BR­ERA DISTRICT

Where Milan - - PASSION SHOPPING -

Br­era is syn­ony­mous with the artis­tic heart of the city. As you stroll along the streets of this an­cient district, you can­not help but be en­chanted by its al­most sur­real at­mos­phere boast­ing small ar­ti­sans' work­shops or quaint stores sell­ing can­vases and paints.

ED­I­TOR'S TIP Ad­di­tion­ally, Br­era is home to the im­pres­sive Ac­cademia di Belle Arti, where vis­i­tors can admire Mi­lan's fa­mous paint­ing col­lec­tion at the Pi­na­coteca (the Br­era Pic­ture Gallery), the his­toric Bi­b­lioteca Nazionale Braidense (Braidense Na­tional Li­brary), the Museo Astro­nomico (The Astro­nom­i­cal Mu­seum), the old­est sci­en­tific re­search in­sti­tute in the city and the Gi­a­rdino Botan­ico (Botan­i­cal Gar­dens).

ART, SHOP­PING AND ENTERTAINMENT To start your sight­see­ing tour on the right foot, we sug­gest stop­ping for a cup of cof­fee at Princi, not just an or­di­nary bak­ery, but a meet­ing point where, amidst the heady scents of “brioches” and “cap­puc­cino”, you'll have a chance to be­gin your day on a high note. A ref­er­ence point for an­tique lovers, Br­era boasts nu­mer­ous an­tique shops and art gal­leries. Among th­ese, Pettinaroli, just re­lo­cated from its his­toric head­quar­ters near the Duomo to no. 4 via Br­era, of­fers a wide se­lec­tion of maps and an­tique prints. As an aside, those in­ter­ested in bar­gains or bric à brac should def­i­nitely make time to visit the Mer­catino di an­ti­quar­i­ato e bro­can­tage, held on the third Sun­day of each month. The ar­ray of bou­tiques con­tin­ues with the el­e­gant ar­ti­san footwear sold by Iliprandi or the tai­lor-made, Ital­ian-style shoes by Alfonso Gar­lando. Other points of in­ter­est in­clude his­toric lux­ury jewellers Man­fredi, Misani's ar­ti­sanal jew­els for him and for her, the orig­i­nal ac­ces­sories by An­gela Caputi Giuggiù and the unique leather ac­ces­sories by Giòsa Mi­lano in via Cio­vasso.

THE NEW PERFUME DISTRICT At no. 4, we find the new The Mer­chant of Venice bou­tique, an his­toric per­fumery epit­o­miz­ing the art of Vene­tian per­fumemak­ing of­fer­ing a lux­ury line en­com­pass­ing a wide range of ex­clu­sive per­fumes for men and women con­tained in el­e­gant bot­tles in­spired by the tra­di­tion of the city's fa­mous hand-blown Mu­rano glass (www.the­mer­chantofvenice.com). Our next port of call is via Fiori Chiari, where we find the beau­ti­ful win­dow dis­plays of Culti Mi­lano. Over time, in ad­di­tion to con­cen­trat­ing on home fra­grances, this orig­i­nal in­no­va­tor of the home dif­fuser has ex­tended its range to en­com­pass a se­ries of body care prod­ucts. The brand also has a bou­tique at no. 53 corso Venezia (www.culti.com). Other must-vis­its while in the area in­clude Cam­po­marzio 70 (via Br­era 2, www.cam­po­marzio70.it), Ol­fat­to­rio Bar-à-Parfums (via Br­era 5, www.ol­fat­to­rio.it), Dip­tyque (via Br­era 23, www.dip­tyqueparis.eu), Pro­fumo (via Br­era 6, www.pro­fu­momi­lano.com), the new Amouage bou­tique (via Fiori Chiari 7, www.amouage.com), Dr.Vran­jes (via Fiori Chiari 24, http://drvran­jes.it), Of­fic­ina Pro­fumo - Far­ma­ceu­tica di Santa Maria Novella (via Madon­nina , www.sm­novella.com), Creed (via Madon­nina 17, http://creed. cale.it), 9Nine (via Ponte Vetero 22, www.beau­tysanspa.com) and Frag­o­nard (via Solferino 2, www.frag­o­nard.com).

TAST­ING SUG­GES­TIONS Be­tween vis­it­ing one shop and another, you might be sur­prised to sud­denly dis­cover that it's time for lunch. Try the typ­i­cal Parma-based char­cu­terie spe­cial­i­ties at Parma & Co, where you can also en­joy a Sun­day brunch or the famed sand­wiches sold by Panino Giusto. The af­ter­noon is likely to pass by in a flash un­til you sud­denly re­al­ize that it's aper­i­tivo time: there's no doubt that you'll be cap­ti­vated by the purely Art Déco-style at­mos­phere of El Tom­bon de San Marc, the trendier at­mos­phere of Fash­ion Café in via San Marco or, for a dif­fer­ent taste, the new Hong Kong Cross­over restau­rant in via Cio­vasso of­fer­ing the sought-af­ter flavours of the Ori­ent; another op­tion is Ris­torante Daniel of­fer­ing con­tem­po­rary Ital­ian cui­sine and the chance to en­joy some­thing new from day to day.

Amouage

Culti Mi­lano

Iliprandi

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