15°C Oct

Milan: perpetual rebirth

Fashion, design, architecture the Lombard capital cultivates beauty in all things and all forms.

Unlike her sister cities, Milan does not live in the past. Milan has been Roman, Lombard, French, Spanish, and Austrian, making it the most European of the Italian cities, and the most open to the future. Is it because it is the backbone of the Italian economy, its financial centre, the seat of the stock market? It managed to blend its past with a modern take like no other city. In Milan, churches sit next to skyscrapers, museums next to design showrooms, and an aria from La Scala may be used as the soundtrack for a fashion show.

Milan is organised in a spiral. In the centre there is the Duomo, La Scala, and the Fashion Quadrangle. Here, in the cafés and boutiques, is where you breathe in the Milanese elegance and savoir-faire Stendhal, the major 19th-century French novelist, loved so much. You can taste it in the panettone and the delicious Christmas cakes in the pastry shops. As you move away from the centre and closer to Brera and Porto Nuova, you discover a city that is aesthetic, creative, experimental, and environmental. Which would probably not displease one of the city's most cherished citizens, Leonardo da Vinci, if he were somehow alive today. Emblematic figure of the Renaissance, the humanist genius inspired by antique models endlessly explored new paths in arts and science. Yet, the metropolis of northern Italy does not rely on art, it also ambitions to kiss the stars of the gastronomic world. Lombard cuisine boasts a young generation of chefs who are reinventing their native cuisine while remaining faithful to its roots. Their reputation for excellence in “high cuisine” is as strong as the city’s fame for “high fashion”. Is that not the ultimate proof of chic and elegance?

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