Thursday, March 19, 2009

Milano: Quadrilatero d'Oro

Italy is one of my favorite countries. No wonder Luv and I chose it for our honeymoon. Actually Mom and Dad took a big vacation in Italy a little before Luv proposed to me, and they kept on saying: “That’s where you should spend your honeymoon”. So we embraced the idea. We had both visited Italy before knowing each other but this amazing country gained a whole different meaning in our lives after our honeymoon. One of Luv’s grandmothers was Italian and, according to him, she was a wonderful person and an especially good cook, so the food has a special childhood-memories taste to him. As for me, I just love it because it tastes perfectly great.

There are so many great Italian cities to write about, their architectures, their food and their culture are quite different from one another but they’re equally good as well as their people.

I’ll just start with Milan. I know many people who aren’t crazy about Milan, just can’t figure out why, I love the place. I always get so exited when I get to the Quadrlatero della Moda or Quadrilatero d'Oro (or even Disney World of fashion) for the first time in a trip. I love its restaurants, its people and the city’s vibe. One will find almost every worth-knowing store in the block formed by Via della Spiga, Via Monte Napoleone, Via Sant’Andrea and Via Alessandro Manzoni and a few others in its surroundings. Giorgio Armani, for example, has his flagship store (he now opened one on 5th Ave and 56th St as well) and headquarters in a whole block on a corner of Via Manzoni ( ). On that megastore one can find all of Armani’s brands, including Chocolate (Armani/Dolci) and Home (Armani/Casa), Armani Café, which is a great place to give shopping a break, have a quick lunch, snack or simply coffee or a cocktail. The building also houses a great club, Armani Privé and a branch of the world known, hip Japanese restaurant, Nobu ( ), where Luv and I ran in to Falvio Briatore last time we went there. As if that wasn’t enough this year a beautiful Armani Hotel ( ) will be also sharing the famous corner.
Just like Armani, Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana ( ) have their share of the Quadrilatero. There they have three stores: women’s, accessories and men’s. The first two located n Via della Spiga and the Third on Corso Venezia, where is also house the D&G Martini Bar, great place for a cocktail and a quick snack. The two also own a cool restaurant: Gold ( ). As the name says the venue is all golden. Beautiful place for dinner and it has nice bar.

Another great place for lunch, with perfect Milanese food, in this high-density-good-shopping-per-sqm area is Paper Moon ( ). It’s a must go! The pappardelle and the pizzas are magnificent and they have great desserts too. It’s a fine place for dinner as well.

If you’re looking for “Bed & Breakfast” near by I love The Four Seasons Milano ( ) for the “Bed” part. It is literally on the center of the Quadirlatero on Via Gésu. As for the “Breakfast” part, Luv and I, rarely have breakfast, especially at the hotel, we find a stop for coffee in some cute spot much more fun. For that, I would recommend Cova ( ) at Montenapoleone, probably Milan’s oldest patisserie, founded on 1817 by one of Napoleon’s soldiers. It used to be at Piazza della Scalla and in the 50s it moved to Via Montenapolone.

If you’re still tiered from all your shopping take an after-lunch stroll on the close by Giardini Pubblici (just follow Via Manzoni, cross Piazza Cavour and you’ll be there) and its cutes museums, recharge your batteries and get back to work!

Boa Viagem!

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