The Porta Garibaldi area is one of the most striking areas of the Lombardi capital, both for its lively atmosphere and its attractive avant-garde architecture. All of this makes it the perfect place to head for a spot of shopping, a classic aperitivi or to experience the famous Milanese nightlife.
Just a 15-minute walk from the Milan city centre, Porta Garibaldi, an elegant neoclassical arch made from stone extracted from the Viggiù quarries, is popular amongst tourists and locals alike. Located nearby is Eataly, a genuine gourmet temple that is sure to delight lovers of Italian cuisine, who are guaranteed to enjoy perusing its multiple stands.
Fashion and design enthusiasts, meanwhile, will love strolling down Corso Como. This famous avenue is home to many interesting shops, such as 10 Corso Como: a multifunctional space located in a former Milanese palace that was remodelled to house brands such as Balenciaga, Prada and Paul Smith, as well as an art gallery, a bookshop and a café. Nowadays, Corso Como is considered to be a key artery of Milanese fashion and design, so it’s not uncommon to cross paths with a celebrity as you head from shop to shop.
As you leave Corso Como along the Via Vicenzo Capelli, you’ll arrive at the magnificent Piazza Gae Aulenti: a futuristic, Instagram-friendly square that was inaugurated in 2012 as a result of an urban rehabilitation project concerning the Garibaldi, Varesine and Isola neighbourhoods. The famous Argentinian architect César Pelli was the main mastermind behind the project. He also designed the square’s Unicredit Tower which, standing 231 metres tall, became the tallest building in the country. The square, whose name pays homage to the prestigious architect who also rehabilitated the Orsay Museum and the National Museum of Catalonia, acquires special magic when the sun goes down. It is at this point that the square’s Solar Tree lights up: an original solar-powered LED light installation that rises high into the skies.
Before darkness falls, we recommend heading to the park of the Biblioteca degli Alberti to admire the Bosco Verticale: a beautiful residential complex designed by Borei Studio in which architecture and nature embrace one another. Its name, which translates to “Vertical Forest”, is an accurate description of the project: two apartment towers (measuring 80 and 112 meters high, respectively) whose façades are completely covered with plants and whose leaves change colour with the seasons. When it received the International Highrise Award —one of the world’s most important architectural prizes— in 2014, its judging panel called it “the most beautiful and innovative high-rise building in the world”. The finished project is simply wonderful, not only aesthetically but also ecologically, as the impressive plant lattice that covers the two towers absorbs CO2 and dust from the city while producing oxygen and protecting its inhabitants from the sun and noise.
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