Milan is huge, so you’ll never see everything you want to see, even if you are there all week. So, it is essential to plan. There are various guides which you can pick up free at hotels and wherever there is a banner in the street drawing attention to a FuoriSaloni location. They list the showrooms and the parties. None is complete: inclusion has to be paid for. But the best is usually the Interni one. See the foot of this email for some online guides. Click here for Salone del Mobile site.
My first tip is not to go out of your way to look at lighting(!).
The Salone del Mobile has a rule that pure lighting stands can only be shown at Euroluce. This is a bath and kitchen year, so there no Euroluce. Therefore, the only lighting you will see is either on the stand of a brand that does furniture as well, or on a furniture stand that has asked some mates to lend them some lights to jazz it up a bit. In the latter case, you may receive emails from lighting companies publicizing that they will be at the fair, but it is virtually never worth the detour. There may be little on display, and no-one from the brand when you get there. In the former case, I would highlight one brand, Decor Walther, Hall 22 Stand H31. The finest source of bathroom lighting is also the finest source of bathroom mirrors and accessories. Click here.
But many of the main Italian lighting companies have permanent showrooms in Milan. Most are in the VIA MONTENAPOLEONE/SAN BABILA area, where the Italian fashion brands have their flagship showrooms.
Four are on the Corso Monforte: Luceplan (no. 7), Flos (9), FontanaArte (10) and Artemide (19). Also in this area is: the Nilufar Gallery, at Via della Spiga 32 – click here. It is here that you will be able to see the latest work of Lindsey Adelman (click here). Given that she singlehandedly created the whole ballsonsticks® Thing, she is arguably the most influential designer of lights at the moment.
To the west is the BRERA DISTRICT, arguably the most attractive part of Milan. This is partly because the streets are older and smaller, and partly because of the concentration of fashion and interiors shops, and galleries. There will be lots of FuoriSaloni events here. So if you have time to visit only one area, make it this one. Foscarini’s showroom is at Via Fiori Chiari, 28. The Brera Gallery has one of the finest art collections in the world yet is never busy. Click here. You can see the most popular Romantic painting in Italy, The Kiss by Francesco Hayez.
If you want to sit down, maybe to eat a simple meal, look for the little wine bar, La Petite Cave Bar à Vin, at Via San Carpoforo 6 – click here.
The PORTA GARIBALDI area, north of the Brera District, is becoming one of the liveliest in Milan. It is where Herzog & de Meuron’s new Feltrinelli building is, plus vintage furniture galleries. Also:
- 10 Corso Como: the original concept store – shop, restaurant, gallery space. Click here.
- Eataly, a vast, lively emporium for regionally sourced food and drink, plus restaurants and happenings, in a former cinema., Click here. Just by it is:
- the Milan showroom of the French tea company, Damman Frères. Click here. An exceptional retail experience: calm – more like a gallery.
- a good restaurant in the area is Primè, Viale F. Crispi 2 – click here.
Out WEST, down the Corso Magenta, is:
- Rossana Orlandi. Gallery, shop, café…an essential destination where you will find the unexpected. Click here. Nearby,
- L’Uccellina: a big, very professionally-run, well-priced restaurant, suitable for every situation from a quick pizza to entertaining foreign clients. Click here.
Finally, south east of the centre, at the Unsighted Exhibition in the Palazzo dei Demoni, Via Cesare Correnti 14, there is a rare chance to see new work by Niamh Barry, an exceptional artist creating sculpture with light. Though her work is usually sold in galleries, she is also a key source of site-specific pieces for the most prestigious projects – not just for her creativity and professionalism, but also because she is a delight work with. Click here. A four minute walk away is Davide Groppi’s Milan showroom, at Via Medici, 13 It is small but no opportunity should be wasted for seeing such an important collection.
Here are links to some other guides and selections:
- Architonic’s Milan 2018 email, that includes a link to their show guide, click here.
- Dezeen has pulled together various posts about Milan: click here. It includes seven trends to look out for (in their opinion), 15 must-see exhibitions and installations (ditto) and 12 of Milan’s best bars, restaurants and galleries, this time nominated by designers.
- for the ”official” Fuorisaloni web site, click here. It includes a list of the top 10 parties that you can go to without an invitation….
- Brera Design Week guide, Click here.
- the Triennale. Milan’s design museum is hosting 19 [sic] exhibitions. It also has a good book shop. Click here.
Good luck, and have fun! With hundreds of thousands of visitors and events taking over the city, it is the starkest evidence of just how large (and – occasionally – exciting) our industry is.