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Central Europe 2015

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Via Spadari, 13, 20123 Milano MI, Italy
Milan invented the art of bel cafè, the pedicured bar for a delicious morning coffee or afternoon aperitivo. Passerini has a delicious selection of pastries for mornings and afternoons, and is the ideal hideaway for an aperitivo in the city...
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Piazza di Santa Maria delle Grazie, 20123 Milano MI, Italy
At a nondescript church in an unlikely neighborhood in Milan rests one of the greatest works of art ever created, The Last Supper by Leonardo da Vinci. The 15th century mural was part of a renovation project at the Convent of Santa Maria della...
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The Milan Cathedral, or Duomo, occupies a site that’s been holy since the time of the Romans, but it wasn’t until the early 19th century when the finishing touches were finally placed on this massive building. The Duomo is the fifth largest...
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Via Santa Radegonda, 16, 20121 Milano MI, Italy
There is a reason the locals line up down the block at this place come lunchtime: the pomodoro panzerotti. It's a perfect little pocket filled with fresh, warm, gooey mozzarella and local tomatoes. I tried several other sweet and savory items...
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Piazza Castello, 20121 Milano MI, Italy
The Sforza name is well known even to those of us not intimately familiar with Italian history. Originally built in the 15th century, this massive citadel was at one time one of the largest in Europe and even today you can just imagine the...
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Via Savona, 50, 20144 Milano MI, Italy
An interesting place to have lunch with a friend, talking about work, reading a newspaper, or sipping very good wine. Chef Kokichi Takahashi elaborates on the Italian food culture. Taste fresh ravioli and oven-roasted cockerel or omori chocolate...
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Via Filodrammatici, 2, 20121 Milano MI, Italy
Designed by the great neoclassical architect Giuseppe Piermarini, the glorious interior is quite the opposite from its austere exterior. Acoustics are amazing, not only from the exemplary construction of the venue but also thanks to the perfect...
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Via Solferino, 33, 20121 Milano MI, Italy
Half the fun of going to Dry, a late-night bar and pizza joint in the buzzy neighborhood of Moscova, is the democratically cool crowd: young artists, gray-mustachioed men, and members of the fashion illuminati. The other half is the cocktail menu...
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Via Santa Margherita, 20121 Milano MI, Italy
Milan is a different city at night, when the inky blue skies and warm orange street lights reflect on the grey facades of the city's buildings. The architecture- bombastic, monumental and sometimes even modern- is like a page out of Ayn Rand's The...
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Piazza del Duomo, Milano MI, Italy
The historic and modern center of the city, the Piazza del Duomo (the square surrounding the cathedral's base) remains a popular meeting place, hangout and hub of Milanese life. Local vendors setup shop (selling fresh coconut in the summer, toys...
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The Bermuda Triangle and Kansas Rectangle may be places of mysterious disappearance, but Milan's Fashion Quadrilateral is a small area of style where you will definitely want to get lost. With Via Montenapoleone, Via Manzoni, Via della Spiga, and...
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Piazza Pio XI, 2, 20123 Milano MI, Italy
The Ambrosiana Library is an oasis for book lovers. Founded in 1609, the library contains over 800,000 books and 35,000 manuscripts, including writings by Dante and Leonardo da Vinci's Codex Atlanticus. The pinacoteca art gallery is a treasure as...
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Piazza Sempione, 20154 Milano MI, Italy
Parco Sempione is Milan's biggest park and it has everything- cute caffès, picturesque setting, a medieval castle, a modern museum, a pond and charming foot bridges. If the sun is shining, this is the perfect place for a morning or afternoon walk,...
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Alzaia Naviglio Grande, 34, 20144 Milano MI, Italy
While few in number, Milan's canals can be charming. Naviglio Grande, the largest, is my favorite to walk along. Lined by shops, outdoor cafes and bars, there is life alongside the water anytime of day. If you're lucky you'll catch the Antique...
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Via Giuseppe Meda, 4, 20136 Milano MI, Italy
The newly opened Carlo e Camilla in Segheria is Michelin star chef Carlo Cracco adventure in family style chic cuisine. Everyone eats together on a long table in a former woodworking factory illuminated by Venetian chandeliers. The is a delicious...
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Via Privata della Bindellina, 20155 Milano MI, Italy
A hidden street and a private garden in a very busy city, perfect for an evening affair. Innocent Evasioni takes advantage of its tryst-inspiring location with soft lighting and a zen aesthetic. Its modern spin on traditional regional favorites is...
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Via S. Pietro All'Orto, 9, 20100 Milano MI, Italy
Salsamenteria Di Parma is a unique restaurant that specializes in cheese and ham. With light jazz music playing in the background and a relaxed atmosphere, this spot is perfect for lunch!
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Tucked in an alley near the historic downtown you'll find this small restaurant serving traditional, regional dishes (at a great price especially for the area). With open-air courtyard seating surrounded by vines, it makes for a relaxing lunch....
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Via dell'Orso, 4, 20121 Milano MI, Italy
Il Refettorio Simplicitas is my favorite place to eat when I visit Milan. The executive chef, Giovanni Ruggieri, uses simple, fresh, and local ingredients to consistently turn out powerful flavors you never knew you always wanted to taste. Echoing...
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Vicolo dei Lavandai, Alzaia Naviglio Grande, 14, 20144 Milano MI, Italy
A pleasant way to spend an evening in Milan is to stroll along the Naviglio Grande, a 12th century canal in the south of town. The warehouses along the towpath are now home to lively restaurants and bars. I recommend El Brellin. The second floor...
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Via Ponte Vetero, 21, 20121 Milano MI, Italy
Every city has an eatery that’s a mainstay for shoppers, and in Milan, it’s the tony Brera neighborhood restaurant Convivium. House specialties include complimentary rosemary flatbread, four-cheese pizza, and sea saltencrusted sea bass for two. ...
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Via Privata Fratelli Gabba, 7b, 20121 Milano MI, Italy
Chef Andrea Ferrero spotlights Italy’s impeccable ingredients at Il Ristorante, an elegant dining destination within the Bulgari Hotel. Known for infusing classic recipes with unconventional additions, he serves an unforgettable spaghetti alla...
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Via Alessandro Manzoni, 31, 20121 Milano MI, Italy
The Armani Hotel Milano occupies a beautiful, box-shaped 1930s palazzo in the beating heart of Milan’s fashion district. As striking as it looks from the outside, it’s arguably even more glamorous on the inside. Every aspect of its...
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Via Mozart, 14, 20122 Milano MI, Italy
The Villa Necchi Campiglio, just to the east of the historic center of Milan, may look familiar. The house had a turn on the silver screen in the 2009 Italian movie "I Am Love," starring Tilda Swinton. Even if you didn't see the film, anyone...
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Via S. Gregorio, 17, 20124 Milano MI, Italy
The aptly named Gelato Giusto (meaning gelato done right) is an ice cream must. Former pastry chef Vittoria Bortolazzo makes delicious gelato every day from regional, organic fruit, high quality milk, and lots of love. Flavor selection is only a...
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Alzaia Naviglio Pavese, 286, 20142 Milano MI, Italy
The café Erba Brusca sits on a plot of land at the city’s edge, where concrete blocks meet grassy meadows. Italian staples such as buttery white polenta and roasted speziata sausage are made with herbs and greens grown on-site. Reserve a table on...
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Corso Como, 10, 20154 Milano MI, Italy
The avant-garde interiors of 10 Corso Como match the mod, edgy clothes—everything from kaleidoscopic Ferragamo sandals to python-skin Margiela wallets. This appeared in the May 2015 issue.
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Ripa di Porta Ticinese, 43, 20143 Milano MI, Italy
Yes, Mag is a great place for a morning, Saturday brunch, and light lunch, but it is also an excellent spot for those who love a great cocktail. Head to Navigli in the late afternoon to watch Flavio, Marco, and Francesco mix creative concoctions...
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Via Paolo Sarpi, 30, 20154 Milano MI, Italy
Considered by some as a Milan institution, Cantine Isole is a small wine bar/enoteca with a lot of history and great atmosphere. It's located in the Chinatown neighborhood, near Garibaldi station and the Isola neighborhood. Expect a lot of...
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Via Monte Napoleone, 8, 20121 Milano MI, Italy
Caffè Cova, Milan's old world pastry shop and original fashion caffe. Its pastries are perfect and more than delicious, but what takes the proverbial cake is the aperitivo and its presentation. Black tie serves cater drinks like Negroni sbagliati...
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It's worth a peek inside Zaini, Milan's historic chocolate maker, which began creating delicious chocolate confectionaries in the 1910s. Celebrating a 100-year anniversary, Zaini opened the via Carlo de Cristoforis location in honor of a century...
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Via Santa Maria alla Porta, 11/a, 20123 Milano MI, Italy
For a coffee and pastry shop, Pasticceria Marchesi has an unexpected historic elegance. Since the 1800s, they've stuck with a formula that works—classic cookies, jars of sweets, and strong coffee in a gorgeous setting. I came for a cappuccino and...
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Via Gian Giacomo Mora, 12, 20123 Milano MI, Italy
When properly curated, "vintage" takes on a whole new meaning in Milan. Cavalli e Nastri is the Italian answer to Anthropologie—set in Carrie Bradshaw's closet. The boutique stocks select, pristine vintage clothes and accessories on a small scale....
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Via Trebbia, 26, 20135 Milano MI, Italy
This leather atelier off a leafy boulevard in the Porta Romana district is the epitome of chic. The only way to buy its coveted handbags and accessories, regularly spotted on celebrities, is to visit this white-hued, mirrored store. Designer...
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Piazza Tito Minniti, 20159 Milano MI, Italy
Isola is Milan's sleeper neighborhood because of its great location, hip shops and local vibe. It is also a great area to hang out in because, well, it feels like a neighborhood. Weekend street markets, clever graffiti, cute boutiques, artisanal...