Style Capital

The fashion models' guide to Milan

Silvia Marchetti, CNNUpdated 19th September 2019
Milan (CNN) — Want to give your Milan stay a glamorous twist, beyond the usual tourist agenda?
The fashion capital of Italy is one huge open-air catwalk, swarming with models -- and these locals are your best guides to the coolest spots in town.
We asked a few for their curated tour of Milan, so they shared where they gather to shop, drink, eat, relax and look pretty.

Shopping

Milan has a number of shopping districts. It all depends how much you're prepared to squander. Brazilian model Amanda Santos, represented by Wonderwall Agency, loves the the Fashion Quadrangle but notes that in the district, "prices are sky high."
The Just Cavalli boutique, in the Fashion Quadrangle, has plenty of shoe inspiration.
The Just Cavalli boutique, in the Fashion Quadrangle, has plenty of shoe inspiration.
Silvia Marchetti
The Quadrangle is bound by four intersecting streets -- Via Monte Napoleone, Via della Spiga, Via Manzoni, Corso Venezia -- and boasts all the luxe designer brands. Santos' regular drop-bys are Brunello Cucinelli's cashmere store and the Armani and La Perla lingerie boutiques.
Avenue Corso Buenos Aires offers opportunities aplenty to lay down one's credit card.
Avenue Corso Buenos Aires offers opportunities aplenty to lay down one's credit card.
Andrea Scuratti
She also exercises her credit card along Corso Buenos Aires, one of Europe's longest shopping avenues, lined with dozens of boutiques, where "prices are a bit more affordable and you can find all labels, not just super luxury. I adore Calvin Klein."
OneBlockDown, selling fashionable streetwear, is one of 19-year-old Wonderwall-repped Italian model Romano Diotti's favorite stores, alongside Diesel, in the San Babila area. "I only wear jeans, and there's a wide choice of awesome varieties, from worn-out to tight ones."
Brunello Cucinelli: Via Monte Napoleone, 27/C, 20121 Milano MI, Italy; +39 02 7601 5982
La Perla: Via Monte Napoleone, 14, 20121 Milano MI, Italy; +39 02 7600 0460
Calvin Klein: A, Via Felice Casati, 1, 20124 Milano MI, Italy; +39 02 2953 2164
OneBlockDown: Piazza Armando Diaz, 2, 20122 Milano MI, Italy; +39 02 8454 2491
Diesel: Piazza S. Babila, 1/3, 20122 Milano MI, Italy; +39 02 7639 6762

Aperitivo, AKA 'Italian Happy Hour'

The aperitivo, what the Milanese call their evening drinks, rules. And it often takes the place of dinner.
One of the fashion industry's regular hangouts is Armani Bamboo Bar.
Power meetings, drinks and outfits are all part of the scene at Armani Bamboo Bar.
Power meetings, drinks and outfits are all part of the scene at Armani Bamboo Bar.
Gionata Xerra
"It's an elegant, sophisticated place with a stunning cityscape view and elaborate drinks," says Luigi Junior Giuliani, director of Wonderwall. But it's also fairly casual. There's no dress code at Bamboo Bar, and a pair of blue jeans and a white T-shirt will do.
The classy-chic rooftop lounge bar feels luxe, with its onyx and black marble retro-illuminated floors within a metal and glass cage-like structure. Take in the spectacular Duomo while sipping on a signature Ginza Tower, made with sake, lime, blackberries and Domaine de Canton ginger liqueur, or a Privé, with Gin Mare, lime, basil infusion, ginger beer and absinthe.
The terrace pool at Ceresio7 is a hotspot for afternoon drinks and a quick dip.
The terrace pool at Ceresio7 is a hotspot for afternoon drinks and a quick dip.
Ceresio 7
Ceresio7, a panoramic rooftop bar and restaurant with two terrace pools, is "great for Sunday brunch chilling-out and for the exclusive spa and gym," adds Giuliani. On a given week, he or one of his clients might be relaxing poolside with a Penicillin -- tequila, orange sherbet, ginger and agave nectar -- or winding down the night with a Pride of Silk, an artful blend of kumquats, whiskey and honey.
Romano Diotti, who has done shoots for designer labels Blauer and Imperial Fashion, prefers to sip his Moscow Mule or the country's now iconic Spritz (Prosecco, Aperol, soda) at Terrazza Duomo 21.
"It's such a unique location and with the terrace view, right in front of the Duomo cathedral, you get to admire Milan from the top." Diotti, a university student, also likes to enjoy an aperitif at one of the many laid-back bars in the vintage Navigli canals district.
Armani Bamboo Bar: Via Alessandro Manzoni, 31, 20121 Milano MI, Italy; +39 028 883 8888
Ceresio7: Via Ceresio, 7, 20154 Milano MI, Italy; +39 02 3103 9221
Terrazza Duomo 21: Piazza del Duomo, 21, 20122 Milano MI, Italy; +39 02 4539 7654

Hungry?

The stereotype that models don't eat is just that, according to this group.
Amanda Santos adores restaurant Al Fresco, which translates to "in the shade," a flowery garden spot serving up Mediterranean cuisine.
Model Amanda Santos loves a glass of wine and a burrata pasta in the flowery garden of Al Fresco restaurant.
Model Amanda Santos loves a glass of wine and a burrata pasta in the flowery garden of Al Fresco restaurant.
Andrea Squeo Wonderwall
"The silence and peace are a break from the city buzz," Santos says. "I come here with my baby to enjoy a glass of wine and a nice pasta dish, possibly with greasy burrata cheese."
Santos, who appeared in a Campari advertisement directed by Oscar-winner Paolo Sorrentino, confesses she loves carbs and can't live without pizza nor mozzarella -- as well as bread in the morning, when she has the time.
"I like to have breakfast with cappuccino or hot chocolate and freshly baked focaccia bread at Princi. There's a nice street view, so you can relax and take a break from Milan's frenetic lifestyle, looking at people strolling by."
Take a break from shopping the Fashion Quadrangle at the Emporio Armani Caffé.
Take a break from shopping the Fashion Quadrangle at the Emporio Armani Caffé.
Beppe Raso
She also frequents the newly restyled Emporio Armani Caffé located in the Fashion Quadrangle, where all the top luxury boutiques are -- and one of Milan's main food meccas during Fashion Week.
"It's got a cool ambiance and you can hang out from morning till evening drinks, savoring tasty dishes. I enjoy seeing stressed-out people flock in after work," she laughs -- when she's not one of them, that is.
Panino Guisto is perfect for a quick nosh of Italian-style sandwiches (panino) on the run.
Panino Guisto is perfect for a quick nosh of Italian-style sandwiches (panino) on the run.
Paninogiusto
Romano likes a quick stop at fancy Panino Giusto, serving designer Italian-style sandwiches (panino) with creative ingredients such as black cabbage pesto, aubergines, lemon zests, hummus and artichokes. "It's the perfect lunch spot if you're always on the run like me".
Al Fresco: Via Savona, 50, 20144 Milano MI, Italy; +39 02 4953 3630
Princi: Piazza Venticinque Aprile, 5, 20154 Milano MI, Italy; +39 02 2906 0832
Emporio Armani Caffé: Via Croce Rossa, 2, 20121 Milano MI, Italy; +39 02 623 1680
Panino Giusto: Locations throughout the city; +39 02 2554 4430

Getting pretty

Salon Aldo Coppola rules for getting good hair -- try the curative treament with mud, herbs, and oils.
Salon Aldo Coppola rules for getting good hair -- try the curative treament with mud, herbs, and oils.
Aldo Coppola
When it comes to getting good hair in Milan, Aldo Coppola rules. The salons cater to women, men and children.
Santos regularly gets a curative treatment with muds, herbs and oils. "It hydrates and feeds my wavy hair, so it becomes shiny and smooth."
Also on the menu: collagen hair wraps and a "cocooning" treatment for head and body performed with flavored warm oils on a Zen Beauty Bed, a massage setup with a backwash unit.
The open-air jacuzzi at Terme Milano is a wellness respite with stunning surroundings.
The open-air jacuzzi at Terme Milano is a wellness respite with stunning surroundings.
QC Terme Milano
Got a few hours' down time? How about getting pampered inside an open-air jacuzzi? Diotti recommends the thermal baths at Terme Milano. They are enclosed in Renaissance stone walls, and at night, blue LED lights activate, with an additional soothing effect.
Aldo Coppola: See website for various locations; +39 02 762 8055
Terme Milano: Piazzale Medaglie D'Oro, 2, 20135 Milano MI, Italy; +39 02 551 9936