Ok, ok - so Fuori Salone (or Design Week) was all the way back in April. But what is this blog if not a great big collection of delayed and outdated posts? Consider it an anthology of nostalgia (much like my Instagram feed actually, which often draws jealous and confused comments from friends who haven't realised I'm actually stuck in rainy England just like them and buried under a pile of papers and data analysis - hence the tardy posting).

But even if I'd posted about it immediately after the event, Design Week would have been over anyway, right? So really, we're two months closer to the next Design Week which technically makes this post slightly more relevant than it would have been back in April...

Ok, enough with the excuses. Here's what we got up to this year:

1. We became lumberjacks

Most years, Fuori Salone has a lot of repeat stuff. But I've never been able to become a lumberjack for the day which was one of the things on offer at the Sensorial Carpentry exhibition. Plaid shirts, beards and aprons were on offer (two of which Michele already had) and guests were encouraged to really interact with the wood in a, um, sensory way...

2. We chose the wallpaper for our future home
Another thing about Design Week - it's usually full of rather wacky things you probably wouldn't ever have in your home unless you happened to be involved in the art world. But I did rather fall in love with the fig wallpaper by Wallpepper who have an excellent range of wallpapers on their website. We also spotted a range of other bits to go in the house such as motorised toilet roll dispensers, beautiful bowls (apparently made from silver spider webs) and a glass cabinet full of gorgeous-looking bottles with no apparent extra purpose.
3. We saw the future (and some other bits that were just plain weird)
Fuori Salone is essentially a city-wide art and design festival. Some exhibitions aren't particularly innovative, some are - and some are a bit too much. This year we saw ideas for future city planning, robot kitchens that control EVERYTHING and leather jackets made out of human skin. Yep. Really.

We also saw a functioning cuckoo clock necklace, some great ideas for saving space in offices whilst keeping them fun and sociable and sustainable woodwork. So it wasn't all too nuts.

And then there was some super pretty retro furniture which helped take our mind off the human skin leather jackets. (Human skin leather jackets?!)
4. We chilled out. In a big way.
There's a lot to see and do at Design Week. It also tends to coincide with that first delicious burst of summer in Milan. Our winter bodies are still trying to acclimatise to the sudden Mediterranean heat that's enveloping the city so rushing around and trying to squeeze everything in can feel like a slow and painful suffocation.

This year we took it a bit slower (thank goodness). We sat in reading corners and lazed about on rooftops and slowly walked through exhibits in empty rooms.
This is such a great idea, I'm definitely doing this with all my coffee table books
And this was a chromatic journey through a series of crematorium incinerators, funeral parlours and prison cells. Charming.
But this pool (which is pretty much my dream pool by the way) was on the other side so it was all cool.
5. We ate a lot. Some of it was free.
One of my top tips for visiting Milan Design Week is keep a beady eye out for the freebies and the cheap stuff. It's not uncommon to find lots of free prosecco wafting about (this tends to be going around in the afternoons and early evening though and we were there primarily in the mornings, boo). The prosecco is also often accompanied by platters of fresh strawberries so stay vigilant!

We managed to pick up some free candy floss and free sweet potato ice cream (which had an odd texture to say the least!) and saved a lunchtime for the pizza place just opposite Lambrate station. It's so so cheap there and so so good. Pizza bianca with zucchini flowers, oh my goodness come back to me.
6. We pretended to be in an artsy, vintage, European movie
Dimorestudio is one of my first memories of Fuori Salone, a few years back. I challenge you to visit their website and not fall in love with their cinematic style. It is absolutely stunning and all-encompassing to experience. We visited fairly early in the morning because the apartment exhibition can get very, very crowded at peak times. If I could only visit one exhibit, this would be it, every single time. They also have excellent taste in music which positively booms through the hallways.
One day, I will live in this place.
6. We became students again
Ok, ok so I'm still a student (and will be until 2019 at the very least, depending on how my PhD write up goes, oh my goodness) but the three of us returned to campus life together for the first time in a while. 

Sorry Exeter, the Università degli Studi di Milano beats you hands down for architecture and style.
Were we drunk at this point? I can't really remember. I just remember sunshine and music and feeling kind of hazy.

Also #lovethisgirl

So there you have it, Milan Design Week/Fuori Salone 2016 in a nutshell.

In previous years, I've delved into it in much more depth (you can see some more, rather extensive posts here - also good for general pics of Milan if you're thinking of planning a trip, which you absolutely should) but this year we only visited a few little bits.

It runs every year for a week in April and I really recommend that you go. It's a fantastic way to see the city and can be combined with general sightseeing for a busy and bustling week that truly sees the city burst into life (and come on, free prosecco, how could you not?)

I'll be booking next year's trip shortly...