THE INSIDERS MILAN
GO: Milan is a city I return to often because it has a real sense of grace. Winter is my favourite time; the greys are melancholic and beautiful. It’s a place for walking — in a fashionable overcoat, of course — and a city you can disappear into; aboutmilan.com.
EXPLORE: One of my favourite spots is San Maurizio al Monastero Maggiore, a church on Corso Magenta that has fabulous frescoes. I like to walk from the historical district of Brera through Piazza Gae Aulenti into the funky area of Isola. I’m also fond of Corso Buenos Aires, in the northeast; it’s a long high street with a real mix of people, from “grannies to trannies”.
DISCOVER: Find time to visit the gallery upstairs at 10 Corso Como, which exhibits the work of great fashion photographers. And check out HangarBicocca, a contemporary art museum housed in an old Pirelli factory, which has a fantastic permanent installation by Anselm Kiefer; 10corsocomo.com; hangarbicocca.org/en.
EAT: I like going to Gelateria Solferino on Via Solferino because it’s been there forever and is family run, which is unusual in the age of ice-cream chains. Chinatown, on and around Via Paolo Sarpi, has good food; look out for Chinese ravioli. Mangiari di Strada is a great outlet for street-food dishes. Rovello 18, on Via Tivoli, offers solid seasonal Piedmontese cooking and one of the best wine lists in the city. For pizza by the slice try Spontini; the only offering is margherita and it’s thick and oily. Luini, near Milan Cathedral, does the best fried panzerotti filled with mozzarella and it’s inexpensive; mangiaridistrada.com; pizzeriaspontini.it; luini.it.
TRY: Go for coffee to Marchesi at the intersection of Via Meravigli and Corso Magenta. And there’s good drinking at the classic Bar Basso, which serves gigantic Negronis; barbasso.com.
BUY: The best fashion shopping is at the flagship Rick Owens store on Via Monte di Pieta, a brutalist building, but in a beautiful way.
STAY: STRAF Hotel is very well located in the centre of the city near Milan Cathedral. It’s ultra-modern and very chic, with 64 guestrooms; straf.it
Restaurateur Giovanni Paradiso is co-owner of Fratelli Paradiso in Potts Point, Sydney, and wine bar 10 William St in Paddington, as well as creative director of Italo Dining & Disco Club. This year Giovanni and coowners Marco Ambrosino and Enrico Paradiso are planning to open a venue in Japan. More: fratelliparadiso.com, 10williamst.com.au.
Graham Erbacher Graham.Erbacher@news.com.au