"In Milan, at Palazzo Cicogna, Via San Damiano 2, there is a particular gallery, ‘FRAGILE’, which houses items / furniture / lamps / jewelry: a selected production of the Italian Novecento, venturing sometimes even in this first part of the twenty-first century. With great courage, the owner, Alessandro Padoan, has entrusted the design of this central and historical ‘container’, Alessandro Mendini, a prestigious and renowned architect / designer that was able to draw a space that communicates with unexpected playful irony with all that, in turn, is exposed. Sophisticated materials, strong colors but harmonious characterize these 200 square meters on two floors that also host themed exhibitions, a choice not new FRAGILE, which has been operating for three decades in Milan but also, since 2012, in Paris. Defintely, it worth a visit!”.
ANTY PANSERA - PROFESSOR OF DESIGN HISTORY
"Nemi is a small castle-village near Rome, perched on the crags of an omonimous vulcanic lake, emerging from chestnut and oak woodland. Its name, Nemus, means woods in Latin. Today, it is famous for its beautiful views, scenic trekkings, and gastronomic specialties. You should get to Nemi (40' drive from Rome, or 30' train to Albano and then a bumpy ride on a local bus) in a sunny autumn morning, have a walk around the lake and to the ruins of goddess Diana's temple. You can eve dip your toes if it is warm enough. Then hike your way up to the village and indulge into a lunch with a view at Trattoria della Sirena del Lago, where they make their pasta fresh every day. Tagliatelle with porcini were to die for. Then have a walk along the via Francigena to pick some chestnuts, until you come back just in time for the last rays of sunshine and a cup of local wild strawberries and whipped cream in one of the many cafés in the main street".
PAOLA TAMMA - FOOD LOVER
"TODOMODO opened in Via dei Fossi, the street of antique dealers. Pietro has put together an intriguing mix: a very good library with some specificity to be discovered. Three/four events a week using a small amphitheater tailor made. A well-stocked wine cellar that you can not help but read label to label. And above all, a lunch menu by Giuseppe and Simonetta, two chefs of rare and eccentric elegance that combines tradition and creativity.
Even a tea party at TODOMODO will make you feel in peace with the world".
PUCCIO DUNI - DESIGN EXPERT
"In Milan there is a new special site for those who love wood: a xylotheque, with over 400 different species of wood as well as samples of shapes, finishes, wood treatments, antique woods, burls. It is part of WoodLab, a project to develop knowledge about wood through a collection, physical and digital, of wood species from around the world. WoodLab also offers a series of themed events, art installations, workshops, talks and lectures to tell the wood and his stories. The xylotheque is located in the showroom Slow Wood, Foro Buonaparte 44/a and can be visited free of charge every day, Monday to Saturday, from 9.30AM to 18PM”.
MARCO PAROLINI, CEO SLOW WOOD
MILAN: FIORAIO BIANCHI CAFE
"The place, more than a place, is a character. You can rarely see him except in the basement where takes care of his flowers and plants. You must say that he did this work for forty years, walking on the edge of a wonderful balance between a refined professionalism and an instinctive poetic soul. No one calls him by name, for everyone he's simply ‘ Mr. Bianchi, the Florist’, even if his shop became a cafe-restaurant. The wall next to the counter is still chipped, it looks like a Pompeian fresco faded by centuries; the window is a small greenhouse overlooking Via Montebello 7, in the heart of Brera ".
LAURA MAGNI - WRITER
MILAN: THE LAKE OF ORTA
"Just one hour by car from Milan there is a small lake which is like a jewel. Much less famous than Lake Maggiore and Como, it is almost a secret place, actually discovered by many foreigners who come here regularly but with a reserved attitude: they don’t like to mention it often, to keep the magic of the place that only few know. In the middle of the lake there is the island of San Giulio, with the monastery of cloistered nuns. Walking in the silence of the island in this picturesque landscape where it seems that time is suspended, you breath the mystique that permeates the lake and its waters, and let your thoughts run free. Photos by Walter Zerla,from his book "Lago Maggiore e Lago D'Orta in barca a vela"
PATRIZIA SCARZELLA - ARCHITECT AND JOURNALIST
MILAN: Ceresio 7
sightseeing tour on the best rooftops bars and restaurants in Milan to enjoy the new skyline of the town. Here, at Ceresio 7 with the chef Elio Sironi.
FLORENCE: S.SFORNO PANIFICIO
"We are in one of the oldest and most popular district of Florence, San Frediano, few paces off the Cappella Brancacci. Products are delicious: bread made with pasta madre, different kinds of bread and snacks, uncommon cakes as the carrot plumcake, chocolate tarts and various types of biscuits. There are tables to sit at while tasting one of different bio fruit juices.
It feels as visiting one of the old backery of Florence and to step back in a village atmosphere with arches, floor inred cotto and bread in wicker baskets."
DONATELLA DOWNEY - HR EXPERT
MILAN: FONDAZIONE PRADA
"The Fondazione Prada is a special place, where it is worth to go just to get a good coffee at Bar Luce, designed by director Wes Anderson, mix of '50s atmosphere reminiscent of the historic Gallery that connects the Duomo and Piazza della Scala. Or sit outside to admire the collection of architectural materials and details that architect Rem Koolhaas and his OMA Studio declined in the spectacular renovation of this industrial space, a former distillery of the early twentieth century. And of course, for those who have not yet seen it, see the collection of contemporary art or visit the current exhibition, currently the retrospective of the sculptor Gianni Piacentino. Here we perceive the recent transformation of Milan, more and more international. Worth it, even for those who knows little or nothing of contemporary art. "
PATRIZIA SCARZELLA - ARCHITECT AND JOURNALIST
FLORENCE : SELFHABITAT
“Selfhabitat in Florence -Via E. De Amicis 175- is not only an important contemporary furniture store, but it is also a place where feel what Design is in its best meaning. The great capacity of Pilù Bemporad, the owner, has been to be able to present furnishings and high-level objects in a beautiful space, making available to the public a highly qualified staff. And Pilù is always there, as a good pensioner (as he defines himself in the website) smiling and ready to welcome you, telling and transmitting all his innate love for design. Visit this space is a pleasure for your heart!”
CLAUDIO LOPEZ - ARCHITECT
ROME: PIAZZA SANT'IGNAZIO
“Piazza Sant’Ignazio in Rome has always fascinated me. Many years ago it was a place where actors used to meet at the restaurant of the same name that is still there today. I’ve always been impressed by the particular style of the central building, the one in front of the church. I'm an actor and perhaps is the theatricality of the square that made me always "feel at home". In fact, if you get with your back to the church, you have the feeling of a scenography full-fledged.”
DANIELE GRIGGIO - ACTOR
ROME: CAMERA 39 AT MERCATO ROMANO DI TESTACCIO
"The beautiful Mercato Romano di Testaccio (The Roman Market at Testaccio - Via Galvani ) opened in 2012, is a very pleasant modern market, which replaces the historical one, with extraordinary archaeological area downstairs where the masonry is made of Roman amphorae. Nice for a quick lunch at noon, actually a few minutes earlier so you can hear the cannon of Gianicolo announcing 12 hours! With delicious foods like Romans ‘panini’, fried and excellent juices. Inside open the Concept Box: alongside the traditional stalls of fruit and vegetables, meat and fish, now there are second hand books, the hairdresser, the food stalls, clothes, bars, furnishings accessories. To the last category belongs CAMERA 39, the box by Raffaella Di Costanzo: gray walls designed with the skyline of a hypothetical apartment containing a combination that goes from contemporary design objects to authentic 60s design items. It 'a great place to find particular objects selected by the owner with simplicity and enthusiasm, but always taking into consideration functionality and aesthetics. A really nice corner! "
CLAUDIO LOPEZ -ARCHITECT