Our Secret Places: Milano
Dear friends of The Fleece Milano,
After compiling a list of our treasured spots in Napoli and Palermo, we wanted to share our insider tips to the city behind the vision for The Fleece Milano, the city where the three of us met and decided to take on our joint (ad)venture. Experiencing Milano from the perspective of a local (or quasi-local as we could define ourselves after more than twenty years in town) is the best way to broaden your horizons and make the most out of your visit. Milano is a cosmopolitan city filled with rich history, refined elegance, and secret corners, making it a perfect destination for a day of inquisitive exploration. If you want to avoid tourist’s traps and see the city off the beaten path continue reading for our best kept secrets in Milano.
We begin our day with a morning walk at Santa Maria delle Grazie, the church that houses Cenacolo Vinciano (aka L’ultima Cena or The Last Supper) a mural masterpiece by Italian high Renaissance artist Leonardo da Vinci. Painted in the late 15th century, the mural displays the moment after which Jesus reveals to his twelve apostles that one of them will betray him. The mural masters perspective, handling of space and is a multifaceted display of human emotion. Some experts consider the painting to be the pivotal shift into the high renaissance era. The work was commissioned as part of a renovation to the church and its convent, by the Duke of Milan, Ludovico Sforza making it a piece of iconic Milanese history. Don’t forget to book the tickets in advance.
After marveling over The Last Supper, we recommend taking a nice walk (approx. 30 minutes) across Milano’s historic center and head to Villa Necchi Campiglio for a coffee break. Villa Necchi Campiglio is a 1930s design villa in the heart of Milano. This residence is surrounded by an enchanting garden where you can enjoy peace and tranquility. Inside, the museum holds carefully designed rooms with art and period furniture. It was built between 1932 and 1935 as a single-family home by the great Italian architect, Piero Portaluppi. In addition to the villa, the garden holds the first privately owned swimming pool in Milan and a nice café open to the public where you can sit for a break and sip your coffee or a refreshing drink.
Next stop (a flash one) is Villa Invernizzi on Via Cappucini (few steps away from Villa Necchi Campiglio) to spot pink flamingos! Yes you read that right…to see these exotic birds, you do not need to travel to South America or Africa. There are about twelve pink flamingos that inhabit Villa Invernizzi and spend their days wandering around the property and drinking from the pond.This hidden corner of the city truly feels like entering a new world. The building is privately owned, but you can peer at the majestic birds through the gate on the back side.
We know you now want some time for shopping in some of the world’s most renowned fashion streets, but please make sure you drop all you bags in the hotel before dinner and grab just a little bite for lunch as we will reconvene at eight o’clock at Andrea Aprea, our restaurant choice for a dinner overlooking Parco di Palestro, a historic and scenic park in Milano. Andrea Aprea’s philosophy combines technique with experience, emotion with culture and aesthetics with the precision of the gesture. Each dish’s inspiration is memory: emotions, knowledge and the culture that foraged Italian cuisine.
Not over yet. To cap off our day, we still have to go for drinks at 1930 speakeasy bar, a secret spot inspired by the 1930s American prohibitionist era. When you enter, you will feel magically transported back in time with light jazz and swing music playing, an elegant living room with plush armchairs, sofas and a large piano– that is played live on weekends. These elements create a luxurious and comfortable atmosphere. At 1930, to preserve its sophistication and exclusivity, make sure to silence your phone, refrain from taking pictures, and do not check yourself into social media. The cocktail menu is extensive and is actually a small book that tells a story rather than a simple list. 1930 serves more than just rye whiskey and moonshine, unlike original speakeasies that the bar takes inspiration from. You will not regret your decision to come and end your journey here.