Whenever anyone asks me where to go in Milan, I always say Piazza Gae Aulenti.
It's the brand new, shiny part of the city that's still undergoing exciting developments. The piazza itself forms a bridge between central Milan and what's known as the "Isola" (island) district, a rather hipster area which used to be somewhat cut off due to the train lines at Garbaldi FS nearby.
New shops and bars continue to pop up around the piazza, a new community space has been constructed, a new park is on the horizon and the new metro line passes right by - it's all new, new, new, new.
And for a limited time only (until 31 Oct), this inconspicuous little structure is offering the chance to experience the whole of Italy in 3D:
I'd walked past it at least twenty times before I bothered to go in and have a look. It's a free visual and audio show, with images from the Italian landscape and culture projected in 360 degrees, accompanied by some of the finest Italian classical music - it's quite a moving experience!
It's best experienced inside the Panorama theatre but for those of us who aren't going back to Milan any time soon (sob sob), here's a video of the experience:
Again, it really is well worth a trip, especially for any other Italophiles out there! It's been open since May but I haven't really been around this summer so only discovered it towards the end of its stay.
And even if you don't make it and plan on visiting the city some other time, I'd still recommend exploring the area.
The piazza definitely bursts to life more than ever during the summer when the pavement cafes overflow and children and dogs run through the water fountains to cool off. By night, the entire space becomes one giant bar area with games tables and cushions and chairs to lounge around on.
But don't fear! Even with winter on its way, there's still plenty to keep you occupied:
And it's the perfect spot for an after-dinner passeggiata...
Queueing for ice cream at 10pm; my kind of country!
If you follow the bridge away from the piazza and towards the new residential skyscrapers, you come across a new park (not the one I mentioned earlier - this is another new park. Everything is new!) Here you can lounge on the brand new grass, looking around at the huge, brand new villas worth millions and millions of euros sitting opposite brand new business headquarters - right on the edges of the historic city!
It's pretty cool in the dark although I do prefer this part in the daytime
A green oasis in the heart of the city.
I miss it so much!