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A Moment in Milan

The peerless Milan Duomo.

Milan often gets a bad press. True, it doesn’t have the ancient feeling of Rome or Florence, or the charm of the Italian fortified cities, but it is one of my favourite places. There is an epic grandeur to Milan that inspires me. It is a city that has managed to blend the old and new very well indeed. Of course the duomo is superb, but even the little streets and alleys that surround it, crammed with unpretentious cafes and small shops are wonderful. It oozes style without becoming arrogant and typifies Italian elegance.

Some examples of old and new architecture: neighbours in harmony.

What to drink: A negroni at the contemporary Trussardi Café is ideal after a hot day.

What to eat: A whole stuffed squid Latteria San Marco (via San Marco, 24). This restaurant has a magic atmosphere. The waiters seem to know everyone, often pausing to sit with them at one of the seven or so tables.

Where to shop: Even if you’re not a pipe smoker it’s worth popping your head intoTabacchi Noli in Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II. This cupboard of a shop smells divine and is full of the fast-talking and finely dressed Milanese pipe cognoscenti. Milan is world renowned for it’s pipe making and a fine assortment are on display.

Milanese architecture is infused with interesting textures - here a couple of columns close up.