Milan is known for its industrial heart, its fashion catwalks and, at this time of year, its proximity to surrounding ski hills. But designer and Italian native Enrico Marone Cinzano knows it for the handiwork of eightysomething Mario Caraceni.
"He's the real McCoy. He makes you the Clark Gable suits like nobody else does. I always go to him," says Cinzano, who acknowledges the rest of us might need an introduction to get a suit cut by the top atelier.
Here, Cinzano, a well-travelled entrepreneur working on his fourth collection of sculptural and nature-inspired furniture, shares five places where any visitor can find beauty and craftsmanship in Milan.
"She's really a forward-thinking talent scout. She has a keen sense of aesthetics and a key sense of trend. She has a gallery in Milan. It's a beautiful space featuring furniture, objets d'art, decorative items, porcelain and lighting. Orlandi represents a lot of famous artists – Nacho Carbonell; she worked with Tom Dixon – and she's also quite iconic."
14/16 Via Matteo Bandello, rossanaorlandi.com
Corso Como 10
"There's a very famous shop called Corso Como. It's where the new fashion appears. I go there for the books. They have an interesting book section upstairs – beautiful, with titles on art and fashion, and curiosities. It's very cultured." 10 Corso Como,
"There is a pastry shop called Sissi. It's very old school, not particularly historic or anything. But there's something extremely humane about the owners. The care, attention and the pride of what they do makes the whole experience heartwarming. It's quite elegant. It's not one of those typically grand Milanese things. You get classic."
6 Piazza Risorgimento
"Lorenzi sells a lot of things, for many price points. They make steel knives that are worked to look like wood grain. It's called Damascus steel. It was used in Middle Eastern sword making. It's just beautiful. It's incredibly tough material. It looks almost Japanese. It has a very delicate counterbalance pattern. Very elegant."
1 Corso Magenta, o-lorenzi.it
"Pinacoteca Brera is a collection of paintings, very well known. They have one called the Lamentation of Christ by Mantegna. That painting is a masterpiece, but the whole collection is very beautiful and covers many periods. Now that I think of it, I realize everything I like about Milano, which is quite a cold city, very grey, are all these extremely heartwarming things. Because I think Milanese are judged to be rather cold as an industrial city, but there is a side of them that is quite warm." 28 Via Brera, brera.beniculturali.it
This interview has been edited and condensed.