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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.

Down­load Map here

Districtguide 0219 Isola 3 Klein

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

Districtguide 0219 Isola 4
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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

Districtguide 0219 Isola 1
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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

Districtguide 0219 Isola 2
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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 Jun 2019 · neubau eyewear