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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

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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