Tag Archives: milan

How I plan a layover on my way to La Fortezza:: Milan!


The Duomo

When coming to my workshop in Fivizzano, the cheapest flights are to Milan. Why not spend a day or two exploring the city?! I love layovers especially, Milan layovers.

The Milan Airport, Malpenza airport is about 45 minutes from the city center. Needless to say, taking the train from the airport is the way to go. Note driving in Milan is very challenging. Parking is virtually impossible (unless you stay over night then parking at the hotel makes it easy).

If you’re staying over night, then feel free to rent a car, although honestly, I still advise against it.

Overnight, I recommend the Rosa Grand Hotel.  It has a great location, is affordable and well run. Of course you can stay in the Armani, or Bulgari, but I prefer to have aperitivo in those hotels.


Aperitivo at the Armani Hotel

Once I check in, I head to the the Duomo. It’s a great place to take a selfie and to people watch. Plus there are tons of places to grab an espresso.

The Galleria is amazing and is located adjacent to the Duomo.


The Galleria

I like eating at the top of the Rinascente Department store rooftop restaurant .Yes it is literally right next to the Duomo, and you can enjoy breakfast, lunch and aperitivo on the rooftop.

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roof top of the Rinascente department store

After lunch, I love going to the Brera Shopping district. It’s where the art school is, so you can imagine it is filled with amazing shops and hip artisan wears. Of course if you’re more interested in designer shopping, there is the  Via della Spiga shopping district.

There are so many must sees in Brera:

Don’t miss the Rosanna Orlandi store. They have home furnishings that will blow you mind. Wait and See is one of my favorite clothing stores in Milan and across the street is Funky Table Milano, my favorite home accessories and tabletop store. Here’s an entire blog post about Wait and See.


wait and see

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funky table milano

You can also visit the Villa where I am Love was filmed in. Read about it here. Villa Necchi IMG_9789

Screen Shot 2019-01-26 at 7.53.40 AM If you want a destination that you can tour and have lunch, head to Prada Foundation, a wonderful museum that is architecturally inspirational…with the Luce restaurant designed by Wes Anderson, it’s a great way to spend a few hours on your layover.

Don’t forget to grab an espresso and a pastry at one of the oldest pasticceria in Milan, Marchesi.

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Whatever you plan, make sure to wander the city and enjoy all the sites.

Layovers can be great. Why don’t you join us in Italy, so you can plan one soon?! Safe travels!

xx Annette


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Dispatch from Milan:: Villa Necchi Campiglio

I am Love Villa Necchi Campiglio Villa Necchi Campiglio If you have not seen Luca Guadagnino’s movie I am Love, you need to immediately…and not just because it is set in the place I call home in Italy, in Milan, and on the Riviera. It’s one of the most beautifully shot and styled movies of the 21st century.

One of the major stars of the movie is Villa Necchi Campiglio, a beautifully appointed Art Deco masterpiece that warrants it’s star status. Of course the brightest star in the movie is Tilda Swinton who plays Emma, a mother of three and wife of the wealthy Milanese industrialist.

Much like the real life of the original Milanese industrialist family that lived there, the movie mirrors their life; a life full of drama and trials and tribulations.

Villa Necchi Campiglio is in the city center of Milan. Although it’s in a residential neighborhood, it looks like it’s in the outskirts in the suburbs.

I had the great pleasure of touring the home, Villa Necchi Campigilo; it is an exquisite representation of Art Deco architecture. The doors opened to the public after a full renovation in 2008. The property was bequeathed to Italy’s national trust (Fondo per l’Ambiente Italiano) following the death of the heirless Gigina Necchi Campiglio in 2001. Interestingly, I overheard one of the guides telling someone that the family had long run out of money; the last heir was in her 90’s when she died, and the house was in disrepair. It’s so wonderful that the Italian trust so lovingly renovated it to it’s current glory.

It was designed by Milanese Architect Piero Portaluppi during the 1930s. In addition to designing this home, he worked on some of his most important projects in Milan including Villa Campiglio (1932-1935). Villa Necchi Campiglio was designed in 1932 for Angelo Campiglio, his wife Gigina Necchi and her sister Nedda. The Necchis were an industrialist family who manufactured sewing machines. If you look carefully ,you can see many details that are a subtle nod to that fact. Delicate roping on the ceilings and scallops as well. The house is an elegant backdrop to the beautiful family collections housed all around.

Villa Necchi Campiglio


Villa Necchi Campiglio

One of my favorite places was on the second floor: the bathrooms and the dressing rooms were modern, functional, and so elegant. I also loved the dining room which you see many times in the movie; it’s warm and stunning with sharkskin walls and an enormous dining table. On the ceiling there is a relief of astrological signs. Villa Necchi Campiglio


Villa Necchi Campiglio

I highly suggest you take the tour next time you’re visiting MIlan. It’s a morning or afternoon well spent. This house is one of the most elegant and pleasingly modern spaces I have visited. I loved every scrumptious morsel of it.

xx, Annette

Photos: me

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Milan design gallery Dimore

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If you happen to be in Milan during Design week Dimore Gallery is not to be missed. The gallery is a flat designed by the Milanese Dynamic Duo, Emiliano Salci and Britt Moran. One of the most amazing and lovely spaces I have seen in a long time. Distinctive and transformative, I found the experience walking through the space immensely inspiring. Have a look and see if you don’t agree. Check out their current work in Elle Decor France.* They are also mentioned in Elle Decor May 2014 issue page 114.

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See some of there other projects here:

Fun note they helped with my BFF’s store in Alassio: Odulia.

Please forgive the quality of the photos, they are from my iphone.

Let me know what you think of this space. Ciao from Italia! xo


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Milan’s answer to Anthropologie : Wait and See

Having friends in Milan is always a plus! Sweet Victoria wandered into a new shop on an “off the beaten path” area in Milan on Santa Marta. She was dying to show me her discovery while I was in town. I am so happy she did. Wait and See is Italy’s answer to Anthropologie. This tiny shop stocked with bohemian clothes and accessories is truly a delight for the eyes. I love the way the Milanese women put together unexpected combinations. Milanese style is specific and oh so chic. I am always inspired by the creative and elegant way women incorporate “bohemian street chic” into their outfits.

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This store is owned by a quirky stylist who regularly appears on Italian TV as a makeover guru: Uberta Zambeletti from School of Glam .

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When you’re in Italy make sure to stop by and pick up something fashion forward to incorporate into your wardrobe.

Ciao xx

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Food Friday {gelato, Milan style}

Well you all knew it was coming… I have do at least one or even two posts about gelato. I am in Italy after all! In Milan last week it was hot and muggy so like everyone else I queued up for my share of gelato. My friends Wendy and Scott {see Monday’s inspiration post} took me to one of their discoveries in Milan, ciocclat italiani. It’s this sort of insane, Willy Wonka type of situation. Dare I say sort of American in approach and decadence? What a scene! Take a number, wait, and watch the “gelato masters” create their art installations on a cone {that’s filled with white, dark or milk chocolate, btw} from 3 flowing stainless steel faucets down the middle of the prep space. Over the top, cold, delicious and most definitely decadent. I liked it, but give me a family run, old fashion, 300 year old, gelato store any day. Ciao tutti from Italy. Have a great weekend and go out and get some gelato!

Here’s the queue!

Here are the chocolate faucets.

Yes that’s nutella spread on top…nuff said. xx

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