Milantrace 2015: Milan Design Week Survival Kit by Yellowtrace


Ahhh Milano. I love it so much. It’s a sexy city on fire at the best of times, but during the Design Week, it transforms into an energetic place with so much to do and see. Today I wanted to share some tips for the upcoming Salone del Mobile including our must-see Milan itinerary – from shopping, restaurants, bars & site seeing. So if you’re heading to Milan Design Week 2015 in April (or any other time for that matter), this is the list that covers all the bits in between visiting the main events during Salone del Mobile. This is by no means an exhaustive list, so if you have your own tips, please feel free to include them in the comments below.




Oi. Don’t skip this part and go straight to the pretty pictures, k? This is important.


+ Only wear comfortable shoes. This is VERY important! Don’t be an idiot and fall for the farrrrshion trap of wearing “cute flats” and “elegant non-heels” or whatever. That shit just doesn’t cut it. Trust me. Do you know how I know this? Go for (preferably cool) sneakers only and you can thank me later.

+ Establish and know your path of travel during the Week and stick to it – decide which areas you are focusing on that day and don’t deviate as you will lose too much time. Also, always have a map handy. Obviously.

+ If this is your first (or even the second) time in Milan, just go with the flow and accept you will miss a lot of stuff – make peace with this, don’t suffer major FOMO by following #MDW15 Instagram hashtag thinking – OMG I missed THAT? It takes years of practice to know how to maximise your time in Milan during Salone, so go easy on yourself. Besides, nobody can do and see it all. Not even I. Ha!

+ Pace yourself and don’t go too hard too early in the week. The burnout is strong during Salone. Slow (but not too slow) and steady wins the race. Also, be ruthless with your time. If you get to a venue and it’s not floatin’ your boat, just split and do a dash for your next stop immediately. Just do it, and avoid making eye contact with anyone, slash fake an asthma attack if you need to. Do whatever it takes. Just know your time in Milan is precious.

+ Say yes to prosecco. Always. You are in Italy for God’s sake!

Milantrace 2014 / San Babila, Duomo di Milano, Photo by Nick Hughes | Yellowtrace

Related Post: Things to Do in Milan.




Un Posto a Milano | Yellowtrace

Un Posto a Milano | Yellowtrace

Un Posto a Milano | Yellowtrace

Un Posto a Milano // A restaurant, a bar and a guesthouse that’s part of Cascina Cuccagna, an 18th-century farm compound in the middle of Milan that’s recently been transformed into a cultural and culinary centre. Chef Nicola Cavallaro serves delicious, seasonal creations and a selection of the best Italian wines, beers and cocktails. This place is also home to community gardens, farmers’ markets and eco-friendly events.


Via Cuccagna, 2


Carlo e Camilla Restaurant Milan | Yellowtrace
Carlo e Camilla Restaurant Milan | Yellowtrace
Carlo e Camilla in Segheria // Michelin-starred chef Carlo Cracco and art director Tanja Solci have joined forces to create Carlo e Camilla in Segheria, the latest addition to Milan’s fertile restaurant scene. The restaurant is housed in an old sawmill purchased by Solci’s grandparents back in the 1930s. Look out for a full feature about this restaurant and a little Q&A with Tanja in the next few days.


Via Giuseppe Meda, 24


Ta Restaurant Milan by Vincenzo de Cotis | Yellowtrace

Ta Restaurant Milan by Vincenzo de Cotis | Yellowtrace

T’a Bistro by Vincenzo de Cotis // Designed by the local architect Vincenzo de Cotiis, the interior of this delicious boutique chocolate shop-slash-restaurant has a saucy retro 1960s Italian feel, featuring accents of brass, plush velvet upholstery and the all important significance and abundance of marble. A perfect setting for a cosy dinner or a luxe aperitivo. Prosecco anyone?


Via Clerici, 1


Ceresio 7 Milano by Dimore Studio for DSQUARED² | Yellowtrace
Ceresio 7 Milano by Dimore Studio for DSQUARED² | Yellowtrace
Ceresio 7 Pool Bar & Restaurant // This rooftop Pool Bar & Restaurant located in an historical 1930s building from the Fascist era in Milan is a place to see and be seen. The site previously housed the offices of the national electricity company, and is now the home of the Canadian fashion house DSQUARED². Commissioned by Dean and Dan Caten, the twin brothers behind DSQUARED², the interior was designed by the legendary Dimore Studio.


via Ceresio, 7
Ceresio 7


Osteria del Binari Milan | Yellowtrace
Osteria del Binari Milan | Yellowtrace

Osteria del Binari Milan | Yellowtrace

Osteria del Binari // For a bit of old-school glamour, you simply cannot go past Bistrot & Osteria del Binari. Hands down one of my favourte places in Milan. Sit outside under the canopy if wisteria, and watch the waiters pirouette around you in an effortless well rehearsed dance, the way only Italian waters know how. Perfect for breakfast, lunch (get the Cotoletta alla Milanese!) and/ or dinner. Or do as I do and go there for all three meals. Extreme love!


Via Tortona, 3


A Santa Lucia Milan Restaurant | Yellowtrace-01
A Santa Lucia Milan Restaurant | Yellowtrace-01
A Santa Lucia // A small monument and an institution in the centre of Milan. Its rooms remain exactly as they were in the ‘30s when the restaurant was previously located in Via Agnello: with the chairs, tables, mirrors, wall lamps and wood panelling all being reused. Everything is simple and original, even the high chair that was ‘host’ to the children of high Milanese society to other celebrities throughout history.


Via S. Pietro all’Orto, 3


Bar Basso Milan | Yellowtrace

Bar Basso // A true cult destination for drinking devotees, Bar Basso was the first-ever Milanese bar to introduce the “aperitif” concept to everyday people back in 1973. Don’t go here if you are after a quiet drink though. The place gets slammed with hoards of designers and creatives descending upon it during the Milan Design Week, transforming Bar Basso into a place of epic mega-parties – an experience unlike any other. I’m still not game enough to go back after copping one of the most severe hangovers of my “career” back in 2010. But you should totally go.


Via C. S. Plinio, 39




Excelsior Milano by Jean Nouvel | Yellowtrace

Excelsior Milano by Jean Nouvel | Yellowtrace

Excelsior Milano by Jean Nouvel | Yellowtrace

Excelsior Milano // Three words – hottest department store, ever. Ok – four words then. A stunning 4,000 sqm multi-storey luxury concept store with a starchitectural edge – architecture by Jean Nouvel and interiors by Vincenzo De Cotiis (again). The store is located in a former movie theatre along the Galleria Del Corso. Seven levels of luxury retail porn at it’s best, including an amazing food court! Grrrr baby.


Galleria del Corso, 4


Driade Showroom Milan by David Chipperfield | Yellowtrace
Driade Showroom Milan by David Chipperfield
New Driade Showroom by David Chipperfield // Earlier this year, Driade presented their first joint project with the company’s new art director David Chipperfield. The new showroom features a minimalist gallery-like interior, just like one would expect from Chipperfield, designed to serve as both a shop and a showroom.


Via Borgogna, 8


The Mendini's New FRAGILE Gallery In Milan, Italy | Yellowtrace

FRAGILE Gallery by Atelier Mendini and Studiopepe // This two-storey Milanese gallery – Fragile, designed by Atelier Mendini in collaboration with Studiopepe, opened it’s fabulous doors last year. Forget neutral spaces with toned-down style, and brace yourself for loads of colour, pattern, personality and character.


Via San Damiano, 2 (corner of Corso Monforte)


Spazio Rossana Orlandi during Salone del Mobile 2013 | Photo by Nick Hughes for Yellowtrace.
Spazio Rossana Orlandi during Salone del Mobile 2013 | Photo by Nick Hughes for Yellowtrace.
Spazio Rossana Orlandi // Any Milan Design Week pilgrimage (or being in Milan any other time) simply wouldn’t be the same without a visit to Rossana’s monster cool gallery and retail space. This lady is a true innovator and is the queen of Awesome. If you’re not familiar with Rossana Orlandi, her work, and/ or her ground breaking Spazio (in which case, how are we friends again?) you can revisit my previous articles here, here and here. Ok and here. That should give you a good start, no?


Via Matteo Bandello 14/16
Spazio Rossana Orlandi


Milantrace 2014 / Brera Garibaldi, 10 Corso Como, Photo by Nick Hughes | Yellowtrace

Milantrace 2014 / Brera Garibaldi, 10 Corso Como, Photo by Nick Hughes | Yellowtrace

10 Corso Como // Founded in 1990 by a gallerist and publisher Carla Sozzani, 10 Corso Como is one of Italy’s first concept stores selling clothing, books, design, music & art. If you need a break from Salone, you can stop by the restaurant and cafe in the beautiful palazzo, or check out the stunning garden terrace accessed via one of the most elegant spiral stairs you will ever see. Pinky swear.


Corso Como, 10


Eataly Milan | Yellowtrace

Eataly // Just around the corner from 10 Corso Como is Eataly, progressive food and beverage “department store” that has made waves across the planet with it’s range of coveted delicacies. Founded a little over a decade ago in Turin, the growing Eataly network of super delis and restaurants extends across the country, but also to far flung places like New York, Dubai and Tokyo. Located in Teatro Smeraldo, a historic theatre built in 1939-1940 by Italian architect Alessandro Rimini, the building is an important part of Milanese history.


Piazza XXV Aprile, 10




Atelier Castiglioni | Yellowtrace

Studio Museo Achille Castiglioni, Milan // Fondazione Castiglioni is home to Achille’s archive and remains just like he left it when he died in 2002. An immense archive of drawings and photographs, plans and models, prototypes and objects, books and films is conserved in this hallowed place, accumulated by Castiglioni over the span of a phenomenal 60-year career. Guided tours are by appointment only. If there’s one museum you visit while in Milan, let this be it. It’s incredibly inspiring.


Piazza Castello, 27


Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II Milan | Yellowtrace

Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II Milan | Yellowtrace

Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II // One of Milan’s most beautiful landmarks, with a soaring glass and cast iron arcade that sits adjacent to the city’s majestic Duomo. Versace and Prada recently came to the rescue of this crumbling landmark, sharing the €3 million bill for it’s restoration which will return the Galleria to it’s former glory.


Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II
Piazza Duomo


Milantrace 2014 / San Babila, Museo Bagatti Valsecchi, Photo by Nick Hughes | Yellowtrace

Milantrace 2014 / San Babila, Museo Bagatti Valsecchi, Photo by Nick Hughes | Yellowtrace

Museo Bagatti Valsecchi // Tucked between Via Santo Spirito and Via Gesù in the centre of Milan (just off the famous Via Monenapoleone & Via della Spiga), this late 19th-century neo-Renaissance palazzo opened it’s doors as a museum in 1994. Up until then it was the residence of Fausto & Giuseppe Bagatti Valsecchi – the two brothers of noble descent who were passionate art collectors. The Bagatti Valsecchi’s were seeking to recreate a 16th-century palazzo in their own home, where each room was embellished with only the finest quality furniture and finishes, not to mention numerous works of Renaissance art, Murano glass and Flemish tapestries. In order to preserve the feel of a private home, the museum today refrains from labelling any of the artefacts.


Via Gesù, 5
Museo Bagatti Valsecchi


Villa Necchi Milan | Yellowtrace

Villa Necchi Campiglio // Made famous by the movie I Am Love, Villa Necchi is an elegant city villa built in the 1930s for a wealthy industrial family, equipped with what were ultra-modern elements at it’s time. Today, a historical preservation foundation cares for the building, which has been open to the public since 2008.


Via Mozart, 14


MILANTRACE 2014 / Best of Milan Design Week, Brera, Orto Botanico, Photo Nick Hughes | Yellowtrace

Orto Botanico di Brera // This luscious botanical garden, established in 1774 and restored in 1998, sits behind the Milan Brera Academy, which in itself is worth seeing (back of the building is shown in picture above – I know!). Admission is free and everyone is welcome to enjoy a stroll around the flowerbeds and fountains.


Via Brera, 28


[Images of Spazio Rossana Orlandi, 10 Corso Como, Orto Botanico di Brera by Nick Hughes/ Yellowtrace. All other images courtesy of venues.]


About The Author

Dana Tomić Hughes
Founder & Editor

Dana is an award-winning interior designer living in Sydney, Australia. With an unhealthy passion for design, Dana commits to an abnormal amount of daily design research. Regular travel and attendance at premier design events, enables Dana to stay at the forefront of the design world globally. While she is super serious about design, Dana never takes herself - nor design - too seriously. Together with her life and business partner, Dana is Boss Lady at Studio Yellowtrace, specialising in Design Strategy, Creative Direction and Special Projects. The studio takes a highly conceptual and holistic approach to translating brands & ideas into places & experiences.

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