As the high heel clicks echo through the streets of Italy’s style and design capital, Musement recommends 5 non-fashion things to do in Milan during Fashion Week.
Fashion Week starts in a few weeks’ time and from 21 – 17 February, Milan will showcase the splendid looks created by designers such as Prada, Dolce&Gabbana and Armani. All of Milan’s a runway! In fact, certain cognoscenti firmly aver that Milan is the world’s reigning fashion capital, and, while we might be biased because Milan is our home base, we wouldn’t argue with that.
Again we’re biased, but this thriving international city offers so much more than fashion (not that there’s anything wrong with fashion!). Here are five things to do in Milan during Fashion Week.
1. See Memoria by James Natchwey
Until 4 March, the Memoria exhibition featuring riveting works from James Nachtwey’s photo reporting is on display at Palazzo Reale. Milan is the first stop on the exhibit’s international tour which showcases the largest retrospective ever dedicated to the American photographer who is considered the intellectual heir of Robert Capa. Organized into 17 sections, Memoria showcases 200 war images from El Salvador, Gaza, Romania, Somalia, Sudan, Afghanistan, Nepal and the United State. Don’t miss it.
2. Participate in the I Boreali festival at Teatro Franco Parenti
The Franco Parenti Theater has established itself in Milan’s theatre scene not only for a program that boasts some of the finest names in Italian cinema and theater, but also due to its initiatives and events. After opening the Bagni Misteriosi – the city’s trendiest swimming pool turned winter ice-skating rink as well as a backdrop for shows, ballets and events – and having hosted the Elita Festival for several years, 2018 marks the inauguration of the I Boreali festival. Taking place from 22 to 25 February, the festival is dedicated to Nordic culture and literature, and the Franco Parenti Theatre will host meetings with authors, conferences, theater performances and film screenings.
3. Taste a Flower Burger
In Zona Tortona, one of the liveliest Fashion Week districts, a new outpost of Flower Burger opened a few months ago. The vegetarian and vegan “fast food” joint gives a kick to junk food to propose healthy, though no less tasty, alternatives. The environment is relaxed and vaguely hippy, and the burgers are delicious: legume “meatballs”, tofu and seitan, fresh vegetables, and tasty homemade dipping sauces to accompany the crispy, spicy potatoes. Fast food that’s chic, healthy and guilt-free! (Via Tortona 12, does not take reservations)
4. Enjoy the last moments of Christmas atmosphere in Piazza Gae Aulenti
The futuristic skyscrapers and innovative architectural designs of Porta Nuova have characterized the Milan skyline for some years now. Palazzo della Ragione, the Unicredit Pavilion made entirely of glass and larch wood, the Vertical Forest and the Diamond skyscrapers have become fixed stops on city tours. The Milanesi love to meet for a drink in Piazza Gae Aulenti, opposite the fountains. Those who, in addition to fashion, love Christmas, can relive some holiday magic here through 25 February thanks to the Gae Aulenti on Ice skating rink. From Monday to Sunday, from 10.00am to midnight
5. Spend an evening listening to live jazz
Milan is not only chic and fashionable all year round. Even if you have not been invited to the Fashion Week shows and events, you can spend beautiful evenings in full Milanese style at the Blue Note, one of the city’s most exclusive clubs. Jazz musicians and internationally renowned stars have performed on the stage. Billy Cobham and Jason Miles with Theo Croker are on the books for February. (Via Borsieri 37)