In Milan, Forbes Travel Guide Four-Star Hotel Principe di Savoia, Dorchester Collection fits right into Italy’s fashion capital. Boasting a neoclassical façade, sumptuous jewel-toned rooms with mosaic-walled bathrooms, and the handsome wood-paneled Principe Bar, Hotel Principe di Savoia is a style star.
We checked in with this fashionable hotel to find out the latest hot spots. Assistant head concierge Modesto James Guerra, who has worked at the property for 26 years and has lived in the city most of his life, gave us his quick hits on what’s in vogue in Milan right now.
What’s new in the city
“Milan is changing a lot, especially after Expo 2015,” Guerra says. “New areas are under construction, and I suggest visiting the one called Porta Nuova behind the hotel.”
A former industrial zone, Porta Nuova has morphed into a cutting-edge district. Anchoring it is the Piazza Gae Aulenti. Unlike the typical Italian piazza, this one is futuristic, surrounded by modern structures, including the 758-foot UniCredit Tower, Italy’s tallest building.
Keep looking up and you’ll notice the green-dotted Bosco Verticale (“ Vertical Forest”), a pair of eco-friendly urban towers teeming with full-size trees and shrubs on the many balconies.
The most underrated attractions
Guerra reveals that one of Milan’s hidden gems is Navigli, a lovely district with canals, bars, art galleries and shops.
Another neighborhood he recommends exploring is Isola. Next to Porta Nuova, Isola offers a more bohemian vibe with its street art, eclectic boutiques and creative crowd.
He says you should also visit some under-the-radar attractions: the 16 Corinthian columns of San Lorenzo, the classic Roman ruins that are a popular meeting point for locals; the beautiful frescoes in San Maurizio church, whose origins go back to the 1500s; and the intimate San Satiro church with a trompe l’oeil wall that makes the venue look much larger than it is.
The hottest restaurants
For lunch, Guerra says to go to Il Salumaio di Montenapoleone, an upscale deli, bistro and formal Milanese restaurant with an attractive, cozy mosaic-floored courtyard.
When it comes to dinner, contemporary Italian at Ceresio 7, whose terrace and two pools (a popular destination in the summer) look out over the Financial District; French fare at Giacomo Bistrot, where the wood-filled interiors are reminiscent of a gentleman’s club; and Japanese-Western fusion at Iyo, which has modern and minimalistic décor, top his list.
The stylish bars
Of course, Principe Bar is a favorite of Guerra’s. Milan’s fashionable set flocks to the must-visit spot.
For an aperitif away from the property, he points to Ceresio 7 or Bar Martini, a sleek, glossy-black space that’s a collaboration between Martini sparkling wine and vermouth company and Dolce&Gabbana.
After dinner, hit Just Cavalli, from bold fashion designer Roberto Cavalli, which bears a lot of his trademark animal print, or try Fashion Café, a more sedate but no less cosmopolitan alternative, he says.