What To Do in Milan’s Zona Tortona Neighborhood
The former industrial zone near the canals around Via Savona, Via Tortona, and Via Bergognone has become the new hub of fashion, advertising, and design. Models first began drifting through the area about 20 years ago, when the photography space Superstudio opened in an abandoned train depot. Its latest offshoot is Superstudio Più, whose 172,000 square feet contains areas for design and runway shows, plus a TV studio. Across the road, London architect David Chipperfield has transformed the former Ansaldo auto-part factories into the Museum of Cultures, with 3,000 pieces of global art. The newest kid on the block is none other than Giorgio Armani, who, with Japanese architect Tadao Ando, is converted an old Nestlé factory into a fashion showroom and a theater for special events. Staying here is one of the best ways to experience the most modern version of Milan, as exemplified by the six spots below.
The 39 modern, chic, and luxurious suites that make up the hotel are hidden away from the chaos of the city center. Minimal white combines with dark oak floors, leather chairs, a spacious bathroom, and an olfactory library to create a calm, comfortable—and pleasant-smelling—environment. The excellent in-house restaurant, Da Noi In, is overseen by Michelin-starred chef Fulvio Siccardi, who pairs his creative Italian cuisine with a considered wine list.
Four floors and 4,800 square feet dedicated to Giorgio Armani's 40-year career in fashion. Giorgio himself oversaw the renovation of the converted grain silo, and indeed the austere gray concrete perfectly reflects the designer's aesthetic and provides a monumental backdrop to approximately 600 of Armani's signature looks.
The Museum of Cultures, opened in 2014, has an interdisciplinary focus on
the cultures of the world, with shows devoted to international exhibitions of contemporary art, as well as to their collection of anthropological items from 1200 BC to the first half of the 20th century. Exhibits have examined topics like the travels of Gauguin, Barbie dolls, and the response of the West to the art of Africa.
This is where the city's aristocrats head when they need to make space in their wardrobes. Owner Laura Gentile has an eye for the offbeat, and great connections with Blumarine and Ferragamo, who sometimes send over their end-of-season returns.
A small-batch distillery with an excellent kitchen, The Botanical Club has one of the largest selections of gin in Milano. If you don't want to get your James Bond on, they make unique cocktails using a wide selection of plants and herbs. The food is equally creative and celebrates "all things edible."
Matteo Thun’s 249-room NHow hotel—housed in a former factory—features a revolving showcase of contemporary art, and furniture from Edra, Kartell, and other international all-star design companies, in the sleek public spaces. Comfort tempers high design in the rooms, all of which have sumptuously dressed beds and roomy bathrooms clad entirely in creamy travertine marble.