A guide to David Beckham's Milan
Beckham è tornato! Yes, as of three weeks ago, David Beckham is back in Milan. As any Becks fan knows, the 34-tear-old soccer star spends part of his year—from January until May—playing for the Berlusconi-owned team A.C. Milan. While Victoria mostly stays back in LA with the kids, the English midfielder, now in his second season on loan from the Los Angeles Galaxy, has settled into a relatively low-key Milan routine. He’s managed to win over the locals with a tactful approach to his celebrity, plowing through games diligently and avoiding the infamous Milan nightclub scene that has derailed more than a few soccer careers. So what are David’s favorite Milan haunts? Let Opera Chic be your guide.
1. Hotel Principe di Savoia Milano: Known as “il Principe,” the 83-year-old, five-star hotel is where Becks calls home while in Milan. Beckham stays in the Presidential Suite, three-bedroom penthouse apartment and it’s the only hotel suite in the country with its own private spa (swimming pool included). Previous guests of the suite include the Queen of England, Mick Jagger, Madonna, Michael Jackson and George Clooney (who once racked-up a cool $35,000 in damages playing bocce on the suite’s marble floors, according to one report). As for his behavior in the hotel, no tantrums or suite trashings have been reported to date! Hotel Principe di Savoia Milano, Piazza della Repubblica 17, 20124.
2. Acanto restaurant: The Italian restaurant inside Hotel Principe di Savoia is a simple elevator ride downstairs for the star. Beckham’s generally the most casually dressed patron there (think PRPS jeans, Abercrombie sweatshirt and white Adidas kicks), but don’t assume that the same dress code applies to you! At Acanto, Beckham eats very early, between 7 and 8 pm, and usually alone. (He’s known to spend part of the meal speaking with wife Victoria on his cellular.) His tastes are simple; he likes pasta with tomato sauce, grilled meats, salumi (on occasion), and will almost always order a single glass of wine, always red. For breakfast, Beckham is said to be partial to freshly squeezed juice, toast, tea with milk, fruit and a copy of The Guardian. (He seems blissfully uninterested in what the famously aggressive Italian sports press has to say; he does not read Italian well enough, and that’s probably a blessing). Hotel Principe di Savoia Milano, Piazza della Repubblica 17, 20124.
3. Giardino d’Inverno bar: Beckham—occasionally with Victoria—has been spotted nibbling on the delicate aperitivo offerings at the hotel’s bar, known for its stained-glass ceiling and 3,000-piece Murano chandeliers. Principe’s veteran barman, Enzo Mirto, is also a favorite with Madonna, Robert De Niro, and Quentin Tarantino. NB: If you spot Beckham here, put the camera away: as at the Chateau Marmont in West Hollywood, at Principe there’s a no-photograph policy. Hotel Principe di Savoia Milano, Piazza della Repubblica 17, 20124.
4. Club 10 Fitness Center: Milan’s most exclusive and private health club, Club 10 is located on the top floor of the hotel (convenient to Beckham’s penthouse suite). The boutique gym is also where Teatro alla Scala’s primo ballerino, Roberto Bolle, works out, although most members are fellow soccer players and high rollers who catch rays (in the nicer weather) at the solarium and heated swimming pool. Hotel Principe di Savoia Milano, Piazza della Repubblica 17, 20124.
5. Ristorante Ibiza: Beckham sometimes eats at Ibiza, a favorite of AC Milan’s former captain and Beckham pal Paolo Maldini, in Milan’s trendy Brera neighborhood. There, Beckham likes the restaurant’s signature pasta dish, penne alla sancho con la pancetta, (penne in a creamy pancetta sauce) and gamberi col radicchio (grilled jumbo shrimp with radicchio salad.) Ristorante Ibiza, Corso Garibaldi 108, 20121.
6. Dal Bolognese Ristorante: As personal guest of Italian designer Roberto Cavalli, Beckham has been spotted dining at Bolognese, a Cavalli favorite, steps from Principe’s entrance. Dal Bolognese Ristorante, Piazza della Repubblica 13, 20124.
7. Trattoria Da Giannino: Beckham likes Giannino’s delicious menu against the mix of old and new interiors as much as we do. Trattoria Da Giannino, Via Vittor Pisani 6, 20124.
8. Spazio Armani: Although Becks is no longer the face (and hot body) of Armani’s underwear line—another soccer player, Cristiano Ronaldo from Portugal just replaced him—he’s known to haunt the sleek labyrinth of Armani’s three-floor, downtown mega-mall, after hours, of course. Spazio Armani, Via manzoni 31.
9. Nobu: Beckham’s weakness for sushi is indulged at Milan’s Nobu, located within Armani’s mega mall on Via manzoni (above). Beckham frequently dines there with Armani’s own family and staff, whom he’s known for years. [He also joins Armani sometimes at his nearby Via Borgonuovo residence for supper.] Armani/Nobu, Via Pisoni 1, 20121.
10. Domenico Dolce & Stefano Gabbana’s house: When Victoria’s in town, the couple often heads over to Domenico & Stefano’s private residence on Via Mozart (Milan’s most privé street) for an intimate dinner party. Posh reportedly has an aversion to eating with people she doesn’t know, but she’s very much at home with the designers, both longtime friends. Via Mozart, 20122.
11. Dolce & Gabbana boutique: As the official off-the-field dresser of A.C. Milan, you can’t separate the label from Beckham and his teammates. Even if you can’t fit D&G in your budget, the store windows are always worth a drive by. Dolce & Gabbana, Via della spiga 2.
12. Gold restaurant: Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana’s supercool “concept restaurant” created by the two designers, is a favorite of Victoria’s; David’s, not so much (it’s a very swanky restaurant where you can easily spend 120-150 euros per person). But Posh likes Gold, and she’s also brought the boys along on occasion. Gold, 2 via Carlo Poerio, 20129.
13. Stadio Meazza – San Siro di Milano: and Milanello sports center: You can always head to San Siro and, you know, actually buy a ticket to watch A.C. Milan play. Best case scenario: Beckham scores a goal and peels-off his shirt for a victory lap! Stadio Meazza – San Siro di Milano, Via Piccolomini 5, 20151.
<a href=”http://maps.google.com/maps/ms?ie=UTF8&hl=en&msa=0&msid=104339614995222843622.00047e18afa5886deb077&t=h&ll=45.479362,9.191372&spn=0.005266,0.00912&z=16&source=embed ” target=”new”>Click here to view a full-size map of <a href=”http://maps.google.com/maps/ms?ie=UTF8&hl=en&msa=0&msid=104339614995222843622.00047e18afa5886deb077&t=h&ll=45.479362,9.191372&spn=0.005266,0.00912&z=16&source=embed ” target=”new”>David Beckham’s Milan.
Look for regular dispatches from our favorite (and anonymous) opera blogger, the Milan-based Opera Chic, every Wednesday.
Revisit our sexy photo shoot with Posh & Becks from August 2007. It’s a W Classic!