5 x Elisabetta Vedovato's favourites in Milan
Elisabetta Vedovato is a graphic designer and illustrator. On a family-trip to Milan, then 13-year-old Elisabetta fell in love with the city. Three years ago she finally moved to Milan, making her dream of studying Graphic Design and Art Direction at NABA Academy come true. Her motto is “try to find beauty in everything”, because she believes beauty really is everywhere, even in ordinary things. She loves drawing, drawing and drawing some more, and of course wandering through the city that inspires her so much. On her Instagram account you can get a glimpse of how she sees the world, and you can check out more of her work on her website.
1) Building Gallery
I love visiting small contemporary galleries, and Milan has plenty. They’re perfect for finding inspiration and getting to know new artists, and the festive atmosphere at openings always puts me in a good mood. Building Gallery is my all-time favourite, because it never disappoints: I haven’t visited a single exhibition there that I didn’t like. It’s the perfect gallery space: modern, minimal and elegant. Being a graphic designer myself, I cannot help but notice the attention to detail, from the paper they print the press releases on, to their visual identity. There’s no other gallery like this in Milan, I recommend visiting it for a meditative and inspirational experience.
There are many reasons I love 121+ bookshop. Firstly, it offers one of the best selections of books on graphic design, art and illustration in the city. They also have a selection of children's books and a small range of beautiful design objects - once I bought a kitchen towel with the intention of framing it and hanging it on my wall, it was that beautiful. Secondly, the interior is unique, and nothing like an ordinary bookshop. You won’t find walls lined with books, because the walls are covered with something else: this space showcases temporary exhibitions by designers, illustrators and graphic designers who fill the space in a new, and often immersive way every time. Check the calendar on the website before you visit: there are frequent workshops, events and readings.
3) Libreria Verso
Yes, another bookshop, sorry. In my defense, it's in a beautiful area (Corso Ticinese, near the Columns of San Lorenzo) full of small independent shops, which is definitely worth a visit. However, I mostly like Verso because it combines books with an unique intimate atmosphere: two small floors and a coffee corner to escape the hustle and bustle. There is also a shelf dedicated to independent magazines, called Verso Kiosk (my favorite area). When there aren’t any talks or presentations happening, you can pick up a book or magazine and take a cappuccino up to the second floor, where you can hang out in the cinema seats near the windows for as long as you want.
I don’t quite know how to explain this place, but I know that every design addict should visit it. It’s near Mudec (the beautiful Culture Museum) and in the same courtyard as Ansaldo Atelier, the Scala Theatre Laboratories where the stage sets and costumes are made. It’s described as 'a place for cultural progress', but it’s also a project space linking technology, innovation and events with creativity, and a free co-working space. The industrial location with its modern interior, the perfect graphic touches, the lovely bistro and the interesting events make BASE one of my favorite place to hang out, but between you and me, the thing I love most is their bimonthly free magazine: a beautifully illustrated booklet that I cherish and collect. Don’t miss it when you go.
5) Villa Belgiojoso Bonaparte Garden
This place has an emotional meaning for me and is truly a hidden gem in Milan. It’s a beautiful small park behind Villa Reale, a building full of beauty: it houses the GAM (Modern Art Gallery), PAC (Contemporary Art Pavillon) and Lùbar, a cafe with a stunning interior. I love walking down the garden’s pathway, admiring the greenery, the elegant rear facade of the palace and watching the children play: the atmosphere is so peaceful. The quiet stream, the little bridge and a very romantic little pavillion only add to its dreamy vibe, but you’ll have to visit it to really understand how wonderful it is.
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The 500 Hidden Secrets of Milan reveals off-the-beaten-track places and interesting details for anyone who's keen to explore Milan's best-kept secrets.
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