To celebrate the opening of the BassamFellows Lifestyle Gallery, which touched down in Milan’s historic Brera earlier this year, we turned to two stylish friends to give us their guide to the city’s most captivating neighborhood.
Do you have any recent Milan discoveries you could share with us?
In terms of restaurants, I recently loved Sumire, authentic Japanese. Also, Al Fresco and The Small (which feels like part of Sicily in Milan).
Your family name is synonymous with craftsmanship and quality. As is the city of Milan. Where is a great place to find hand-made things?
A very sophisticated and special place is Meù, a jewelry shop where everything is done by hand.
We recently opened a Lifestyle Gallery in Brera near the Luisa Beccaria boutique. What are your impressions and thoughts about the neighborhood?
Brera is a small Rive Gauche in the heart of Milan. You are surrounded by charming old buildings and the air is gypsy and bohemian. Brera is full of history, art, culture, and has always been the favorite area of local artists. I really love it! And I am very happy to have you as neighbors!
Milan is all about discovery. Where is an unexpected place to take a visitor for an afternoon?
One of my favorite places in Brera is L’ Orto Botanico (Botanical Garden), which was recently re-opened. It’s a very peaceful and atmospheric place.
Where is a chic place for aperitivo?
I would say LùBar, our family Ape car slow street food truck! Try to catch it :).
What neighborhood do you like to wander for its stylish people?
You could find stylish people everywhere in Brera, especially during the Sunday flea market (which is held the 3rd Sunday of each month).
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Have you discovered anything special in Milan recently?
I love the Cascina Cuccagna which is an old farmhouse that’s been transformed into a restaurant, garden and community center that, among other useful things, trains people how to repair broken goods. And last year I discovered horseback riding out in the green fields at Centro Ippico Milanese which is south of the city center and only a 20 minute drive from my front door.
We recently opened the BassamFellows Lifestyle Gallery in Brera. What are your impressions of the neighborhood?
Brera is Milan’s best neighborhood. It’s the only one that feels consistently chic and still has a bit of its former bohemian, arty past. Now it’s a bridge to the new development area of Porta Nuova which is turning out to be an unexpected treat.
Are there any places in Brera you particularly like?
There’s a great fresh food market in Via San Marco on Mondays and Thursdays where all the proper Milanese signoras go. I love Fiorio Bianchi for a drink. I love the funny health food store in Via Solferino for a vegan lunch. Francesca Kauffman’s gallery Kauffmann Repetto always has top art shows. Your gallery is great and so is Michele de Lucchi’s marvelous studio down the road.
Where would you take an out of town guest for an afternoon?
Walking up the back stairs to the top of the Duomo never fails to impress a visitor (there are great views up there) plus it’s good for the butt.
Aperitivo is sacrosanct in Milan. Where do you recommend?
Carlo e Camilla in Segheria is Carlo Cracco’s new, more laid back restaurant in Milan and has the added bonus of a terrific bar for aperitivo or after dinner drinks. The interiors were all done by a very good Milanese architect called Tanja Solci.
Where does one find the most stylish people in Milan?
Inside private homes. It only took me 13 years to figure that out.
Milan is synonymous with its bustling markets (pictured is the city’s biannual Floralia flower market). Brera’s flea market, known for its stylish habitués and antique collectibles, is held the third Sunday of each month.
LùBar offers incredible Sicilian food and was created by Lucrezia Bonaccorsi (left), Edward Gardens (middle) and Ludovico Bonaccorsi (right).
The Orto Botanico di Brera, Milan’s historic botanical garden, was established in 1774.
Italians Do it Better; Brera, the Milanese enclave photographed in the 1950s, exudes ‘La Dolce Vita’.
J.J. Martin’s photograph courtesy of The Selby (www.theselby.com).