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Inflight Magazine of Brussels Airlines

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Milan April 2011

Milan has always been as much about the visual arts as fashion and design. Proving the point, this month sees the massive MiArt fair (8-11 April, miart.it) taking place up at the Fiera Milano; a large-scale gathering of artists, dealers, collectors, curators, critics and other arty types. Matt Barker is your guide

MISSORI AND CROCETTA

Lying at the southern edge of the centro, this is a busy, well-heeled neighbourhood.

SLEEP The Hotel Lloyd (48 Corso di Porta Romana, tel. 02 5830 3332, lloydhotelmilano.it, rooms from €85) overlooks Piazza San Nazaro and is nicely located for anyone who wants to stay central, but clear of Duomo. A decent four-star bolthole, the junior suites are the ones to snap up.

EAT La Vecchia Latteria (6 Via dell’Unione, tel. 02 874401, closed Sun) is a tiny little place – they have just eight tables – where you can eat classic Milanese comfort food as the staff fuss around you. The polenta al Gorgonzola with porcini mushrooms is a big favourite with the cheery regulars. La Dolce Vita (11 Via Bergamini, tel. 02 5830 3843) is a more refined proposition (don’t let the tourist trap moniker put you off), with its tinkling pianoforte. The pappardelle with chestnut and venison ragù is typical of the measured cooking on offer.

DRINK The Bar della Crocetta (67 Corso di Porta Romana) has been around for years and remains a very popular Milanese haunt. The huge range of panini is in demand as much as the coffee. The nearby Palo Alto Café (106 Corso di Porta Romana) is a great place for an early evening aperitivo or late night cocktail, pulling in a buzzy crowd of regulars.

SANT’ AMBROGIO

Heading out towards the wider spaces of Porta Magenta and dominated by the church of the same name.

EAT Buongusto (2 Via Caminadella, tel. 02 8645 2479, closed Mon) is a very busy local drop-in, where you can sit down to steaming bowls of pasta, including tortelloni al foie gras, made with Calvados and apples, which is a good as it sounds. For some superior seafood, Il Faro (6 Via Marco D’oggiono, tel. 02 5810 4107, closed Mon) brings a touch of Sardinian sun to the middle of Milan, with a menu full of deck fresh flavours. The risotto ai frutti di mare is highly recommended.

DRINK 20 (20 Via Celestino IV) is a fabled haunt of Milanese night owls, where you can enjoy a late-night drink in nicely chichi surroundings, where work by local artists and designers adorns the walls. Just around the corner is Hora Feliz (5 Via San Vito), a Cuban-styled bar with cocktail menu to match and an overhanging balcony perfect for people watching.

CULTURE The Basilica di Sant’ Ambrogio (15 Piazza Sant’Ambrogio) tends to get overlooked by other fabled churches elsewhere in the city, but it’s well worth a visit. Dating from 379 AD, its porticoed courtyards, galleries and the mosaics in the oratory of San Vittore in Ciel d’Oro deserve a wider audience.

PALAZZO MARINO

This is Milan at its most grand, with La Scala opera house taking centre stage.

DRINK If you want the full-on air-kissing Milanese fashionista experience, the Café Trussardi (5 Piazza della Scala) is perched on top of the fashion house’s ‘concept store’ next to La Scala. Sip a coffee or cocktail in the long bar overlooking an indoor garden. Not cheap, but you already knew that.

CULTURE The Pinacoteca di Brera (28 Via Brera) is housed in a grand palazzo, with a huge permanent collection including works by Raphael, Caravaggio, Piero della Francesca and Tintoretto. The Teatro alla Scala (2 Via Filodrammatici) is the stuff of legend and, with the opera and ballet seasons now fully underway, getting hold of tickets is relatively easy (teatroallascala.org).

SHOP The newly opened Galleria del Gusto (Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, 5 via Ugo Foscolo) is a wonderfully posh food hall, downstairs from the iconic Savani restaurant. You can stock up on various gastro goodies, including olive oils and vinegars, truffles, sweets, teas and coffee.

TIP It’s always worth checking at La Scala’s box office an hour or so before curtain up to check if there are any last-minute returns, as there’s usually something available.

INFO

Malpensa Airport is 48km from Milan.

Train The Malpensa Express departs every 30 minutes. It takes 40 minutes, costing €14.50 for an open return.

Bus A shuttle bus departs every 20 minutes, costing €7.50 and taking about 50 minutes.

Taxi The journey costs €65-€75 and takes 50 minutes.

Linate Airport is 7km east of Milan.

Bus The 73 bus goes to Centrale Station in about 20 minutes for €2.50. Alternatively, the Star Fly Shuttle bus goes every 30 minutes and costs €4.

Taxi A taxi to central Milan will cost around €15.

Tourist office The IAT is at 19/A Piazza Duomo (tel. 02 7740 4343, www.visitamilano.it).