Eat, Stay, Play

by Jen Pinkston

When we first began planning our summer collection shoot, we knew we wanted to go to Italy. Not only was it meaningful to Katie as the backdrop for so many formative experiences, but it felt quintessential to the pieces in this collection—rich colors, Romanesque-inspired patterns, and a playfulness that Italians know so well. Milan bubbled to the top unexpectedly when a couple of Salone invitations came our way, so we decided to work it into the itinerary. It is a major fashion heavyweight, after all. This storied city completely surpassed all of my expectations. It’s hard to compete in a country with so many outstanding cities—Rome, Venice, Florence, and the list goes on—but Milan has a charm and sensibility all her own.

Located in the Scala neighborhood, it can’t be overstated that the coffee and pastries at Loste are incredible. Over in Centro Storico, Fioraio Bianchi is the most idyllic combination of floral shop and cafe.   

There are a myriad of Giacomo concepts and locations spread throughout the city and, while we didn’t dine at all of them, rumor is they’re all delicious. We had dinner at Giacomo Arengario near the Duomo and I am still thinking about the ravioli. 

For a casual lunch, pick up a sandwich at Bar Quadronna. For lunch with a view, ask to sit upstairs at Rovello 18. If you’re a seafood lover, don’t skip out on Langosteria. For dessert (outside of gelato, of course), Mascherpa Tiramisu Shop is equal parts photogenic and delicious. For drinks, head to Bar Basso.

While in Milan, we stayed at Room Mate Giulia and loved its central-to-most-things location next door to the Duomo. For a more luxe stay, we highly recommend Portrait Milano, which has the most beautiful courtyard and is near some of our favorite shopping. In the hip, canal-filled neighborhood of Navigli, stay at Hotel Maison Borella or 21 House of Stories

While only there for a few days, we happened upon some incredibly inspiring shops, designers, and spaces. Our first stop after touching down was La DoubleJ, a brand that calls Milan home and echoes our ‘More is More’ mantra. For a classic Venetian slipper shoe, visit the Vibi Venezia boutique. For your next dinner party, Bitossi Home has some of the most chic dinnerware. (I plan on stocking up soon!) I’m not entirely sure how to fully encompass the experience that was Raw Milano, as it feels part museum, part home, and part retail shop. I left with candles, tea, and feeling endlessly inspired. Next door to the Prada Foundation is the Wes Anderson-designed Bar Luce, filled with arcade games, beautiful pastries, and cleverly-colored tables and chairs. 

While we don’t always report on things like a blowout, the blow dry at the Bvlgari Hotel salon is outstanding, complete with a massage chair and neck and shoulder massage in a super chic and tranquil space. 

For art, we love the 20th century collection at Casa Museo Boschi di Stefano and the art and design museum, Triennale di Milano