Travel

Italy

Establishment neighborhood
Francescana at Maria Luigia
Piazza della Signoria, 10, Uffizi
Please put this code at the top of each Florence shell p{font-size: 16px !important;line-height:26px !important;} Massimo Bottura’s flagship restaurant Osteria Francescana has three Michelin stars, but Bottura is probably just as well known for saving the Parmigiano Reggiano industry after the catastrophic 2012 earthquake. Now he and his wife, Lara, have extended the Francescana experience into the Emilian countryside. Casa Maria Luigia has just opened and is the Call Me by Your Name dolce far niente escape we spend most of the year fantasizing about. A restored country home with tennis courts, a pool, expansive gardens, and of course—Francescana. Dinner takes place in the carriage house and includes a nine-course tasting menu of all the Osteria’s greatest hits. After this feast to end all feasts, simply cross the courtyard, climb the stairs, and tumble into queen-size bed surrounded by contemporary art from the Botturas’ own collection.
Casa Maria Luigia
Stradello Bonaghino, 56, Modena
Massimo Bottura’s flagship restaurant Osteria Francescana has three Michelin stars, but Bottura is probably just as well known for saving the Parmigiano Reggiano industry after the catastrophic 2012 earthquake. Now he and his wife, Lara, have extended the Francescana experience into the Emilian countryside. Casa Maria Luigia has just opened and is the Call Me by Your Name dolce far niente escape we spend most of the year fantasizing about. A restored country home with tennis courts, a pool, expansive gardens, and of course—Francescana. Dinner takes place in the carriage house and includes a nine-course tasting menu of all the Osteria’s greatest hits. After this feast to end all feasts, simply cross the courtyard, climb the stairs, and tumble into queen-size bed surrounded by contemporary art from the Botturas’ own collection.
Elizabeth Unique Hotel Rome
Via delle Colonnette, 35, Borghese
The Elizabeth Unique Hotel is one of the few boutique luxury hotels within a stone’s throw of the Spanish Steps—but our room was so beautifully appointed, so luxurious, so artful, there was a moment we considered skipping the 2,000-year-old amphitheater altogether and just hanging out in the room. To be fair, you could stay in the hotel for your whole trip and not be wanting for anything. The rooms and common areas lean heavily into contemporary art—walls covered in collages and paintings and hallways adorned with wire sculptures (all curated by Fabrizio Russo of the Russo Art Gallery), and the menu at Bar Bacharach & Bistrot is as elegant (and Italian) as the outdoor patio, which feels lifted from Roman Holiday. But ultimately it was the private sauna (the private sauna!) in our room that did us in. We booked our next trip before we checked out.
Ristorante Daria
Via S. Luigi, 3, Montichiello
There’s this spit of a town in the middle of Tuscany called Monticchiello. It’s ancient and lovely and tourist-free. The only reason you would go to Monticchiello is because you’re lost or you’ve come to eat at Daria. Daria Ristorante is warm and chic (just like the owner herself). And then there’s the food. It’s every famous Tuscan dish—pici al aglione, cingale, pici al ragu—done better than anywhere else. Order a glass of rosso di Montalcino and a bowl of tagliolini al tartufo, warm and delicious and piled high with fresh truffles: It’s a recipe for total bliss. If you’re coming for dinner, come early to wander around town and take in the view of the Val d’Orcia first—then settle in for what may be the best dinner of your life. Closed Wednesdays.
Il Duomo di Milano
Piazza del Duomo, Centro Storico
The construction of Milan’s most famous cathedral started in 1386, and the fabric of the city seems woven into this incredible building, the fifth-largest church in the world. A highlight is the five bronze doors that depict scenes of Milan’s history, and many notable Milanese are buried inside (including one of the architects, Charles Borromeo). The exterior is a panoply of white marble threaded with pink, and the dozens of gothic spires are an icon of the city. Climb up to the roof and walk among some of the thousands of statues, spires, and gargoyles—and take in some of the best views of the city.
Fondazione Prada
Largo Isarco, 2, Morivione
A combination of seven older buildings and three new ones in Porta Romana create this center of contemporary art and culture, all masterminded by Rem Koolhaas and opened in 2015. You’ll find a solid collection of twentieth- and twenty-first-century artworks by the likes of Louise Bourgeois and Anish Kapoor, a cinema showing art house and vintage films, a creative space (designed in conjunction with a neuropediatrician) for kids, and one of Milan’s best bookstores. There’s also, of course, the Wes Anderson–designed Bar Luce—a 1950s-style Milanese café that’s alone worth a visit.
Santa Maria delle Grazie
Piazza di Santa Maria delle Grazie, Zona Magenta
Da Vinci’s The Last Supper captured the moment Jesus announced to his disciples—over dinner—that one of them would betray him. It’s one of the world’s best-known masterpieces, and it’s hidden in the old refectory of this convent, having survived bombing during WWII (workers sandbagged the fresco, sparing it the wreckage suffered by the rest of the building). The structure itself is beautiful, too—especially the Bramante-designed cupola flanked by colonnades, and the cloister inside.
Armani/Silos
Via Bergognone, 40, Zona Tortona
Giorgio Armani opened this cultural hub just a few years ago to celebrate his fortieth anniversary in the fashion business. The “Silos” aspect of the name pays homage to the building’s former life as a grain-storage facility, but the space now holds hundreds of pieces of Armani apparel and accessories that, in their own way, chart how fashion is influenced by society over the decades. Clothing aside, the museum regularly hosts exhibitions of photography and film. The courtyard has a pleasant café for a coffee break after a look around.
Museo Poldi Pezzoli
Via Alessandro Manzoni, 12, Brera
Gian Giacomo Poldi Pezzoli fell in love with the idea of the house-as-museum on his grand tour of Europe in the early 1800s. What is now the Victoria & Albert museum in London—with rooms representing different time periods—left an especially strong impression. The museum is in a neoclassical palazzo that feels like an endless cave of treasures: There are tapestries, armor, paintings, and sculpture, and the radically different décor and genre of each room make this one of the most fascinating museums in the city. We especially like the Dante room, which features an intricately detailed stained-glass window, scenes from The Inferno, and a portrait of the author himself.
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