Districtguide 0219 Isola 3 Klein

District Gui­de: Iso­la, Milano

seen by Viktor Schnur, photographer

The twists and turns in Victor’s care­er jour­ney are qui­te uni­que: after having gra­dua­ted in phi­lo­so­phy and cogni­ti­ve sci­ence, he worked in a hos­pi­tal rese­ar­ching in the field of neu­ro­sci­ence. Quick­ly, he noti­ced some­thing important was mis­sing from his life — name­ly, crea­ti­vi­ty. After just one year, he deci­ded to fol­low in his grandfather’s foots­teps in adver­ti­sing. And here he is now, working as a free­lan­ce crea­ti­ve stra­te­gist and pho­to­gra­pher. Milan’s neigh­bor­hood of Iso­la is his per­fect phy­si­cal coun­ter­part, always sti­mu­la­ting his mind and sen­ses. Even though there’s not much left of the area’s dark past, whe­re cri­mi­nals used to hide from aut­ho­ri­ties, it still remains true to its name which means island. It’s a diver­se isle in the midst of the city, attrac­ting free spi­rits from around the globe.

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Iso­la is a crea­ti­ve and inter­na­tio­nal area, full of adver­ti­sing agen­ci­es, gra­phic design stu­di­os, art gal­le­ries and vin­ta­ge shops.“

Some­ti­mes you’re lucky and dis­co­ver tho­se rare aban­do­ned pla­ces in the midst of reno­va­ted buil­dings and new parks: Via Pepe is one of tho­se untouched are­as. Iso­la Pepe Ver­de has its ori­gin in an occu­p­ied shared gar­den whe­re locals could plant vege­ta­bles, take their child­ren for a play, and orga­ni­ze events on topics from natu­re to neigh­bor­hood. Becau­se the­re was such a big inte­rest and the results were so ama­zing you can now go the­re every day, have a tea, play table ten­nis or even watch a movie in their open air cine­ma during warm sum­mer nights.

1. Iso­la Pepe Ver­de | Via Gugliel­mo Pepe, 10, 20159 Milano

Do you have one cra­zy memo­ry that will fore­ver be asso­cia­ted with Iso­la? A few years ago I impro­vi­sed a gig in the midd­le of the neigh­bor­hood, with some friends of mine who are mem­bers of an indus­tri­al band – just a gui­tar, a sin­ger, two drum­sticks and a cou­p­le of trash bins. Sur­pri­sin­gly, nobo­dy rai­sed a com­p­laint becau­se of the noi­se and sud­den­ly we had a huge crowd lis­tening to us, other peop­le joi­ned, and we play­ed all evening long. Iso­la real­ly embraces crea­ti­vi­ty. Always!

The long-estab­lis­hed locals hang out at Wasa­bi. Even though you can never be sure when or if the bar will be open, you should still drop by — you wouldn’t want to miss out on the gre­at drinks, rare selec­tion of liqu­ors, the cozy atmo­s­phe­re and the live blues or jazz music. You can’t real­ly tell if Wasabi’s owned by Mela­nie or her dog Pitou! It’s a legen­da­ry place whe­re all sorts of musi­ci­ans (famous or not) and locals enjoy the bar’s cha­rac­ter which is high­ly influ­en­ced by the rich histo­ry of blues.

2. Wasa­bi | Via Anto­nio Pol­laiuo­lo, 8 bis, 20159 Mila­no, @wasabisola

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When you want to impress your date, it’s best to take them to Piaz­za Archin­to. As Iso­la is get­ting gen­tri­fied real­ly quick­ly, new bars and restau­rants are ope­ning ever­y­day, new resi­dents are fil­ling the neigh­bor­hood which makes some peop­le con­cer­ned that the ori­gi­nal spi­rit of the area is get­ting lost. Howe­ver, if there’s one thing that can keep the spi­rit ali­ve it’s Piaz­za Archin­to, com­mon­ly cal­led Piazzet­ta” — a small squa­re with a few bars and ple­nty of diver­se people.

For lunch and ape­ri­tivo the place to be defi­ni­te­ly is La Can­ti­net­ta, one of the oldest tra­di­tio­nal bars in the area, run by Luca and his mother. It’s always crow­ded and inte­res­ting peop­le are ming­ling around. You will almost cer­tain­ly meet one of the many neigh­bor­hood legends here!

After din­ner you find the best — and afford­a­ble — drinks at Vinyl Pub. It’s a small pub with its walls plas­te­red with the covers of the best albums in music histo­ry. Here the music is good, the dis­cus­sions noi­sy, and things can esca­la­te quickly…

3. La Can­ti­net­ta Piaz­za­le | Car­lo Archin­to 7, 20159 Milano

4. Vinyl Pub | Piaz­za­le Car­lo Archin­to 9, 20159 Mila­no, @vinylpubmilan

A hid­den gem is Mica­me­ra! It is hea­ven for pho­to­gra­phy lovers! With more than 5000 tit­les, it’s got one of the world’s lar­gest selec­tions of pho­to­gra­phy books ran­ging from rare copies from the 30s to real­ly expe­ri­men­tal and inter­na­tio­nal zeit­geist edi­ti­ons. Every time I need to relax after work and get new crea­ti­ve sti­mu­la­ti­on I come here, have a nice chat with the owner, Fla­vio, who then gives me an expert tour through his care­ful­ly cura­ted assort­ment while sharing his know­ledge. They regu­lar­ly orga­ni­ze work­shops and exhi­bi­ti­ons with lea­ding inter­na­tio­nal artists, but also have a good intui­ti­on when it comes to new talents.

5. Mica­me­ra | Via Medar­do Ros­so, 19, 20159 Mila­no, @micamera_milan

Why does your job per­fect­ly match your city? I’ve never seen any other city that’s capa­ble of being dyna­mic and quiet at the same time, that is super crea­ti­ve but also respect­ful towards tra­di­ti­ons, that is pro­vo­ca­ti­ve but never offen­si­ve. In Milan, if you work in adver­ti­sing — but also in art, design, or fashion — you’ll always find peop­le wil­ling to inno­va­te the sce­ne and break with bounda­ries, but still suc­ceed in crea­ting beau­ty and ele­gan­ce. The ener­gy of the peop­le here is so strong!

How do you spend a Satur­day in your district? Every Satur­day there’s a local mar­ket in Iso­la whe­re I often meet up with friends to buy some fresh and local food. Then we spend the rest of the day coo­king, eating and chat­ting all tog­e­ther… At least until it’s time for the aperitivo! 

6. Local Mar­ket Iso­la | Via Gariglia­no (Piaz­za­le Lagos­ta), 20159 Milano

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Some­ti­mes the hec­tic life in the city makes me want to take a break whe­re I can enjoy silence and beau­ty. Milan’s archi­tec­tu­re is cha­rac­te­ri­zed by high buil­dings and small streets; in Iso­la, howe­ver the­re are a few spots whe­re you can expe­ri­ence some­thing like a pan­ora­ma view at the sky. When the sun sets, grab a few beers and visit one of the­se spots:

Built over the rail­way, Caval­ca­via Bus­sa wows with several kilo­me­ters of open space, per­fect to watch the sun­set without irri­ta­ting buil­dings in sight. If you want to see the sun set bet­ween the beau­ti­ful glass towers of Milan’s tal­lest buil­ding, Tor­re Uni­Credit, it’s best to go to the new­ly con­struc­ted park Biblio­te­ca degli Able­ri — sim­ply breathtaking.

7. Caval­ca­via Euge­nio Bus­sa, 20124 Milano

8. Biblio­te­ca degli Able­ri | Via Gaeta­no de Cas­til­lia, 18 – 20, 20124 Milano

16 Juni 2019 · NEUBAU EYEWEAR
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