Travel: A Taste of Milan Part 2

Cappuccino and cornetti at Sant Ambroeus
Gucci on Via Montenapoleone
There's no doubt that Milan is an elegant city. Strolling down via Montenapoleone is where you'll witness that elegance firsthand. Here is where you'll find all of the most famous, high-end designer boutiques, as well as many of their head offices. Rub elbows with fashion's elite at two of the area's most bustling cafes, Sant Ambroeus (7 Corso Giacomo Matteotti) and Cafe Cova (8 Via Montenapoleone). See where the well-known New York Sant Ambroeus cafes got their start at the original outpost, just off of the main strip. Choose a treat from their variety of fresh pastries to go with a creamy cappuccino. The barista serves the drink with one of their signature chocolates as well. Or step inside the ornate sitting room at Cova for an intimate breakfast or a quick espresso at the marble bar. Each morning the cafe - which opened its doors in 1817 - is filled with a mix of tourists and locals alike.
Espresso break at 10 Corso Como
Regardless of your budget, there's one address that is sure to inspire any fashion-lover. Tucked behind a greenery-covered archway is 10 Corso Como, the brainchild of Carla Sozzani (sister to Vogue Italia's Editor-in-Chief Franca Sozzani). Exploring the three-story concept store for the first time is an experience that will leave you breathless. Witness some of Milan's best street style among the well-heeled here inside the boutique, book store, gallery or cafe. Since opening 10 Corso Como in a converted garage in 1991, Sozzani's emporium has been the address to know for quirky housewares, artistic coffee table books, statement-making shoes and the latest from houses like Balenciaga. Should your senses become so overwhelmed that you never want to leave, Sozzani opened the intimate hotel called 3 Rooms in 2003. 
Visit the southwest end of the city for a stroll through the neighbourhood surrounding Porta Ticinese. Small restaurants and shops line the streets, but these aren't the chains and big brands found near the Duomo. Style is much less manicured in Ticinese, and the independently-owned boutiques reflect that. Scour the vintage clothing stores for oversized sunglasses, sequinned blouses and Gucci bags. After taking in the area's laid-back vibe, it's time for a gelato at Grom (51 Corso di Porta Ticinese). With several locations throughout the city, you'll have multiple chances to indulge in any of their monthly flavours. 


Travel: A Taste of Milan Part 1

A closer look at the Duomo, from the patio at La Rinascente
Milan is a city that surprises at every turn. While it has the same charm found in other Italian cities, it's somehow blended with the non-stop sensibility often associated with New York. The winding roads take you either to a centuries-old building worth marveling over or a slick high rise. The people are strolling along or swiftly moving past, either way it's probably in an impeccably-tailored outfit. So grab your sunglasses and a pair of comfortable (albeit good-looking) shoes, it's time to take on Italy's fashion capital. 

With it's intricate marble details, the city's Gothic cathedral is a breath-taking first stop no matter what time you arrive. The Piazza del Duomo is surrounded by stores catering to those with both high and low budgets. But steps from the Duomo itself is the go-to department store, La Rinascente. Like Harrods in London, this eight-storey shopping centre offers cosmetics, fashion, housewares and even an assortment of specialty foods, bars and restaurants. For a closer look at some of the Duomo's detail, enjoy lunch on the store's rooftop patio. Though aperitivo time on the patio at La Rinascente is bustling, enjoy a change of scenery by strolling just outside of the piazza. A table on the sunny patio at Bar Mercurio (8 Via Giuseppe Mazzini) is perfect for people watching and sipping on cocktails (including mojitos and caipiroska alla fragola), while you discuss what's next on your itinerary. 
A glimpse of the treats you'll find at La Rinascente

The picturesque streets in the Brera district are lined with high-end boutiques and cozy restaurants. Even in February, the outdoor tables are filled with people laughing theatrically or meeting for an intimate meal. Located on a narrow street off of Via Brera is Ristorante Nabucco (10 Via Fiori Chiari), a small restaurant specializing in Milanese dishes and fresh pasta. Craving something you don't see on the menu? Just ask. The friendly servers are quick to accommodate. Whether you're in the mood for gnocchi al pomodoro or spaghetti alla carbonara, these plates are loaded with deliciously fresh flavour. When you think the experience couldn't get any sweeter, the waiter brings complementary chocolate strawberries for dessert. Afterward, follow the sound of the music playing at Bar Giamaica (32 Via Brera), where a boisterous crowd fills the patio. 
Stay tuned for more shopping, tasting and sight-seeing in my next installment of Life is Glossy's guide to Milan.


Milan: Seeing People

The entrance to Galleria Carla Sozzani
Who better to mentor a novice photographer than legendary lensman Helmut Newton? In 1970, when the iconic German photographer was dealing with an illness, he sent his wife on an assignment in his place. Australian actress June Newton's new career began with that first shoot in Paris. Under the pseudonym Alice Springs, she snapped an advertisement for the French cigarette brand Gitanes. By 1974, she shot the cover of French Elle and has had her work featured in Vanity Fair, Vogue and Marie Claire since then.

Now Milan's Galleria Carla Sozzani at 10 Corso Como is hosting an exhibit of Springs' work called People. Lining the white walls are ad campaigns, nudes and celebrity portraits taken over the last 40 years. From Yves Saint Laurent to Anjelica Huston, Springs doesn't romanticize her subjects. Without dramatic poses or concepts, the black and white images are both stark and revealing. Produced by Berlin's Helmut Newton Foundation, People proves why June Newton stepped out from behind her husband's shadow, and became famous in her own right.

View of the courtyard patio at 10 Corso Como from Galleria Carla Sozzani