Hanging out in Milan during Fashion Week is like being thrown into the pages of Vogue magazine's September issue. Streets are overflowing with style and the very stylish-chic models dripping in gorgeous attire, avant-garde editors chatting with dapper actors and actresses, fashion forward writers and photographers, and ever present gangs of paparazzi and glitterati. This is the week when Milan's fashion fabulousness is revved up about 1,000 percent. Since everyone needs to idle once in while, here are five ways to relax during Milan Fashion Week.
When you need to loose yourself for a few hours, head to the Stazione Centrale, Milan's main railway station and testament to turn-of-the-century architecture. You can spend hours gazing at its incredible Art Deco and Liberty ornament, monumental lines and luscious marble. For some enlightenment, head to the platforms, and enjoy the light streaming through the 1930s-era steel canopies.
Milan's mecca for meditation. The picture perfect park has a reflecting pond, romantic footbridges, triumphal arch, Renaissance castle and art museums. Whatever headspace you need can be found here. The 15th century Castello Sforzesco houses art from more two millennia, including Michelangelo's Rondanini Pietà. On the other side of the park, the 1930s expo hall Triennale shows off contemporary art and design.
The Last Supper:
Leonardo da Vinci's miraculous masterpiece hangs almost unassumingly in the refectory of the Convent of Santa Maria della Grazie. Placed on Unesco's World Heritage List in 1980, the refectory protects its famed painting and amazing architecture by permitting only a limited amount of visitors daily. Think of it as mindful meditation, and that allotted quarter of an hour visit will be the best fifteen minutes of your day.
Caffè Cova and Via Montenapoleone:
If you need to relax after tearing through Via Montenapoleone and its shops, the only spot is Caffè Cova, an old world pastry shop and caffe. Though Cova's pastries are more than delicious (try the budino di riso), the aperitivo and presentation are show stopping. Black tie serves cater drinks like Negroni sbagliati with a sampling of beautiful mignons, tiny and colorful hors d'oeuvres of salmons, patè and cheese.
Milan's charming canal district, Navigli, is great, day or night, for walking alongside the canals, and side streets. Cute boutiques, eateries, bars and pubs pepper the mainly pedestrian neighborhood. Head here in the late to relax with an aperitivo, or stay later for to catch the thriving dinner and dopo cena scene.