Molto Milano

by Marco Velardi

Fondazione Prada

From May 1 through October 31, all eyes are on Milan, the host city of Expo 2015. The prevailing theme here is not soccer or fashion, two of the city’s main sources of acclaim, but rather “Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life,” as the more than 140 participating countries strive to answer questions such as “How are we going to feed the 9 billion people expected to populate the planet by 2050?” Daunting, indeed, but in the meantime, the city has managed to transform itself into a happening world stage, mixing history and culture with a real passion for living life to the fullest. Here, some of the highlights. Cin, cin!


Photo by Bas Princen/Courtesy of Fondazione Prada.


Stay: Excelsior Hotel Gallia The city’s luxury-hotel scene is revving up with a string of highly anticipated openings. One of the most talked about is this newly renovated and expanded 1932 property, which has been undergoing a facelift for about four years under the direction of the local architect Marco Piva. Check in to the sumptuous Katara Suite, complete with its own rooftop terrace, dedicated butler service, and spa. Piazza Duca D’Aosta 9;

Courtesy of Excelsior Hotel Gallia.


Visit: “Arts & Foods: Rituals Since 1851” at Triennale di Milano This show explores the evolution of eating from 1851—the year of the first Expo—to the present. Works include Angelo Morbelli’s Asfissia!, 1884, and Claes Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen’s Leaning Fork With Meatball and Spaghetti II, 1994. Viale Alemagna 6;

Photograph by Ellen Page Wilson/courtesy of the Oldenburg van Bruggen Studio and Pace Gallery/Copyright 1994 Claes Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen.


Visit: Slow-Food Pavilion At the invitation of Carlo Petrini, the founder of the international Slow Food Movement, starchitects Jacques Herzog and Pierre de Meuron designed three primitive-looking wooden structures that bring to mind typical Italian farmhouses. They will host a variety of events focused on the importance of biodiversity and healthful consumption.

Courtesy of Herzog & de Meuron.


Visit: Wheatfield The Nicola Trussardi and Riccardo Catella foundations’ latest project (rendering, below) re-creates, and significantly expands upon, Wheatfield—a piece of land art that Agnes Denes conceived in New York in 1982. Visitors are invited to walk through the bucolic landscape in the city’s Porta Nuova district, and watch up close as the wheat ripens, until its mid-July harvest.

Courtesy of the artist.


Visit: Fondazione Prada The 205,000-square-foot OMA-designed complex in a former distillery just south of the city opens to the public on May 9, with an ambitious program encompassing art, architecture, and performance. And if all that weren’t enough of a draw, visitors will be able to hang out in the Fondazione bar, with interiors dreamed up by the film director Wes Anderson. Largo Isarco 2;

Photo by Bas Princen/Courtesy of Fondazione Prada.


Visit: “Leonardo 1452–1519” Palazzo Reale Leonardo da Vinci’s The Last Supper is one of Milan’s main attractions, and the artist is being celebrated with a blockbuster show (Leonardo’s Woman’s Head, 1473), on view through July 19. The iconic Vitruvian Man, on loan from Venice, will be making a four-week guest appearance.

Photo by Leonardo da Vinci/Galleria degli Uffizi, Florence, Italy.


Eat: Carlo e Camilla in Segheria Carlo Cracco, one of Expo’s chef ambassadors, opened his second restaurant (below and right) roughly a year ago, and it quickly became a dining destination. A cross-shaped communal table decorated with Richard Ginori plates sets the dramatic stage inside this former sawmill, where a small but well-curated menu is accompanied by a selection of 1930s- and ’40s-inspired cocktails. Via G. Meda 24;

Photo by Nathalie Krag.