The Insiders’ Guide to Milan
Hot shops off the beaten path in Italy’s design Mecca
Every April, the design world gathers in Milan for the annual trade show, Salone Internazionale del Mobile. But the city’s design riches go far beyond the new. In addition to its renowned contemporary furniture firms and high-end stores, Milan is home to several lesser-known but fascinating shops that offer everything from marble busts to midcentury finds. They’re emblematic of the city’s uniquely stylish élan—and best of all, you don’t have to be in the trade to plunder their treasures.
The beautiful windows of Raimondo Garau’s chic space are a constantly rotating display of furniture gems that the amicable owner has found while scouring the corners of Italy and Northern Europe. Garau divides his spacious shop between the vintage and the modern: One half is an artfully curated mix of antiques (check in often, as they get snapped up quickly), while the other houses an eclectic selection of unusual contemporary brands such as Moormann, Källemo, YDF, and Pastoe. Via Varese 20, 011-39-02-6599913; understate.it
i Saloni 2011: 50 years young
I Saloni are laying claim to their age with a touch of irony, a play on words that echoes their nature and their spirit, youthful and lively.
They are wearing those 50 years well, given that visitor numbers have risen from 12,000 in 1961 to 297,460 in 2010 and that the initial 328 exhibitors over what was then 11,000 square metres of display space have become over 2,500 exhibitors in an area that now measures in excess of 200,000 square metres.
50 years looking exclusively to the future, through a joined-up project that, along with the usual exhibition – the Salone Internazionale del Mobile, the International Furnishing Accessories Exhibition, the biennial Euroluce / International Lighting Exhibition and SaloneUfficio / International Biennial Workspace Exhibition and SaloneSatellite – involves the City of Milan, providing an opportunity for reflection on design, on the world of industry that has made it all possible, on creativity and on culture.
From Tuesday 12th to Sunday 17th April, then, a double appointment at the Saloni!
Come along to the Rho fairgrounds where you'll be able to see, touch, and try out all the best that domestic furnishing of every type has to offer, from stand-alone pieces to coordinates – in all kinds of different styles – from classic to design to modern – not to mention the trendsetters of tomorrow.
And to the city itself, where a multi-faceted cultural project will span various different historical locations, with a wide range of cultural events.
Written by J. J. Martin • Photographed by Fabrizio Marchesi