A True Design Lover’s Guide to Milan

Milan is a must-visit destination for design lovers, offering everything from galleries and museums to chic places to shop, eat and drink. Known as the Fashion Capital of The World, this Italian city is not only for fashionistas but also visitors who want to explore it with design in mind. Here are some of the Milan’s most attractive design gems.

Fondazione Prada

Located in a former gin distillery in the Largo Isarco industrial complex, the Fondazione Prada is a marvelous blend of new and renovated buildings. The complex counts seven existing buildings, as well as three new structures: Torre, a massive nine-story permanent exhibition space for displaying the Fondazione Prada’s collections and activities; Podium, a space for temporary exhibitions; and Cinema, a multimedia auditorium. Luxury designer Miuccia Prada tapped Rem Koolhaas and team to turn the abandoned industrial space into glorious art exhibition spot.

Sailko [CC BY 3.0], from Wikimedia Commons

De Padova

The De Padova Milan flagship store is an elegant furniture showroom opened by the late Fernando and Maddalena De Padova. Located in the heart of the city, the store offers an intimate atmosphere and a selection of quality displays. The 1100sqm showroom spans on two floors filled with items that range from seating and beds to bookcases and accessories.

Image by Jacopo Carboncini

RM Instituto Moda e Design

Design lovers wouldn’t want to miss the RM Instituto Moda e Design, an unconventional fashion and design school with innovative methods of teaching. Unlike other schools, you can visit RM Instituto Moda e Design every day of the week from early morning to midnight. The faculty teaches design through courses that are conceived to connect students’ creative ideas with what the market wants.

For example, their new master course in visual design incorporates learning by doing, providing the students with a methodology to use in different stages of a project and its execution as well as teaching them how to apply for employment as designers, creative consultants for industrial or commercial firms, or even build their careers by opening an office of their own.

La Triennale Di Milano

La Triennale di Milano is a museum devoted to contemporary design that organizes many exhibitions, shows, and other events related to art, architecture, design, cinema, fashion, photography, and theatre. However, La Triennale is much more than just a must-see spot for design obsessives. Located in the Parco Sempione where you could rest from the city hassle, this international institution offers everything from performing arts, music, theater, and design museum to discover the Italian design from a different perspective to restaurants with a view and fun shops.

Ciro Amos Ferrero [CC BY-SA 4.0], from Wikimedia Commons

Corso Como, 10

The 10 Corso Como is a shopping and dining complex opened in 1991 by the legendary fashion editor Carla Sozzani. This art/fashion establishment is an all-inclusive experience for the fashion and design-conscious visitors who can shop at the fashion boutique and the bookshop, admire the art at the gallery, sip coffee at the chic café and relax in the scenic courtyard. The 10 Corso Como is no longer exclusive to Milan as Carla Sozzani has expanded her business in Seoul, Shanghai, Beijing, and New York.

yisris [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Studio Museo Achille Castiglioni

Ever since January 2006, visitors have had a chance to step into the personal space of the legendary Achille Castiglioni. His wife Irma and his daughter Giovanna Castiglioni take small groups of visitors around Castiglioni’s place where the great designer created and developed his outstanding designs.  In the four rooms of his studio, visitors can see prototypes, sketches, pictures, books and other materials left by the late designer.

Image by Giovanna Castiglioni

Designers and design lovers from all over the world gather in Milan every spring for Salone del Mobile, the city’s furniture and decor fair as well as Milan Design Week, known as Fuorisalone. If the design is your primary focus, you might want to visit Milan in April, when these events take place, but since Milan is all about design, art and fashion every day of the year, visiting this stylish Italian city is always a good idea.

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