Five-star treatment in Milan
The Hedonist: what to see and where to be seen
Saturday 07 December 2013
As we weave back to our hotel, the Townhouse Street Duomo (00 39 02 89 05 82 97; townhouse.it) at 3am following a succession of signature Negroni sbagliato cocktails at Bar Basso (00 39 02 29 40 05 80; barbasso.com), we have La Galleria, Milan's glorious 19th-century shopping mall, completely and surreally to ourselves. We're too weary to loiter, though, and our suite is waiting just steps away. The plush rooms are designed in black and white, with neon art accents and a wall-sized monochrome photo of Milan's daytime persona: all bustling, high-fashion streets.
We rouse ourselves for the elegant breakfast, served in a grand room by the hotel's head butler. As we plan out our day, we tuck into fresh fruit salad, delicate pastries, terracotta pots of La Fermière yogurt and steaming mugs of cappuccino.
Fortified, it's a quick stroll to the Duomo itself, where we scale the ramparts to scour the cityscape. Moving next door, we then climb to the top floor of La Rinascente (rinascente.it), the department store at Piazza del Duomo 3, to reach the food market, where we order espresso on the busy terrace and eye up the locals' effortless dress sense.
Outside, we queue for the panzerotti pastries at Luini (00 39 02 06 46 19 17; luini.it), located just outside our hotel door. The line moves fast, giving us a chance to enjoy what is, basically, incredible pizza filling inside doughnuty dough.
We make tracks through the fashion district over to the castle gardens in Parco Sempione to digest before joining the throngs vying for tickets to see Leonardo da Vinci's The Last Supper at Santa Maria delle Grazie Church.
Of course, any other type of supper in Milan requires a pre-meal aperitif (or several), so we head to the Navigli neighbourhood for canal-side cocktails at retro-inspired Spazio Movida (00 39 02 58 10 20 43; spaziomovida.it). Resisting the urge to fill up on the complimentary plates of pasta salad and fried anchovies, we hop on a tram to the bustling piazza in front of the Colonne di San Lorenzo ruins, where we duck into punk-hip Bar Cuoro (00 39 02 58 11 83 11; cuoremilano.it) for another Negroni sbagliato.
It's then on to Nerino Dieci Trattoria (00 39 02 39 83 10 19; nerinodieci.it), where we've reserved a table (after missing out the night before). We take our seats at a high table by the open kitchen and devour a silken vitello tonnato and a heaping of the house speciality, the spaghetti all'Astice, which tosses together almost a whole lobster's worth of supple meat – and a bright, freshly prepared marinara sauce. All washed down with a bottle of frizzante.
As Milan represents a crossroads between the modern and the classical, we turn in for Saturday night at the Four Seasons (00 39 02 77 088; fourseasons.com/milan), built around a palatial courtyard constructed in the 15th century. We give ourselves over to the five-star treatment by the attentive staff . Sipping champagne and nibbling chocolate-covered strawberries while swathed in luxuriously soft bathrobes, we contemplate just how many nights here – and how many more panzerotti and aperitifs – our life savings would afford.
A Hedonist's Guide to... (Hg2) is a luxury city guide series for the more decadent traveller. For more information, see hg2.com
The Independent travel offers: Discover a world of inspiring destinations
Iceland volcano: Travel agency has 'Volcano hotline' for dare-devil tourists who want to visit Bardarbunga if it erupts
Luton airport voted worst in Britain for second time running
Contactless payment donkey rides are a thing now
August Bank Holiday 2014: Five ways to make the most of it
The 10 Best lightweight luggage
- 1 Jeremy Clarkson 'sees no problem' with his racist language on Top Gear, says BBC
- 2 Richard Dawkins on babies with Down Syndrome: 'Abort it and try again – it would be immoral to bring it into the world'
- 3 London restaurant 34 creates champagne glass modelled on Kate Moss’ left breast
- 4 ALS ice bucket challenge co-founder Corey Griffin drowns, aged 27
- 5 James Foley beheading: Fox news presenter Megyn Kelly annoyed by Ferguson update during broadcast about murdered journalist
Richard Dawkins on babies with Down Syndrome: 'Abort it and try again – it would be immoral to bring it into the world'
Scottish independence: English people overwhelmingly want Scotland to stay in the UK
Isis threat: Cameron wants an alliance with Iran
Michael Brown shooting: Chaos erupts on the streets of Ferguson after autopsy shows teenager was shot six times – twice in the head
Bin bag full of cats' heads discovered near Manchester's Curry Mile
Disgusting, frustrating, but intriguing: how the country really feels about its politicians
£6000 - £50000 per annum + Bonus+Benefits+Package: Harrington Starr: Oracle 11...
£17K OTE £30K: Charter Selection: Highly successful and innovative specialist...
£45000 - £55000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: Working with an exciting ...
£23,000: Sauce Recruitment: A global leader in sports and entertainment is now...