Around the Quad D’oro

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Italy is scooter-land.

My jet-lag works in opposition when I travel to Europe. I attribute it to zeal and excitement. Upon the first blink, I am raring to go with camera in hand, ready to explore while the rest of the locale remains asleep. It helps that I am a morning person; even at home in New York, the early hours are by far my favorite time of day. I catch neighborhood residents leaving their apartments and walking their dogs, early risers set in motion, and cafes not yet crowded and buzzing. The streets are quieter and noises are more isolated. I can reflect on the architecture, the greenery, and the landscape sans people toing and froing. The city is ripe for discovery, and it feels all mine.

In Milan, similar to other neighborhood-centric cities, the mornings are blissfully tranquil. Construction workers are just arriving on-site at new stores in development in the Quad D’oro. A few businessmen are having their espresso or cappuccini standing at the bar, Corriere della Sera or Il Sole 24 Ore tucked under their arm, the sounds of espresso cups meeting saucers. Chicissimi Milanese make impeccably stylish exits from their palazzi towards their scooters with helmet in hand, a quick hand brush through their hair.

This post is mostly about the Quad D’oro; there are endless cafes and quiet corners in other neighborhoods where mornings are just as serene and enjoyable. Elegant Brera is overflowing with stylish, individualistic cafes and shops. You might also enjoy last year’s Milanese mornings post, as well as an article about one of my favorite lunch restaurants in the city: Il Salumaio di Montenapoleone. 

Where to drink caffè Milanese style:

Cova: Milan’s chicest crowd the bar at this Quad D’Oro classic. Their pastries and chocolates are world class and their window displays are always beautiful. Via Monte Napoleone 8

Marchesi: Charming, old-school institution closer to the Duomo

Where to have a beautiful Milanese lunch in a stunning interior palazzo surrounded by the who’s who:

Il Salumaio di Montenapoleone

Where to rest your head after a day of shopping:

Four Seasons Milan: You might walk right by the entrance to the understated Four Seasons on Via Gesù. Exquisite flower arrangements, a beautiful spa, and a perfectly symmetrical, tranquil interior courtyard are a few of the magnificent offerings at this elegant Four Seasons in the heart of the Quad D’oro. The urban spa designed by renowned architect Patricia Urquiola boasts 1,700 sq ft fitness facilities, a hair salon, and a sleek indoor pool with arched ceilings, invoking a feeling of a luxurious cavern. Embody Milanese living in the Fashion Suite with large French doors opening onto a private 25 square meter terrace. For the speed-seeker, grab the keys of a cherry-red Ferrari and speed through the Lombaria countryside en route to the Ferrari manufacturing plant, where you will receive an exclusive guided tour.

Bulgari Hotel: Hidden on a private street just a few minutes walk from the Quad D’oro in a renovated 18th century building with incredible light, black marble from Zimbabwe, and a 4,000 square meter private garden, the Bulgari Hotel feels like a secret, serene oasis just around the corner from the buzz of the city’s most beautiful shopping streets. With only 58 rooms decorated with teak and oak finishings, the hotel exudes warmth and a quiet intimacy. The chef hails from Naples, and he comes with years of experience in pastry, hence the artistic glass-encased fruit tarts and photograph-worthy sweets that decorate the lounge. Give your muscles a rest at the hotel’s urban spa, and take a dip in the indoor pool after a day on the town.

(Mandarin Oriental opening 2015)

Where to rest your head for easy access to the train for phenomenal day trips to the lakes:

Principe di Savoia

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A reason to walk slowly in Milan: the elegant interior courtyards.

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Principe

Sumptuous room at the Principe di Savoia, very convenient to Milano Centrale station.

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Stunning artwork above our bed.

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The Principe di Savoia has just been updated, and the wood, marble, and glass finishes are heaven.

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One of the dreamiest hotel bathrooms I have ever experience. I would replicate this bagno inch by inch in a heartbeat- everything from the materials, to the size, to the tile backdrop and color scheme- it was just perfect.

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The beautiful, modern tile backdrop over the oversized soaking tub at Principe di Savoia

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Couldn’t get enough of this bathroom at Principe di Savoia

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Our beautiful oversized room at Principe di Savoia

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Admiring one of the countless interior courtyards in the Quad D’oro.

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Prime example of la moda Milanese

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Whimsical sweet treats at the Bulgari Hotel

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Fashion photography anchors the Bulgari Hotel lobby lounge.

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At the Bulgari Hotel

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The Bulgari Hotel is tucked away in the Quad D’oro. It is just a few minutes from the city’s most infamous and beauteous shopping streets, but it is blissfully quiet on a very elegant dead-end street.

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Glass reflections at the Bulgari Hotel

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The bar at the Bulgari Hotel

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Bella surprises around every corner.

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Window shopping in the Quad D’oro.

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The elegant, cobble-stoned streets of the Quad D’oro.

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Milanese scenes.

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The Veranda at the Four Seasons Milan

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Four Seasons Milan

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La Veranda at the Four Seasons Milan

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Fatto in Italia: accents in the Four Seasons Milan

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Reflections in the interior courtyard at the Four Seasons Milan

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Arcades in Milano

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Il Duomo after sunrise

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Scenes of Milan

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Astounding, intricate carving outside of the Lombardia Military offices.

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The colorful Quad D’oro

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Milanese in conversazione

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Milan boasts the most exquisite window displays

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Beauty is around every corner in Milan

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