Milan Design Week for Dummies
Milan Design Week for Dummies.

Milan 2022 – After two quieter years, the most important design event will go on show again with its usual fireworks. Whether you are a veteran or a new entry we guess you wouldn’t like to ricochet here and there or queue for ages. That’s why we wrote down this ‘Milan Design Week guide for dummies.’

Milan Design Week Guide for Dummies. A tram at Arco della Pace - Photo by Enrico Zilli.
Milan Design Week Guide for Dummies. A tram at Arco della Pace – Photo by Enrico Zilli.

SAFETY – Italy has relieved almost all Covid-19 restrictions but you might be asked to wear an FFP2 mask somewhere. Keep it in your pocket just in case, and keep safe. FFP2 masks can be bought in supermarkets, pharmacies and tobacconists.

Inspired in Barcelona: In and Out - PHOTO courtesy of BCD.
Inspired in Barcelona: In and Out – All images, courtesy of BCD.

GETTING INTO TOWN AND ACCOMMODATION – Milan is very easy to reach by plane or train. There are fixed taxi tariffs from airports to the city or the fair. If you haven’t booked your accommodation, hurry up! You might still find some spare flats on Airbnb, but do not hope for affordable hotel fares. 

GETTING AROUND – The public transport system is efficient – the daily ticket costs 4,50 € – and design districts can be explored on foot. Comfy shoes are mandatory. During rush hours, taxis are not easy to find. Call (+39) 02 4040 or (+39) 028585 to book a cab. Do not use the car, as parking lots are more than a mirage and there is a fee to drive through the city centre. Alternatively, you can download and use bike-sharing. Check RideMovi, Lime and Dott.

Entrance of Salone del Mobile.Milano -Photo by Salone del Mobile 2018
Entrance of Salone del Mobile.Milano – Photo by Salone del Mobile.

THE FAIR – Back to business – Al lavoro, in Italian – Salone del Mobile.Milano is located just outside the city. The most practical way to reach it is by tube – 4,00 € return ticket; if you pay contactless, remember to tap your card when you exit to avoid fines or extra charges.

Buy here your Salone ticket in advance, as buying it there it’s a maelstrom! Once inside, get one free guide and, if you haven’t done it yet, plan your route before plunging into the design drome! During rush hours, the metro and the traffic are a nightmare. Leave at least half an hour before closing time to avoid congestions.

Visitor at Euroluce - Photo by Salone del Mobile.
Visitor at Euroluce – Photo by Salone del Mobile.

FUORISALONE – The program of exhibitions and parties taking over the city is massive. Avoid queues by registering online to Superstudio (free). Dedicate at least half a day to each design district.

Fifth Ring by MAD Architects - Photo by MAD Architects.
MAD Architects exhibition @ Fuorisalone.

THE DESIGN DISTRICTS – Near Duomo square check the INTERNI Magazine installations in the stunning cloisters of Milan University Statale [MM1 San Babila]. Nearby, you can walk to the 5 Vie design district. Meander through the quiet cobbled alleys of this historic neighbourhood to discover stunning installations nested in picturesque courtyards, design and art galleries and ateliers turned into exhibition venues. There are three major locations at Palazzo Litta in Corso Magenta 24 and Masterly at Palazzo Turati in Via Meravigli 7 and SIAM in Via Santa Marta 18.

Masterly @ Palazzo Tirati - Photo via IG, follow @roy_zeropxl
Masterly @ Palazzo Tirati – Photo via IG, follow @roy_zeropxl.

A must-visit pit stop is at the gallery of Milan Design Week’s godmother Rossana Orlandi [Via Mandello 14, MM2 St. Ambrogio] and Nilufar Gallery in the Fashion district [Via della Spiga 32, MM3 Montenapoleone]. Make sure to visit La Triennale di Milano [Via Alemagna 6, MM1,2 Cadorna], a true temple of design hosting major exhibitions, talks and events, as well installations in the exquisite garden designed by renowned artist De Chirico. The brand-new ADI Design Museum hosts further exhibitions [Piazza Compass d’Oro 1, MM5 Monumentale].

Entrance of RO Rossana Orlandi Gallery - Photo via IG, follo @sabrinelj.
Entrance of RO Rossana Orlandi Gallery – Photo via IG, follo @sabrinelj.

Brera Design District [MM2 Brera and Moscova] hosts the flagship stores of some of the leading Italian design brands. Explore the historic district’s cobbled streets and verdant courtyards to discover unexpected installations. The most popular streets are Pontaccio, Via Brera, via Solferino, Piazza San Marco and Corso Garibaldi.

FUORISALONE 2019. Moroso Showroom @ Fuorislaone 2019 - Photo by Leonardo Duggento.
Moroso Showroom @ Fuorislaone 2019 – Photo by Leonardo Duggento.

Tortona [MM2 Porta Genova] is a post-industrial neighbourhood with large exhibition spaces. The main venues are Superstudio and co-working space and cultural platform Base, which hosts curated events, talks, and installations. Along via Tortona and via Savona garages, shops and offices are transformed into exhibition galleries for independent brands.

Crowd at Super Design Show - Photo by Superstudio
The crowd at Super Design Show – Photo by Superstudio.

Villa Necchi Campiglio, a glorious villa in Via Mozart 8 designed by Piero Portaluppi in the 1930s, often hosts major exhibitions.

Interiors of Villa Necchi Campiglio - Photo courtesy of FAI Fondo Ambientr italiano
Interiors of Villa Necchi Campiglio – Photo courtesy of FAI Fondo Ambientr italiano.

Isola design district is located just beyond the new skyscrapers embracing Piazza Gae Aulenti [MM5, Isola]. The new creative epicenter is full of surprises. The Stecca, a former squat now turned into a community exhibition centre, hosts talks and events. Find new inspirations at the Milan Design Market.

Photo via IG, follow @isoladesigndistrict
Photo via IG, follow @isoladesigndistrict.

Indie districts – Design platform Alcova returns to the spectacular urban park of the Centro Ospedaliero Militare di Milano, an extraordinary site of great historic importance for the city of Milan, activating a new section of the complex never before accessible to the public [Via Simone Saint Bon 1]. The Certosa district is the new kid on the block setting itself apart from the abundance of Milan Design Week events and with a focus on sustainability.

Alcova 2021 @ Casa delle Suore - Photo by Delfino Sisto Legnani

Photo by Delfino Sisto Legnani.