The Ladybug out and about in Brera, Milan

While constantly looking for secret undiscovered corners of Milan, I sometimes forget to put the right attention to the most known ones. I must confess that I visited some of the most iconic monuments of Milan very late and some of them I still haven’t visited at all. The reason is that I take them for granted somehow and I prefer to look for special corners, not very famous but as magical as the famous ones.

During the last year, also considering the lack of tourists and the possibility to visit all the most famous places in Milan without queuing or waiting for weeks before finding an available spot (as it used to be for visiting Leonardo’s Last Supper for example), I decided to start visiting my town as a tourist.

And I decided to start from the heart of Milan: Brera district.

The occasion was the visit of the “Pinacoteca di Brera”, an incredible museum inside the amazing Brera Palace, a late Baroque building which was erected over the remains of a 14th century monastery of the Umiliati order. The Empress Maria Theresa of Austria founded the Accademia in 1776 and housed it in the Palace. The Pinacoteca was officially established in 1809, even though a first heterogeneous collection with educational purpose existed already from 1776 – and then increased in the following years – alongside the Accademia di Belle Arti, requested by Mary Therese of Austria to offer the students the opportunity to study masterpieces of art close up. The Pinacoteca di Brera’s collection includes several of the greatest masterpieces in the history of art such as Francesco Hayez’s The Kiss, Giovanni Bellini’s Pietà, Andrea Mantegna’s The Dead Chirst and Three Mourners and Bellini’s St. Mark Preaching in Alexandria.

After the visit I headed to the Cenacolo Vinciano, finally! I have wanted to visit one of the most famous paintings in the World, Leonardo’s The Last Supper, for ages but it was so complicated as, due to the many bookings, you could have waited for weeks or months before finding a free 30 minutes slot for the visit. The Covid situation of course made this a bit easier as I could finally book my ticket just two days before my visit! I am very happy that I did it because this painting, dated 1495/1498 and placed in the former refectory of the renaissance monastery next to the Santa Maria delle Grazie church, is such an experience. I realized that I stared at the painting, almost speechless, for more than 10 minutes. It was emotional and powerful at the same time. Now I understand why it is considered Leonardo’s (and the whole Italian Renaissance) masterpiece.

My tourist visit ended with the Santa Maria delle Grazie church, founded in 1459 by Dominican monks after Duke of Milan Francesco I Sforza ordered the church and convent at the site of a prior chapel dedicated to the Marian devotion of St Mary of the Graces. It is today listed as an UNESCO World Heritage Site.

After this incredible artistic tour I decided to have a sweet break at Di Viole di Liquirizia, a super colorful bakery in the heart of Brera with cupcakes and freshly baked cakes in a shabby chic décor. I just needed this little peaceful break before heading to two of my favorite vintage shops in the area: Bottega Rossa and Urzì. Twin shops although very different, they have a parallel family history: the first born was Bottega Rossa, an eclectic vintage shop that maintains old Milan vibes, as it was one of the very first vintage shops in town. It is today one of my favorite vintage shops as I can find there the real taste of the past mixed with the stories told by its adorable owner, Francesco Urzì.

Urzì is the son of Bottega Rossa, literally. It is a more modern shop with amazing rare and designer pieces that made me think “Like father, like son”!

Of course I bought some very rare jewelry pieces, scarves and nightwear at Bottega Rossa, as I usually do when I go there!

There’s so much more to do in Brera but I don’t want to spoil it all now! This was just my little self-dedicated afternoon in the heart of Milan some time ago.

Vintage dress: London Corner Vintage

Vintage bag: Blondie Girl Vintage

Handamde turban: Madame Ilary

Success! You're on the list.

The Ladybug on wearing all the vintage we couldn’t wear in the last year!

How many occasions did we have in 2020 to go out, enjoy a night out with your friends, visiting a museum etc.? Very few I would say, this is why I will still remember that night as one of the best of 2020!

The occasion for a friends reunion was the fabulous exhibition at the Museo Diocesano in Milan of the amazing photographer Inge Morath. It was the first italian retrospective dedicated to the first woman photographer of Magnum Photo agency. More than 170 shoots that told her professional path from the begininnings with Ernst Haas and Henri Cartier-Bresson to her collaborations with the most famous magazines such as LIFE, Paris Match, Vogue etc. Inge Morath was also an insatiable traveler and many of her travel reportages were exposed, as well as portaits of Arthur Miller, Igor Stravinsky, Alberto Giacometti, Pablo Picasso, Audrey Hepburn etc.

The exhibit was also an occasion for an aperitivo in the cloister of the museum and for a dinner with my friends in a lovely secret corner of Milan.

It was also an occasion to bring out some of my new vintage pieces as they were being suffering in my wardrobe for such a long time!

I decided to wear one of my latest additions, a lovely 80’s vintage dress London Corner Vintage, paired with a golden vintage belt from Bottega Rossa in Milan and a vintage rattan bag from La Maison G.

I added a pair of green t-bar shoes from Miss L Fire (you know how much I love this brand), an handmade turban from Madame Ilary and a pair of vintage Trifari earrings from A Rebours Vintage.

As it was one of my few “go-out-outfits” it just needed to be as big and as vintage as I could! I definitely tried to wear all of the things that I haven’t worn in the last months while locked at home and I often think of how many outfits I still will need to bring out for a walk in the next months…let’s hope for a rest of 2021 full of new occasions to wear our vintage clothes and accessories!

Success! You're on the list.

The Ladybug’s “new normal” vintage shopping session in Milan

I cherish these photos because I totally cherish this moment!

It was a lovely Saturday afternoon beginning of summer (June or maybe beginning of July) I met one of my best friends in Porta Genova for a great vintage shopping session! After three long months of lockdown we could finally meet and try to get back to our usual activities, although in this “new normal” situation!

We started of course from Humana Vintage last shop in Milan, just near Porta Genova, definitely one of my favorite so far! We had a strong vintage session, leaving the shop with tons of vintage clothes and I was especially proud as my friend is a “vintage beginner” but she found so many interesting pieces at very good prices (Humana is one of the best places to visit for vintage bargains!).

Near Porta Genova during a couple of months Wundermarkt had a very special edition of its traditional market due to the Covid-19 situation in a beautiful space, even if with very few stallers compared to the usual markets. The very good thing about this session is that my beloved Francesca from London Corner Vintage was there and we could finally meet for real! Also, I had the chance to see part of their great vintage collection and of course to finally buy in person and not just online!

In fact, however I use to buy online, I still find buying vintage in person a completely different experience! Not only you can try the pieces but you can touch them, feel their story and have a better view of the patterns and fabrics, which is super important and rewarding when we buy vintage!

We ended the shopping session with plenty of new vintage clothing but we decided to celebrate this fruitful session with a lovely dinner with other friends on the Navigli!

My sustainable outfit of the day: vintage dress from Humana Vintage (I got it during the inauguration day of the same shop we visited that afternoon!); also the vintage navy bag is from Humana Vintage but from their shop in Turin! Vintage headscarf from La Maison G, Vintage belt from London Corner Vintage (online!) and thrifted Ash sandals from the lovely A bag of Chips shop! Handmade rings and earrings (from Made in Camper!).