It’s true: Milan is not Rome, Venice, or Florence. You aren’t likely to turn a corner and stumble on the kind of picture-perfect scene for which Italy has become renowned among tourists. And that’s part of the city’s allure.
As the country’s capital of design—not to mention fashion and finance—Milan sets itself apart from the postcard-ready pack with a heady mix of scruffy post-industrial buildings-turned-galleries and grand apartment buildings with enviably chic courtyards (each one a visual delight—if you can get inside).
Because so much of what’s good about Milan hides behind the city’s stately facades, we asked a few savvy locals and frequent visitors to list their picks for the best spots to gawk, shop, and dine with design in mind, and mixed them in with our own recommendations gleaned from pounding the