Posted on January 17 2017
Mark Twain once said that ‘The Creator made Italy from the designs of Michelangelo”. He wasn’t wrong.
And if the glum January skies of London are anything to go by, what we need more than anything is a shot of Italian espresso to wake us up. Italians have a lifestyle and heritage we’ve all dreamed of – decadent dishes, a rich tapestry of art and fashion so achingly chic we could cry, and cities that make your heart swell with their grand architecture and history.
Venice, Rome, Florence… they all have their undeniable charm, and at Arabella London we pored over images of idyllic Italian backdrops, ordered in some fresh pasta and a glass of Barolo Monfortino for inspiration and decided on the Italian city that would take pride of place in the second instalment of our holiday edit (hard work, we know).
It had to be Milan.
As a tourist hot spot, the unmissable things to see are just that – not to be missed. For the uninitiated, we’d recommend taking in a night at the opera at the newly renovated Teatro alla Scala, whose façade is just as captivating as the performances inside, or visiting Santa Maria delle Grazie to wonder at Da Vinci’s ‘Last Supper’.
If you’re seeking to enjoy the hidden gems of Milan however, it’s worth taking the time to turn your well-heeled foot off of the beaten track. The Villa Necchi Campiglio, designed for a family of industrialists in the 1930’s by architect Piero Portaluppi, is often cited by Giorgio Armani as an inspiration and is now open to the public. For the foodies amongst us, we’d suggest setting aside some time to get to know the omnipresent Italian tradition of aperitvo – when the food is this good and accompanied by cocktails at dusk, few do dinner here. A treasure can be found in Frida, a restaurant located in what was once the ‘Island’ neighbourhood, which became home to the artists and bohemians of Milan.
Nonetheless, it goes without saying that Milan itself is synonymous with fashion – and what would any visit be to the fashion capital of Italy without visiting a few shops? Milan’s shopping district Quadrilatero d’Oro, or the ‘Rectangle of Gold’, offers a concentrated area of all of the biggest name’s in Italian and international fashion, making it very aptly named and impossible to resist strolling around.
Once you’ve wearied yourself (and hopefully not your bank account), we’d recommend resting your head at The Four Seasons Milan. Perfect for those looking to recharge after a long day of taking in the city’s sights, the five star hotel offers a secluded and quiet haven in the centre of the shopping district. Beautifully set within a 15th century convent, the hotel’s suites line the rim of a peaceful courtyard, whilst the rooms overlook quiet side streets and neighbouring private gardens.
To truly escape the sounds of the city, the hotel also has a spa located in a 19th century wine cellar, where you can enjoy signature treatments using Tauleto Vineyard Spa cosmetics. And because you wouldn’t want anything to hinder your rest and relaxation, we’d recommend slipping into our Contour Swimsuit for ultimate comfort – well aware of the beauty of Italy, we’ve used Italian material for a second skin fit and feel, meaning you won’t feel out of place amongst the 19th century drawings and frescoes which adorn the hotel walls!
Shop the Contour Swimsuit here.