Ennio Capasa’s Milan
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Ennio Capasa’s Milan
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“With Expo Milano, the city has seen a kind of a renaissance,” says longtime local resident Ennio Capasa, who moved to the city at age 18 to study sculpture at the Accademia di Belle Arti di Brera. After his studies, he went travelling, including a two-and-half-year stint living in Japan, before returning to Milan to set up his now world-famous fashion label, CoSTUME NATIONAL. “It’s a very strange city because it’s full of contradictions. It’s small compared to places like Paris and London but at the same time there’s this concentration of highly successful people from all kinds of domains - from art to fashion to medicine,” says Ennio, for whom Milan, with its history of Spanish and Austrian hegemony, is also known for being rather reserved, echoed in its style of architecture that is often deceptively simple from the outside. Push open a door and often an incredible interior and garden awaits.  

Ennio, who was born in Lecce, Puglia, in the south of Italy, where he still owns a 15th-century farmhouse on the coast, also appreciates Milan’s convenient location. “In an hour and a half you’re at the seaside, in one hour you’re in the mountains, and it’s a one-hour flight to Paris,” says the designer, who lives in the city’s Corso Magenta district, a “beautiful area built in the economic boom at the beginning of last century.

“It’s nice because it’s not far from Piazza del Duomo [cathedral square] but remains a little bit apart. It’s a quiet residential area with a park in front, and it’s close to my office,” says Ennio adding that Expo Milan has sparked several initiatives destined to modernize the city, including two new residential developments underway by Zaha Hadid and Daniel Libeskind, based on the site created for the Fiera Milano exhibition centre in 2005. “There’s this beautiful mix of old and new,” says the designer whose favourite Milan addresses reflect the same ethos. 

CITY GUIDE - MILAN
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Hotel Maison Borella
Courtesy Maison Borella
 

HOTEL

La Maison Borella

A charming hotel in a beautifully preserved ancient balustrade house with very simple, authentically restored features. The location is wonderful, in the Navigli district, overlooking the canal. There’s also a coffee bar and a little secret garden. 

www.hotelmaisonborella.com

 

ART MUSEUM

Fondazione Prada Milan

A spectacular museum that has hugely influenced Milan’s art and gallery scene. There’s an amazing exhibition on now, “Serial Classic”, about originals and copies in Roman culture — not forgetting the private collection of Miuccia Prada; an incredible mix of old and new. 

www.fondazioneprada.org

 

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Fondazione Prada Milan
Bas Princen
 
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Mantra Raw Vegan
Mantra Raw Vegan
 

RESTAURANT

Mantra Raw Vegan

A new vegan raw food café that does a great aubergine lasagne. Flavoursome dishes — an Italian take on raw food, which is rather original. 

www.mantrarawvegan.com

 

RESTAURANT

La Brisa

Very simple and light Italian food: between healthy and tasteful, the kind of food that I like. It also has a beautiful garden with its own microclimate, with views over some of Milan’s Roman ruins.

www.ristorantelabrisa.it

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La Brisa
Andea Brambilla / Spin360
 
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Latteria di San Marco
Courtesy Latteria di San Marco
 

RESTAURANT

Latteria di San Marco

It’s owner, Arturo, has been there since 40 years. He’s an alchemist who cooks using solid silver pots and pans. You can’t reserve, you just have to turn up and sit with other people. He does the most amazing Tuscan dishes, but with his unique touch. It’s such a special place. 

 

FLOWERS

Fiori - Rosalba Piccinni

Rosalba Piccinni is such an amazing florist, so creative. There’s also a little restaurant, it’s always a pleasure to go there. 

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Rosalba Piccinni
Rosalba Piccinni
 
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Galleria Carla Sozzani bookstore
Courtesy of Galleria Carla Sozzani bookstore
 

BOOKSTORE

Galleria Carla Sozzani bookstore

Carla Sozzani has done such an incredible job with her bookstore at 10 Corso Como, the selection is phenomenal.  

 

GALLERY

Cardi Gallery

They specialize in conceptual art from the 1960s. Its owner, Nicolo Cardi, is a major collector of Arte Povera. They’re planning to open a big space in London this autumn.

www.cardigallery.com

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Cardi Gallery
Courtesy Cardi Gallery
 
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Kaufmann Repetto
Courtesy of Kaufmann Repetto
 

GALLERY

Kaufmann Repetto

A really interesting contemporary art gallery known for its rich research. Very much seen as a reference. They look where nobody else looks.

www.kaufmannrepetto.com

 

CLOTHES

Wait and See

An amazing place! The owner, Uberta Zambeletti, is a friend of mine. She sources pieces from all around the world.

www.waitandsee.it

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Wait and See
Courtesy Wait and See
 

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