best things to do in Milano this Winter

18 January 2023
Written by Sara Magro

Milan is no longer just the city of business, but an engaging tourist destination, with novelties, new five-star hotels and always something interesting and fun to organise. Here are fifteen, fun things to do in the city this season.


the new square in the heart of the city

After over twenty years, the former Archbishop’s Seminary, one of the most secret and unexpected places of the historic centre, has reopened with a multifaceted project designed by the architect Michele De Lucchi for the Portrait Milano hotel. The new five-star hotel of the Ferragamo family offers a concept of convivial hospitality that combines rooms and services for guests in spaces open to the public around the large internal courtyard which has now become Piazza del Quadrilatero. Under the 17th century colonnade you’ll find window shopping extremely tempting with Antonia’s fashion line and the sustainable jewellery of SoLe Studio. At the point where Via Sant’Andrea and Corso Venezia meet you can take a seat at the Bar & Restaurant 10_11 for a quick lunch, aperitivo or dinner in line with the Milanese classics within a charming place that speaks of history. WEBSITE

Where to eat in Milan
Portrait Milano


From Etruscan ruins to Michelin starred tapas

The area of the fashion district and surroundings is undergoing major renovation with openings prestigious. An example is the Luigi Rovati Foundation, inaugurated last September. An entire building in Corso Venezia, the former residence of the Rizzoli family, has been renovated by the architect Mario Cucinella to house the Etruscan art collections of Lucio Rovati and that of contemporary art by his wife Giovanna Forlanelli. The 140 Etruscan finds are on the floor hypogeum, exhibited together with works by Lucio Fontana, William Kentridge and Arturo Marini. On the floor noble, among brocade upholstery, fuchsia boiserie and showcases of millenary objects, they are exhibited drawings by Andy Warhol, a horse by Ai Wei Wei and works by Giulio Paolini and Luigi Ontani to whom two rooms are dedicated. Take a tour of the library on the ground floor, have a drink coffee and order tapas and spritzes at the bistro with windows overlooking the garden. The menu is signed by Andrea Aprea, whose starred restaurant (the star arrived in November, a few months since the inauguration) is on the top floor. WEBSITE

What to do in Milan
Sala Warhol. Ph. Credits Giovanni de Sandre


your new home away from home

The historic Hotel Baglioni in via Senato has moved to a new building in the concept of a ‘home’ a little further on (al border between the Quadrilatero della Moda and Brera) with an idea of luxury residential hospitality. The spaces are conceived as a home and the suites are intimate and modern, ideal for those stay in Milan for business or pleasure. Even the cuisine follows the same thought: comfortable and signed by one of the best-known starred chefs in Milan, Claudio Sadler. Home Baglioni, this is the new name of the five-star hotel, opens on 16th January 2023. WEBSITE

Casa Baglioni Terrace Suite


A concentration of art, culture and architecture

The Fondazione Prada, in the up and coming industrial area of Ripamonti, is one of the places you must visit in the city for several reasons: the permanent contemporary art collection of Signora Miuccia, the exhibitions, always of the highest level (at the moment there’s Cere anatomiche, in collaboration with La Specola, until 17 July 2023), cinema with designer reviews, the Bar Luce designed by director Wes Anderson, and the complex as a whole that saw an early twentieth century distillery become a daring center of cultural production based on a project by the studio of Rem Koolhaas, one of the most creative architects today. WEBSITE

What to do in Milan
Recycling Beauty exhibition. Ph. Credits Francesca D’Amico


Not just your classic coffee

Speaking of news around the Quadrilatero della Moda, the historic Caffè Sant Amboreus (opened over eighty years ago) has undergone restyling without distancing too much from its heritage, to which the city is affectionately tied to. In addition to pastry – cappuccino and brioche here are the emblem of the Milanese – the “all day” dining concept was inaugurated, an authentic novelty in the Milanese capital: amidst boiserie antiques, mirrors and marbles, you can eat all day long, yes even at 4pm: bring on risotto allo zafferano, cutlet, avocado toast and lobster roll. WEBSITE



In Milan there is a music library hidden in the courtyard of an old building in the industrious Porta Romana area: ring Magazzino Musica in via Soave 3. In addition to books, scores, musical instruments (with a vocation for stringed instruments) and lutherie workshop there a rich evening cultural program (to be updated just sign up for newsletter), with concerts by the house choir and orchestra – the MaMu Ensemble – which happens to accompany exceptional soloists such as Giovanni Sollima, Davide Cabassi, Roberto Prosseda, Fabrizio Meloni. A very relevant detail: you listen to excellent music in a way informal, among hundreds of books, with a glass of good wine (or spritz, gin and tonic, negroni…) and a platter of cold cuts and cheeses selected by the gourmet owners Laura and Nicola. WEBSITE

What to do in Milan
Sant Ambroeus, Milano


A young promise

The Park Hyatt reopens, with its strategic position near Piazza Duomo yet tucked away behind the arches of Corso Vittorio Emanuele, after meticulous renovations (yet maintaining the iconic round hall illuminated by a 9m high glass dome). It’s a great meeting place for a revisited Negroni at Mio Lab and for the Hyatt Pellico 3 gourmet restaurant, entrusted to able hands and ideas of the young engineer-chef Guido Paternollo, a pupil of Enrico Bartolini. All is pleasantly surprising from the “Beans, red prawns, burnt onion and mustard” of the appetizer to “Caco, Verbena and Lemon” of the dessert. WEBSITE

What to do in Milan
Pellico, Park Hyatt


From the tour of the artisans to the remise en forme

The Mandarin Oriental is one of the most elegant and innovative hotels in Milan. Haute cuisine (the Seta restaurant has two Michelin stars with chef Antonio Guida), one of the most popular bars in city (under the direction of Guglielmo Miriello, Italian Bartender of the Year @Worldclass) and a program of experiences to discover in Milan, from the tour among the artisans with Artemest to the tour of high jewelery with the expert Eugenia Gadaleta. Then there is the holistic spa, where you can treat yourself a few hours of break or an entire day with the Remise en forme program it includes one hour with the personal trainer, one hour of treatment, one vegetarian lunch, one hour of yoga. Yup come home relaxed and with a dose of the chef’s vegetable minestrone to finish the journey. WEBSITE

What to do in Milan
Treatment room at Mandarin Oriental Milan


Vegetable gardens in Lombardia

Chef Norbert Niederkofler, three Michelin stars at St Hubertus in Alta Badia, is exporting his ethical cuisine from the mountains of South Tyrol to the Venetian lagoon and now, to the center of Milan, where he opened Horto Restaurant. On the top floor of The Medelan, former headquarters of Credito Italiano and today a sustainable business space, the restaurant has menus based on seasonal ingredients from vegetable gardens around Lombardy; therefore farmhouses, dairies and companies located no more than an hour away. Strachitunt plin (Lombard cheese) allo saffron and cow’s milk curd, with cabbage carpaccio and sturgeon caviar are two examples of seasonal dishes. At the stove, with the master’s guidance, two young executive chefs: Alberto Toè and Stefano Ferraro. WEBSITE

Interior. Ph. Credits. Mattia Parodi


Arthouse films and cocktails

In Milan, the art-house film still has many fans. As the name implies, the Cinemino is a small theatre with very well selected programming (the best titles in the season are being revived) and a themed bar with movie-themed cocktails like “The Shining” and “9 gauge”. If you think you’ve seen Luca Guadagnino or Teresa Mannino, it’s not the result of fantasy, but almost certainly reality. (Annual card 5 euros). WEBSITE


A slice of New York

Jazzy atmosphere, candlelight, portraits of Italian-American personalities who have contributed to make New York great, retro interiors and a view that sweeps over the skyscrapers of the new Milan. Rivington, the new restaurant of the Hyatt Centric Milan (entrance from via Pirelli 20), is inspired by the historic restaurants of Manhattan for the atmosphere and for the menu. The chef Indeed, Guglielmo Giudice revisits iconic dishes such as Oyster Rockefeller, steamed here served with spinach and pecorino cheese, Waldorf salad with gorgonzola, Surf & turf, the unmissable filet mignon with lobster. The combination with cocktails here is not only lawful, but obligatory, starting with the classic Martini. The project was made in collaboration with Jeffrey Tascarella, American hotel entrepreneur who launched some successful establishments in New York, such as the NoMad and the Italian restaurant Scarpetta. WEBSITE


A dive into art

Pop Air, the travelling exhibition of “inflatable art” of the Balloon Museum, with installations by 18 artists and collectives from all over the world, is now at the Superstudio in via Tortona 27, in the district of fashion and design (until 12th February 2023). The visit is a fairy-tale journey between tanks of colourful balloons to dive into, such as “Hypercosmo” by the Hyperstudio ensemble and surreal works such as “Airship Orchestra”. This is a tribe of otherworldly characters with eyes flashing lights to approach to hear the melody that each produces and listen to the synchronised sound with light effects that create the whole. This work of art is by Eness, a team of creatives that includes artists, musicians, engineers, industrial designers, thinkers and a writer.


The new Milan to drinK? among fun and swing

The Cristallerie Livellara have given way to the Spirit de Milan, one of the happiest and most of the nightlife in the emerging Bovisa area: a good drink, some snacks but especially theme nights, such as “Barbera & Champagne”, with local music and cabaret, and “Holy Swing Night” to dance lindy hop, balboa and shag to the sound of the best Italian bands. As they say in those parts of Italy, “se vedum lì”. WEBSITE


Fish tonight!

In via Fiori Chiari, in the heart of Brera, Vesta brings a breath of authenticity. The new restaurant with a contemporary design is welcoming from the outside where the imposing staircase becomes a meeting place, for example to wait for a table pleasantly with a drink in hand. The interiors with a strong design are very welcoming as well like the team, who gladly help choose the dishes of the day. On the menu, fish prevails with raw fish and dishes inspired by Italian home cooking, such as sole meunière or la Nerano pasta. The right place for an evening with family or friends but also for a job dinner. WEBSITE

Where to eat in Milan
Bar at Vesta Ristorante


Sushi, cocktails and karaoke

Ronin is a restaurant with a multifaceted soul that is expressed on the different floors of a building a Chinatown. On the ground floor there is an informal restaurant for a quick lunch before or after the theatre and cinema. On the first floor is the Japanese restaurant with classic sushi, tempura and robatayaki plus some traditional dishes (the chef is still Roman). Then it goes up to the cocktail bar, one speakeasy with drinks inspired by the Rising Sun. Also there has recently inaugurated the omakase, where some Italian chefs offer samples of their cuisine, as is done in Japan: you don’t choose what to eat, the cook decides. And finally comes the pure fun: there there are five rooms dedicated to karaoke to book to spend an evening singing. Backing tracks and drinks are provided according to taste. WEBSITE

Cuisine at Ronin. Ph. Credits: Letizia Cigliutti

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