Milan Design Week is here, and the ELLE DECOR team is ready to hit the ground running. The annual event, formally known as Salone del Mobile, is rebounding with an off-calendar lineup of can’t-miss previews, presentations, and debuts. And while we have direct access to some of the best travel tips in the industry, this year we’re sharing the wealth by curating a few of our favorite design insiders’ top picks. So whether you’re making the trip yourself or are simply curious, read on for the best sights to see, places to eat and drink, and shops to drop into. And if you’re planning to be in attendance, then we’ll see you at the bar!
WHAT TO SEE
JJ Martin, designer and founder of LaDoubleJ: “I have known and adored Britt and Emiliano of Dimorestudio for more than two decades now. This year they’re opening Dimorecentrale, an enormous space near Centrale station inspired by painter Mario Sironi and designed by Ulisse Stacchini, with a beautiful bar and cortile. Their Orizzonti exhibition of pieces by 20th-century masters is sure to be incredible. Of course, I’ll be visiting our amazing La DoubleJ Milan Back in Bloom takeover at the Air Mail kiosk in Largo Treves. My advice is to get there early in the week to be sure you receive one of our handcrafted paper flowers and our oversize LDJ poster gift for Salone visitors. If there’s one obligatory stop on your itinerary, I guarantee, this one is it.”
The architect and designer Hannes Peer will be opening his apartment for the first time ever for Studio Visit 2.0 (Via Privata Rezia 1), while contributing editor Alex Tieghi-Walker recommends the site-specific installations at Alcova (Via Simone Saint Bon 1), as well as renting a Vespa to get around. Cabana publisher Martina Mondadori suggests checking out new works by Osanna Visconti at Nilufar Depot (Viale Vincenzo Lancetti 34).
WHERE TO EAT
Alex Tieghi-Walker, founder of TIWA Select: “I grew up in north Italy, so Salone isn’t just a fun week for design and socializing—it’s also a nostalgic trip down memory lane. I like sneaking away for quiet solo espressos, standing up at the bar; the crema-filled croissants and crudo panini; lunch at Trattoria Milanese (Via Santa Marta 11) whenever I can—the tortellini in brodo and the vitello tonnato. I love how traditional Milanese restaurants straddle the formal and informal. A grand room with paper tablecloths and waiters in white tie asking you to keep your silverware for the next course. It’s so effortless, unpretentious, and fab—I love it.”
The artist Laila Gohar and the design researcher Alyse Archer-Coité both recommend La Latteria (Via S. Marco 24). Hannes Peer recently completed work on the Porta Romana bakery Signor Lievito (Via Maestri Campionesi 26), while contributing writer Christopher Garis takes his coffee from Pasticceria Sissi (Piazza Risorgimento 6). Mondadori recommends the Bar at Ralph Lauren (Via della Spiga 5) and the Renzo Mongiardino–designed Da Giacomo (Via Pasquale Sottocorno 6), which is also a favorite of August founder Dung Ngo, who always orders the sea bream with a side of sautéed radicchio.
WHERE TO SHOP
Hannes Peer, architect and designer: “I’m in an area, Porta Romana, which has a very bourgeois kind of feeling on one side. I did the interiors for Alessandro dell’Acqua’s NumeroVentuno store (Via Santo Spirito 14), which is on a very interesting shopping street that’s close to Via Monte Napoleone but has more niche brands. Nilufar Gallery (Via della Spiga 32) and Spazio 900 (Viale Carlo Espinasse 99) are around the corner. All of these shops are famous around here, and during Salone everyone is doing some sort of presentation.”
Mondadori recommends Atelier Stephan Janson (Via Carlo Goldoni 21), while Garis is a fan of the concept store Circus (Via Medici 15).