Via Tortona - No caption needed
Have you ever thought about a spot, a square, a place which could represent Milan for its real essence?
Yesterday I did, well, actually a reverse process as I found myself thinking “here, right now, in this street, I do feel Milano and its vibes”. I was not in a club, nor a shopping high street, not a museum either in Piazza Duomo; I simply was walking through that street: Via Tortona.
For the newbies: Via Tortona is in the southern district, next to Navigli and Porta Genova to figure it out. The street is swarming with life, it’s at the same time still and sparkly, it’s an ensemble of art, design, history, hitech and - of course - business.
For it’s one of the most acknowledged streets in Milano, you can find culture in the broadest sense. It hosts the headquarters of brands such as Elisabetta Franchi and Giorgio Armani chose it as the home for its foundation Armani/Silos, and at the same time you find cultural hubs such as Mudec, Milan culture museum, and BASE “the hybrid centre for culture and creativity” where you can see emergent artists while studying in its bar. Nevertheless there are several niche venues and many radical chic and historical restaurants such as Osteria del Binari or Bistrot Belle Donne. All surrounded by quirky stickers and whimsical graffiti on the walls.
Always in Via Tortona you can find clothing and tattoo stores. - I actually got my first tattoo in Tattoo Parlour Milano at street number 10 during a cold November afternoon in 2020.
And again design boutiques and high fashion showrooms and Deloitte head office with all those men in suits taking their coffee break at God Save the Food.
When it comes to Fashion or Design Week, Via Tortona bursts into events and I can perfectly remember the struggle in getting into the courtyard of my building during the Design Week or the endless queues of models in line for some brand casting for the two years I used to live there.
I think Via Tortona has created a proper district, with its own attitude which encloses all the different souls living in Milan, Tortona as a way of looking and perceiving the city and its environments.
Moreover there I lived in a three-room apartment full of precious souls, whom I will never thank enough for the good and the power to observe they taught me.
Hence my suggestion is to take a walk there, once in while or at least once before leaving Milan, in order to breathe and see what makes Milano, well, Milano: lust for the unconventional.