OCCUPATION: I am a lawyer, but after my sister died in a car accident, I left my job to found a charity, Fondazione Francesca Rava – N.P.H. Italia Onlus, of which I am chairman.
MY STYLE: I would describe my clothing style as sporty. As for my home, the best room is the kitchen. It has parquet flooring and lots of space and equipment for cooking. I have the entire collection of Cucina Italiana Magazine dating to the first issue in black and white, a gift from my granny who was a great cook.
I LOVE MILAN BECAUSE: It’s easy to get around in, easy to work in, and has a very good selection of high quality schools and hospitals—I wish there were more green areas, though.
Teatro alla Scala
One of the premier opera houses in the world, La Scala is home to a handful of other fine arts, including classical orchestra and ballet. The space itself is gorgeous, with deep balcony boxes, but it’s the talented singers, musicians, and dancers that keep you coming back. The ballet school connected to La Scala is one of the most respected in the world. Children as young as three can enroll.
Triennale Design Museum
Since 2007, this museum has been chipping away at a longstanding question: What constitutes Italian design? Each exhibition at Triennale Design Museum (TDM) deals with the country’s unique melding of cutting-edge materials, humor, history, nostalgia, and tradition. TDM’s educational space also teaches children, and the community at large, about design, science, and critical thinking.
Hotel Principe di Savoia
With spacious, well-lit rooms and elegant, well-worn décor in dark wood and opulent fabrics, Hotel De Savoia is classic Italian luxury at its best. In addition to a palatial atmosphere, this hotel boasts sophisticated Milanese dining and the city’s “most exclusive health club.” There’s also a skilled staff that never fails to learn a guest’s name, making its scores of faithful fans feel at ease. In face, the elegance found at Principe Di Savoia is never too stuffy or old-fashioned: “During fashion week you’ll find models, stylists, and photographers in the small disco inside the lounge bar,” Ilaria Boschetti notes, “It has the greatest young vibe of all Milan’s hotels.” Located just minutes from Milan’s best shopping district, this hotel is any urbane mom’s ideal home away from home.
With a history that dates back to 1887, Italy’s most illustrious department store chain is worth a visit, and especially in fashion capital Milan. The flagship store in soars ten stories and offers views of the neighboring Duomo Cathedral. In addition to its wide selection of high-end brands from local and foreign designers, the mega-boutique stocks almost anything else the heart could desire. Looking for a minimalist dust-pan? An entire floor is devoted to a design supermarket with departments stocked by international architects and designers. Despite the accompanying international price tags, Rinascente is popular with Italy’s masses who come to browse in the museum-like atmosphere or try small luxuries in its exceptional food court.
Obika Mozzarella Bar
This Italian dairy empire understands that we mozzarella enthusiasts prefer to build our meals from the cheese-up. The menu lists an array of mozzarella across spectrums from sweet to salty and smoky to fresh, then lists complementing side dishes of vegetables and cured meats. With plates that are great for sharing and a lively bar atmosphere, a trip to Obika is perfect for a casual date night. And most exciting of all, the Obika cheese masters display massive balls of their product soaking in glass boxes so that all can marvel at the process of their creation.
This modestly priced Hotel chain is strategically placed in the best locations across Milan. Though services may vary, features always include elegant modern furnishings and sophisticated design. A popular choice for group and business travel, the busy atmosphere also makes it laid back and, therefore, great for families with excitable children. The hotel offers a free stay for one child under twelve in any extra bed.
Pasticceria Angelo Polenghi
True Milan locals know when their sweet tooth aches to head to Pasticceria Angelo Polenghi for cheap and unpretentious top quality pastries. Customizable cakes are the standout and the store stocks books showcasing years of beautiful past designs, which are fun to browse. Beautiful as they are, their taste comes with the highest of recommendations, too. The baker Angelo Polenghi himself is practically a Milan icon who many Milanese remember fondly with stories from their youths. Mariavitorria Rava, who has known the local baker since she was a child, says customers can expect “real genuine recipes, and always freshly made cannoncini [that are] like Proust memories.”