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The Gentleman's Guide to enjoying Milan

Ah Milan. The esteemed world capital city of men's fashion - people immediately think of the haute couture that goes down there alongside the historical renaissance monuments and landmarks when Milan is mentioned. However, having a holiday plan for the regular joe or the discerning fellow to nail down is a daunting task in itself that might require hours of research. However, in this article we will attempt to help let you the reader find the best way to make the most of your time in Milan. 

 

Step 1 Dress more like the locals

This is always a solid advice to follow where ever you travel, but in this case, this is a daunting task - after all Milan is the de facto capital of men's fashion. And it shows just by a cursory stroll to the grocery shop or a bistro - here and there men of all shapes and social standing do their part in dressing up to the nines whether they release it or not.

How to pull this off? There are a few pointers you can follow:

Limited colour palette
It may seem like the stereotype that Italians love loud colours to express themselves, but the truth is for Milan, they have a dress code that says: keep it smart, keep it clear and keep it simple. Therefore, they will go with neutral colors: Blues, greys, blacks nudes, and whites. Earthy tones can be worn where needed to complete your outfit

Include some formal wear into your wardrobe
Since Milan is the de facto world capital of men's fashion, the locals won't pass up the chance to include their town's wares in their wardrobe, and in blending casual and formal wear smartly with ease, they wow bystanders. Don't be afraid to try out a few articles of formal wear - a blazer, a flat cap, a pair of leather gloves, a knit tie, a waist coat, or a debonair scarf could go a long way to add pizazz to your outfit

Detail to attention
On the same note, make sure you pay extra care in your outfit. Fit is foremost - make sure all your clothes are fitted to your stature (any tailor in town can help you with that) and any changes otherwise should be deliberate for example a quirk or tweak to your own styling. Feel free to sprinkle accessories here and there to round out your outfit

Wear chino and linen suiting
Admit it - the weather and clime of Italy generally does not take kindly to wool or anything heavier. People may complain that chino and linen fabrics accumulate wrinkles and creases far too easily, but it is precisely because of this that they are worn extensively here - it strikes a good balance between "formal clean cut" and "relaxed casual"

 

 Step 2: Visit Milan's landmarks

It is obvious that to enjoy Milan, one has to walk the streets and see its historical landmarks to appreciate its cultural past and present. Here are 5 must see sites you need to visit

 

Duomo di Milano

http://www.duomomilano.it/en/
Via Carlo Maria Martini, 1
The Duomo is a gothic cathedral that is the seat of the archbishop of Milan and was constructed by Giangaleazzo Visconti in 1386 and was completed 600 years later - such was the amount of marble needed that its construction needed dedicated canals to transport all the marbles, since it is the third largest cathedral in the world. True Gothic style at some of its best, has its own dedicated museum nearby

 

Santa Maria delle Grazie

Piazza Santa Maria delle Grazie, 2
https://www.museoscienza.org/en
This a Dominican convent and UNESCO site that was completed in 1469 and is best known for housing Leonardo da Vinci's The Last Supper within its red brick confines. For conservation purposes, visits has been restricted to a group of 25 people every 15 minutes. The convent is part of the Museum Science and Technology of Leonardo da Vinci where you can get tickets to see the painting also.

 

La Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II
https://www.facebook.com/e20milanoofficial/
While this gallery looks like a neo-classical palace with its splendid glass dome and beautiful interior, it actually is a commercial venue where some of the most famous high-end stores the likes of Vuitton and Prada open shop. Completed in 1877, it is Italy's oldest shopping arcade still open today. 

 

 

La Scala de Milan
Piazza della scala
teatroallascala.org
This is the famous prestigious opera house of Milan, inaugurated on 3 August 1778, that had set the stage for many of Italy's greatest opera singers. With a world class venue and sumptuous interior that houses 1,987 seats, the opera house also has its own museum and theatre school nearby. One can book tickets for shows on their website. 

 

Sforza Castle and associated museums
https://www.milanocastello.it/
This is a 15th century castle built originally by Francesco Sforza the Duke of Milan, and is famous for being the site of Leonardo Da Vinci's workshops during the Renaissance period. After several expansions it now accommodates several museums which are:
The Museum of Ancient art
The Archaeological Museum of Milan's prehistoric collection
Museum of Decorative Arts
The Egyptian Museum
The Pinacoteca del Castello Sforzesco
The Museum of Musical Instruments
The Antique Furniture and Wooden Sculpture Museum
You can book tickets to any of the museums on their official website.

 

 

 

 

Step 3: Eat authentic Milanese cuisine

What better way to enjoy Milanese culture than to partake in one of its important facets: its cuisine. Make sure to visit these restaurants for authentic cuisine in town:

 

Ratanà

www.ratana.it

Via G. de Castillia 28

Run by Cesare Battisti and Federica Fabi, this restaurant showcases a modern interpretation of traditional Milanese and Lombard cooking. Arguably the city's best local cuisine, their bread is also noteworthy and exempt from surcharge. Is vegetarian friendly and will accommodate Gluten Free options

 

 Latteria di San Marco

A small but busy restaurant featuring homemade traditional Milanese fare which arguably has the best fish in town. Note they have a daily changing menu, be sure to check their menu before making reservations. Vegetarian friendly

Trattoria del Nuovo Macello
Via. C. Lombroso, 20
trattoriadelnuovomacello.it
A rustic restaurant with old school decor situated right next to a meat market, you will see the quality of their ingredients will not be lacking. Breakfast take away available. Is vegetarian friendly and will accommodate Gluten Free options
La Bettola di Piero
Small charming neighbourhood restaurant that serves homemade traditional Milanese food with a smile. Is vegetarian friendly and will accommodate Gluten Free options
Luini
via Santa Radegonda,16
Historical bakery shop that is famous for their panzerotti (savoury pastry) - arguably their fried or baked panzerotti are the best in town, but they also sell other pastry desserts like chocolate cake, graffe, and pastiera napoletana. 

 

Step 4: Shop the local stores for men's fashion


We've compiled this list of places in Milan (not in any particular order) for your sartorical needs which are NOT your regular fashion houses like Gucci or Armani that you can find in any other cosmopolitan cities. Instead, the entries in this list are those which you can only find in Milan and in Milan only, and are recommended for quality


Al Bazar
www.albazarmilano.it
Via Antonio Scarpa, 9
Originality of this shop's male clothing is noteworthy. Of note are their unique tailoring, polo shirts, and some great knitwear.


M Bardelli
www.mbardelli.com
Corso Magenta, 13
This shop has a wide array of smartly done traditional men's clothing made from top notch material. Noteworthy also for their accessories and knit wear


The Caraceni Tailors: Ferdinando Caraceni, A Caraceni, Musella-Dembech
www.caracenitailor.com; caracenimilano.com; www.muselladembechmilano.com (respectively)
Via S. Marco, 22; Via Fatebenefratelli, 16; Via Celestino IV, 9
This family of tailors may be scattered in separate locations, but they are bespoke tailors of high and friendly repute. Their shops welcome people to drop by, but it is more convenient for them if you make an appointment first.


Antonio pio Mele
Via Soncino, 3
This is one of the few noteworthy shoemakers in town that aren't mainstream names - Antonio makes both traditional and casual shoes, along with other leather accessories


Rivolta
www.calzoleriarivolta.com
Via della Spiga, 17
Another noteworthy shoemaker in town is Rivolta, they sew their shoes using a digital scanner to make sure their custom creations match your feet as close as possible. Has classic designs which are made with hand sewn welts and a good range of exotics for good measure


Stivaleria Savoia (owned by Marinella of Napoli)
https://www.stivaleriasavoia.it/en/
via Petrarca, 7 angolo Vincenzo Monti
Another bespoke shoemaker that makes everything by hand and on site, although they do have a small range of shoes of impeccable quality that are ready to wear off the shelf


Duca Sartoria
http://www.ducasartoria.com
via Belfiore, 9
Recommended for bespoke suits not just for men but also for women and children, they also extend their bespoke services to their polo shirts, casual wear, and even uniforms for airlines and club houses.


Siniscalchi
www.siniscalchicamiciesumisura.com
Viale Vittorio Veneto,32
One of the best Milanese shirtmakers, well known for their formal shirts made with top quality materials.


Giosa di Giorgio Santamaria Sas
https://www.giosamilano.com/
Via Ciovasso 6
Specializing in crocodile leather, Giosa makes briefcases, bags, and other leather acessories. They also offer bespoke services for their products


CAPPELLERIA MELEGARI
www.cappelleriamelegari.com
via Paolo Sarpi, 19
One of the few unique hatmakers in Milan, Melegari not only makes traditional hats but also sells caps and other ready to wear headwear for any occasion

Francesco Maglia
https://www.francescomaglia.it/
via Ripamonti, 194
Also one of the few unique umbrella makers in Milan, Francesco Maglia makes bespoke umbrellas for both men and women, also making folding umbrellas.

Mazzoleni Gloves
http://www.mazzolenigloves.com/
via Lecco 18/A
Bespoke leather gloves for men and women. This shop also has a repair service

That's all for now. Happy holidays, and happy shopping!