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La Magnifica Fabbrica

THINGS TO DO IN MILAN THIS WEEK – JAN 30-FEB 5

Things to do in Milan this week – January 30-February 5.
The best things to do in Milan this week, including Music, Art, Museums, Shopping and Restaurants, chosen by Bella Milano Tours.

Pinacoteca di Brera

Pinacoteca di Brera

SUNDAY AT THE MUSEUM – As on every first Sunday of the month, most of museums of Milan (and the rest of Italy) will be open free on Jan 2. Pinacoteca di Brera (Brera Picture Gallery), Museum of Natural History, Museo del Risorgimento, Sforza Castle… there is a wide choice for everybody, but  this month we definitely recommend Galleria d’Arte Moderna, where at 6 pm your visit will be accompanied by the music of Divertimento Ensemble. According to weather forcasts, it may rain on Sunday: there is no best excuse to spend a day walking from one room to the other amongst artistic masterpieces.

ARTS & CRAFTS MARKET – On Saturday 2, in front of the ancient Basilica of Saint Eustorgio, the bi-monthly Little Market will welcome you with stalls full of quality handmade Art and Craft: antiques and vintage furniture, handmade accessories, fancy jewels. A treasure trove for everybody. From 9 am to 7 pm.

Chinese New Year in Milan

Chinese New Year in Milan

CHINESE NEW YEAR 2019 – Milan is the only Italian city with its own Chinatown, and a very peculiar one: along the busy Sarpi street, Chinese and local people have been living side by side for almost one century. Chinese New Year is on Feb 5, but celebrations will start from Sunday 3 and continue for the whole week. The epicentre will be of course in Sarpi street, but this year, for the first time, also the Fashion District will be involved in it: shop windows will be flooded with the red colour, and along corso Montenapoleone a special exhibition by the artist Liu Bolin, including photographs and performances, will surprise you. On Sunday 10 the climax: the traditional parade in the heart of Chinatown.

THE STORY OF LA SCALALa Scala Opera House is celebrating its 240-year-long life with an exhibition entitled “La Magnifica Fabbrica”. Videos, interactive screens, wooden models, Augmented Reality experiences: visitors will dive into the rich, past of La Scala and catch a glimpse of its future (that is, the new building at the back of the theatre which is being built in via Verdi). La Scala Theatre Museum, every day 9 am to 5.30 pm.

MUST DO – A private guided walking tour in Milan with us! This week we recommend the Cafés and Coffee Tour: come and discover our unique coffee tradition!

Bottega Brera

Shopping at the museum

We all love shopping at the museum: museum shops are full of artistic, contemporary and classic object to combine shopping and culture.

A new venue has been recently opened in Milan inside Brera Museum: “Bottega Brera”, consisting of 86 square meters full of books and design, with plenty of products exclusively designed for the museum. Bottega Brera is accessible from the main courtyard of Brera building and therefore open to anybody, not just visitors to the Picture Gallery.

But Brera is not just an amazing collection of masterpieces, including paintings by Mantegna, Bellini, Tintoretto, and Caravaggio. Brera, established at the end of the XVIII century, was conceived as a citadel of culture, a temple of Enlightment were science and humanities could live side by side. That is why in the same Brera building you may visit not just the pinacotheca but also an Astonomical Observatory, you will stroll along the regular flowerbeds of a Botanical Garden and you’ll browse through the ancient volumes kept in the Braidense Library.

Fornasetti for Brera

Fornasetti for Brera

At Bottega Brera you will find objects reprenting each of such institutions, and even original creations by the students of prestigious Brera Academy of Arts, also housed in this century-old building. Products range from fragrances based on Brera Rose – grown in the Botanical Garden – to Fornasetti tableware created by students of the Academy; from Trussardi limited edition foulards (by the way, Brera custodians wear Trussardi!), to children’s books by Bruno Munari, who opened his first didactic workshop for kids at Brera.

At the end of your visit to the museum and your shopping session at Bottega Brera, treat yourself with a cup of coffee at one of the nice cafès of Brera district. With its streets of cobblestones, fine art galleries, and elegant boutiques, it will be a highlight of your stay in Milan.

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 :-)