fondazione Prada

Bar Luce at Fondazione Prada

Galleria d’Arte Moderna (Gam) is a picture gallery focused on the 18th and 19th centuries. The building, Villa Belgiojoso Bonaparte, is a fine example of Neoclassical architecture, and its cafeteria, Lu’ Bar, enjoys a splendid view of the facade. Full of plants, embellished with wrought-iron details, and inundated with light, Lu’ Bar looks like a charming, old fashioned conservatory. Try the local speciality, typical Sicilian street food, with a pint of artisan beer. 

Finally Mudec, Museum of Cultures, housed in a daring brand new building, with a bistrot that is the perfect place for a break in your busy day. Loads of press at your disposal, plenty of room, and affordable prices, even though the chef in charge is the same of the restaurant upstairs, blessed with 2 Michelin stars.
Keith Haring

Milan’s art events in 2017

While planning your trip, keep an eye on Milan’s art events in 2017 – you’ll definitely find something you like in the list below.

– Palazzo Reale will host a retrospective of Keith Haring‘s work from February 21st

– Shoes can be artistic masterpieces, as Carrie Bradshaw would tell you. Starting from January 26th, Palazzo Morando will host the exhibition of over 200 Manolo Blahnik shoes documenting his 50-year-long career

– In Palazzo Reale from March 8th it will be possible to admire Edouard Manet‘s masterpieces coming from Musée d’Orsay in Paris

Toulouse - Lautrec

Toulouse – Lautrec

– The daring Mudec Museum designed by David Chipperfield will house an exhibit of Kandinsky‘s works form March 15th

– Milan is house to Leonardo da Vinci’s iconic “Last Supper”, but starting from March 24th, Museo del ‘900 will host “Sixty Last Supper” by Andy Warhol, a reinterpretation of the Renaissance masterpiece made in ’86 by the irreverent pop artist

– April in Milan is going to be the busiest month of the year with the Art Week (March 27th – April 2nd) and the world-famous Design Week (April 4th – 9th)

– Palazzo Reale is definetely a must-see destination for art lovers. Starting from September 28th 20 masterpieces of Caravaggio will be reunited for the first time ever in one exhibition

– Starting from october 2017, 180 works by Toulouse – Lautrec coming from all over the world will fill the rooms of Palazzo Reale

Plenty of reasons, we think, to make your stay in Milan as long as possible :-)



Kiefer - Hangar Bicocca

Great photography and contemporary art exhibitions in Milan

10 Corso Como

10 Corso Como

We constantly look for cool tips to give to our readers, and today we talk about where to see great photography and contemporary art exhibitions in Milan.

A dreamy place, a fairy tale…words are not enough to portray the coolest concept store in town: 10 Corso Como. Here, besides the clothes, there’s always a  photography exhibition going on. And what is shocking is that the entrance is free! For the upcoming ones, check out here.

Also the website is full of nice surprises and a special treat for fashion lovers is the printable 2015 calendar you can download here.

Kiefer - Hangar Bicocca

Kiefer – Hangar Bicocca

Another totally unexpected place is the stunning Hangar Bicocca, the ultimate address for contemporary art lovers. In this industrial building are permanently displayed the  Kiefer’s Seven Heavenly Palaces and take place temporary exhibitions, like the current: “Joan Jonas – Light Time Tales”. To check out the upcoming ones, just have a look here.

If you’ve got any other specific interest, just write us and Bella Milano Tours will realize a special Milan Guided Tour designed on you!