March 30 2010
Milan has seen the gentrification of edgy neighbourhoods such as Tortona, in part as a result of the annual Salone Internazionale del Mobile (April 14-19; www.cosmit.it). The iconoclastic designers who have popularised the Fair have a provocative new place to stay: Maison Moschino (www.hotelphilosophy.com; doubles from €484) is housed in an 1840s train station on the Viale Monte Grappa, with 65 rooms and suites designed in firm keeping with fashion designer Franco Moschino’s surrealist-absurdist aesthetic (second, third and fourth pictures). Beds are upholstered in swathes of crinoline like extravagant ball gowns, and birch trees grow from floor to ceiling in fantastical canopies.
Should a respite from the swell of Fair attendees prove necessary, an 18th-century villa on the shores of Lake Como has just become available to let. Villa Giuseppina (first picture; www.sjvillas.co.uk; €3,570 per person per week, based on a group of 14) sits on the lake’s western shore overlooking the town of Bellagio. Seven bedrooms, two large living rooms, a dedicated family floor and a discrete spa and sauna are all the work of the design team at Etro. There’s also a Riva yacht and a host in the form of Silvano Giraldin, former maître d’ and manager at Le Gavroche in London.