Quadrilatero della Moda - 2

Italy, Milan Guide (A): Quadrilatero della Moda - 2

Continue discovering Milan's Golden Rectangle shopping in unique historical shops which established here centuries ago, giving birth to the history of fashion. In this second half of the tour we'll enter Via della Spiga and its surroundings, finding out where Maria Callas's fashion designer had her atelier, entering Milan's fashion museum and having lunch where Italian and international fashion jet-set has.
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Walk Route

Guide Name: Quadrilatero della Moda - 2
Guide Location: Italy » Milan
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Article (A))
# of Attractions: 11
Tour Duration: 2.0 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.8 km
Sight(s) featured in this guide: Via della Spiga   Piquadro   Sermoneta Gloves   Calzoleria Rivolta   D&G's old fashioned barber shop   Bagutta restaurant   Palazzo Morando   Biki's former atelier   Via Gesù   Museo Bagatti Valsecchi   Via Borgospesso  
Author: Morena Menegatti
Author Bio: Morena Menegatti is a journalist who's been working for over 20 years in the communication field, developing important experiences on traditional and digital media (internet, sat tv, web tv, radio, newspapers and magazines), focusing on different audiences. She's been dealing mainly with tourism, technology and social and multimedia communication. She lives between Milan, Rome and Ferrara, in Italy, and loves travelling and photographing.
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Via della Spiga

1) Via della Spiga

Via della Spiga (in English, Ear street) is considered as one of the most magnificent streets of the world. As a pedestrian precinct, walking along its narrow path is simply amazing and should you do it by night, it would throw you in a dreamy atmosphere between lines of shining windows, just like Alice in Wonderland. Not sure where its name comes from, some suggest it refers to an ancient family called Spiga, while others point out that at number 22 a plate still reads: “all those asking for peace here where the ear grows will be called peace”, which suggests that in the past Milan should have been a lot smaller.
2
Piquadro

2) Piquadro

When Piquadro was founded in 1987 by Marco Palmieri, he still was a student who decided to produce leather goods for third parties. Ten years later, Piquadro becomes a brand which considers design, functionality and technology in professional and travel leather products as a must. Through the years they specialize in highly functional, technological, performing and innovative business bags and accessories whose design expresses all the originality and elegance of Italian style. Today, they make useful, techy and elegant items for everyday life, using leather for bags, accessories and jackets, giving modern shape and original interpretation to the traditional leather craftsmanship. Open Mon 3-7 pm, Tue-Wed 10am-2pm and 3-7 pm, Thu-Sat 10am-7pm. Closed on Sundays.
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Sermoneta Gloves

3) Sermoneta Gloves

Sermoneta Gloves was born in Rome in the 1960’s as a family owned artisan workshop. Its founder, Giorgio Sermoneta, opened its first shop at the Spanish Steps exclusively specializing in gloves. Originally black or brown, gloves were used as a protection against cold rather than as a fashion accessory. Thanks to Giorgio Sermoneta, they were transformed into cult status accessories, for the first time coming in a multitude of colors and shades. Style, tradition, quality and research are nowadays the distinctive touch of Sermoneta’s gloves who need the expertise, skills and precision of at least 10 artisans per pair to be produced. Open Mon 3-7 pm, Tue-Wed 10am-2pm and 3-7 pm, Thu-Sat 10am-7pm. Closed on Sundays.
4
Calzoleria Rivolta

4) Calzoleria Rivolta

Calzoleria Rivolta is an Italian brand whose story lies in the art of shoemaking, combining elegance, quality and style, recalling the most authentic Italian craft’s traditions and values. Its story began with the shop opened by Enrico Rivolta in 1883 in Via Gesù in Milan. From the very beginning, Calzoleria Rivolta stood out for its ability to satisfy the most exacting customers with its exquisitely handcrafted shoes made to measure. Over a century later, Calzoleria Rivolta’s shop is today in Via della Spiga, where Fabrizio Rivolta is driving the business paying particular attention to taking highly accurate foot measurements through a specific technology and using them to adapt the proper lengths, volumes and proportions to craft a traditional mold. The result is a perfect fit, conforming to the shape of each client’s foot, simultaneously delivering a unique and elegant visual statement. This technology allowed Calzoleria Rivolta to give new life to their original models, earning a special mention in Guido Vergani’s Dictionary of Fashion. Entering the elegant store in Via della Spiga clients have a pleasing sensory experience through the possibility to participate in the choice of design, materials and colors for their own bespoke shoes. Thanks to Rivolta’s enhanced reality dressing rooms, customers can also wear their virtual in-progress handcrafted shoes, watching how they will result. Calzoleria Rivolta is ultimately about experiencing the pleasure of walking. Open Mon 3-7 pm, Tue-Wed 10am-2pm and 3-7 pm, Thu-Sat 10am-7pm. Closed on Sundays.
5
D&G's old fashioned barber shop

5) D&G's old fashioned barber shop

Dolce & Gabbana’s barber shop is the special place you should attend to have a “designer” old style shave. The shop itself has a contemporary look, embellished by two ancient armchairs. It’s built on two levels: downstairs you’ll find all most recent fragrances for men while upstairs is the salon managed by Roberto Cacciola. The idea is to revive the old tradition of manual razors shaving that long survived in Italy but apparently lost appeal in latest years due to more and more hectic ways of life. Sitting in Dolce&Gabbana’s barber shop will help you relax relying upon Cacciola’s expertise. Open 10am-1pm and 3-7pm. Closed Sundays and Mondays.
6
Bagutta restaurant

6) Bagutta restaurant

Bagutta’s custom is amongst the most exclusive in Milan. Models, tailors, designers, singers, poets, writers, editors, painters, journalists, photographers, actors and actresses, politicians: the Italian and worldwide elite chooses this ancient and truly typical Milanese restaurant at lunch or dinner. Such cultural environment was fertile ground to found the very first Italian literary prize, named after the restaurant. The Bagutta Prize was born in 1926 and since then Bagutta’s regular customers are called “Baguttiani” and have lunch or dinner in a specially dedicated room. They soon started asking for gala dinners to honor those celebrities who had done something important over the years and during such occasions painter Mario Vellani Marchi started caricaturing these people onto the restaurant menus. Today, these wonderful 170 “occasional paintings” are true works of art embellishing the walls of the restaurant. The gallery of this restaurant-museum can be visited for free and, amongst the portrayed celebrities, you will recognize Wanda Osiris, Arturo Toscanini, Ingrid Bergman, Claudio Abbado and Riccardo Bacchelli, the writer who first discovered this restaurant in 1924. The restaurant is closed on Sundays. The other days it opens 10am-4pm and 7pm-1am.
7
Palazzo Morando

7) Palazzo Morando

Fashion is not meant to be frozen in a museum, but at the same time Milan couldn’t avoid having a place to celebrate the history of vogue. Morando Attendolo Bolognini palace, better known as “Palazzo Morando” is the best place Milan could find for this purpose, both for the fantastic location within the “Quadrilatero della Moda” and for the XVIII century building already hosting the “Museo di Milano”, including a series of paintings representing the evolution of the city. After the latest building renovation also the almost unknown but very rich wardrobe of the “Civiche Raccolte d’Arti Applicate”, housed at Castello Sforzesco, has been given the chance to display here. These collections include over 6,000 items: from popular clothes dating back to the XVIII century to contemporary haute couture dresses, from hats to tails, from shoes to fans shifting periodically in the sumptuous rooms of Palazzo Morando. The museum opens from Tue to Sun, from 9 am to 1 pm and from 2 pm to 5.30 pm. Daily 10am-8pm during Spring and Summer.
8
Biki's former atelier

8) Biki's former atelier

Between the 40’s and the 60’s the Italian queen of fashion certainly was Elvira Leonardi Bouyeure, better known as Biki. Excellent couturière, but also mistress of life and manners, she became the dressmaker of all the upper-class ladies of Milan. Her major testimonial was Maria Callas of whose transformation into the chic and refined lady she had become was due to Biki’s education to elegance lessons. With Germana Marucelli and Jole Veneziani, Biki’s been one of the creators of “made in Italy”, especially starting from the Seventies. As a “talent scout”, she discovered Ottavio Missoni. In the latest part of her career she established her house and atelier at 15, Via Sant’Andrea, close to Via della Spiga, where she died in 1999, as a plate on the building states.
9
Via Gesù

9) Via Gesù

Right in the heart of Italy’s sleekest and most fashionable shopping district, this street “hides” a XV century former nunnery kept by “Suore del Gesù”, now home to the Four Seasons Hotel (8, Via Gesù), where Brioni, the exclusive brand of tailored and made-to-measure clothing, holds a suite for his special customers. His atelier is at number 2, but no brand is visible from the street. Only a precious cedarwood sculpture representing a man’s jacket overlooks the street from an anonymous window. At 5, Via Gesù, Museo Bagatti Valsecchi’s courtyards overlook the street. They were built out of scraps of old constructions, such as the Lazzaretto columns, a fountain designed by the Bagatti Valsecchi brothers, featuring Nettuno and several XIV-XV century sculptures. At the back entrance to the museum, a Latin inscription reads “this house is friend to any guest”.
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Museo Bagatti Valsecchi

10) Museo Bagatti Valsecchi

Between Via Santo Spirito and Via Gesù there’s a splendid dwelling place dating back to 1883, but inspired by the XVI century’s Lombard luxury houses. It’s called Museo Bagatti Valsecchi and it’s the ancient house of the noblemen Fausto and Giuseppe Bagatti Valsecchi. The Bagatti Valsecchi brothers were so fascinated by the Renaissance that the whole house was furnished with precious pieces of that period. The atmosphere is very involving: while walking from room to room everything looks so painstaking that you really expect the householders to arrive at any moment and offer you a cup of tea. Several Lombard craftsmen were involved in the realization of every single detail of the building in order to decorate it as a Renaissance house while the Bagatti Valsecchi brothers were keeping on looking for and collecting carpets, furniture, guns, ceramics, glasses, jewels, tapestries and utensils from the XVI Century for a daily use, as if they belonged to that age. Other very precious pieces preserved in the house are ivory solar clocks, ancient music instruments, Venetian crystals, golden tablets boxes and majolicas coming from the most prestigious Italian manufacturers. The museum is open daily (except on Mondays) 1-5.45pm. Opposite Museo Bagatti Valsecchi, at 7, Via Santo Spirito, another building belonging to the family is nice to see. It’s in a Lombard-Bramante XV century style and its internal courtyard is a gem.
11
Via Borgospesso

11) Via Borgospesso

Literally translatable as “thick suburb”, this street was once a very crowded suburb, with houses leaning one against the other, and when you walk along it you still feel the sensation to be in a small Italian village, with people keeping the TV at full volume. The only difference is that here it’s more likely you hear some English channels. At number 12, where the Bice Restaurant, pioneer in proposing Tuscany cuisine in Milan, has been located since 1939, a plate mentions Neera, (pen name of Anna Radius Zuccari) one of the very first Italian women writers, who lived in this building until her death, in 1918.

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