After two days in London came the main event: the Salone del Mobile (Milan Furniture Fair) in Milan. This is something that I’ve been doing nearly every April for the last 7 years. For one week, over 300,000 people descend upon the city of Milan for one thing: design. These people include designers, architects, buyers, sellers and students. The whole city turns into one big exhibition of design in all aspects; it’s impossible to see everything, but I still try.

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I got here a day before the press preview just to give myself a little break and get settled. It also happened to be the day of the Milan Marathon, so the area around the Duomo was closed to traffic.

Upon checking in to the hotel, one of the first things I did was to buy some gelato at GROM, which was just down the street. So the eating begins…

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Then it’s the Gucci Cafe nearby at the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II. Didn’t really know what to order, but didn’t just want order something plain like an espresso, so I asked about this thing called the “espresso shakerato” and they said it was good. So I ordered it, and it turned out to be cold coffee drink in a champagne glass. And it was YUM. The two pieces of Gucci chocolate was also a nice touch, along with the people watching of course.

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Of course, you can’t say you’ve been to Milan if you didn’t shop (or window shop), so I headed for 10 Corso Como, one of the coolest shops in town. It’s a “curated” shop of fashion, music, books and food all located inside rooms inside a courtyard. Oh yes, there’s even a hotel called 3 Rooms – because it really has only 3 rooms/suites.

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In addition to the main shop on Corso Como, there is also an outlet not too far away by Garibaldi Station, located at the end of a bizarre street. If you look hard enough you may find some bargains, sometime at 40% off retail. For me, the outlets around Milan are much better. That’s coming in the next post.

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After all of the walking, it was finally time for dinner. I had made reservations at a restaurant called Erba Brusca, which is headed by chef Alice Delcourt, who was born in France to a British mother and a French father, but has been in Italy for some time. The restaurant is actually located at the southern edge of the city, but you can still get to it via the metro (MM2 Abbiategrasso), and then with a 15-20 minute walk to the Naviglio Pavese, and you’ll see the restaurant.

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The food. What can I say about the food? It was delicious. Alice came out to explain the Italian menu in English – nearly item by item. We had come across a vegetable called “agretti” and had absolutely no clue what it was, so she brought some out for some sampling 🙂 They actually do grow their own herbs and some vegetables right behind the restaurant.

Okay, enough of the talking, so here are some photos of the wonderful food.

Agretti Saltati
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Pizzoccheri
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Risotto con Foie Gras
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Pollo di Moncucco
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Tarte Tatin
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The walk back to the train station was a great way to get some after-dinner exercise before bed, ready for tomorrow’s trek to the outlet.

Here’s the Piazza del Duomo at night, along with the near-empty interior of the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II.

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