The following itinerary lists a range of key sites which we plan to visit. You may expect that the daily activities described in this itinerary be rotated and/or modified in order to accommodate alterations in opening hours, special exhibitions and the availability of designers. The designers included in this itinerary have busy practices and many commitments and their participation in this program will be confirmed closer to our travel date. In exceptional cases, some planned visits may be changed. The tour includes breakfast daily, lunches and evening meals as indicated in the itinerary where: B=breakfast, L=lunch, and D=evening meal.
Day 1: Friday 3 September, Arrive Milan
- Airport transfer for participants arriving on the ASA ‘designated’ flight
- Leonardo da Vinci’s Last Supper
- Guided Tour of Bocconi University, led by a local architect
Group members travelling on the ASA ‘designated’ flight are scheduled to arrive at Milan’s Malpensa airport in the early morning. On arrival you will be transferred to your hotel by private coach. If you are travelling independently, please meet the ASA group at the hotel in central Milan. ASA staff can also arrange an independent transfer for you. After check in we commence our program with a welcome meeting at the hotel.
We then transfer by coach to Santa Maria delle Grazie, where we view Leonardo da Vinci’s famous Last Supper. Housed in the refectory of the convent, the late 15th-century fresco depicts the Twelve Apostles’ reaction to Jesus’ announcement that one of them will betray him. Though in a state of deterioration, the painting is an example of the beauty of Leonardo’s work and is one of the Western world’s most recognisable artworks.
We then meet a local architect who will show us something altogether more modern: the Luigi Bocconi University. The economics faculty of the urban campus is housed in a building designed by Irish practice Grafton Architects. It won the inaugural World Architecture Festival’s World Building Award in 2008, the judges describing it as a “magical subterranean realm”. (Overnight Milan)
Day 2: Saturday 4 September, Milan
- Achille Castiglioni Studio Museum (to be confirmed)
- La Triennale: Museum of Italian Design: Guided Tour
- Missoni Showroom
- Memphis – Post Design Gallery
- Dimore Gallery
- Welcome Dinner at Cracco restaurant (to be confirmed)
We begin today with a visit to the Achille Castiglioni Studio Museum. One of Italy’s most prolific architects and designers, Achille Castiglioni worked in the same studio space for nearly sixty years. A Milanese native, he designed furniture, lighting, radiograms and other objects, including the Lierna chair for Cassina. Castiglioni also worked with his two brothers in an architectural design practice. Today, his studio-museum displays models, notebooks, sketches and his own collection of photographs, postcards and notes.
A short walk away is the Triennale Museo del Design Italiano. The ground floor holds an exhibition of some of the most iconic and representative pieces of Italian design, including works by Paola Antonelli, Andrea Branzi, Mario Bellini, Antonio Citterio, Michele De Lucchi, Piero Lissoni, Claudio Luti, and Patricia Urquiola. The display features the objects in chronological order and seeks to provide an understanding of their history and creative context. The Triennale collection contains numerous design objects including furniture, accessories, electronics, models, drawings, garments, graphic artefacts, photographic holdings and more.
Next we visit the Missoni showroom, a multi-functional space with two floors showcasing Missoni’s furniture, design objects and textiles. The showroom design was the work of Patricia Urquiola, the famous Spanish-born architect and designer who was mentored by some of Italian industrial design’s greats: Achille Castiglioni and Vico Magistretti. She has collaborated with many other architects and designers including Piero Lissoni and has developed furniture for Cappellini and Cassina. Among her architectural work is the Mandarin Oriental Hotel in Barcelona.
Our next stop is the Memphis Post Design Gallery. Memphis was a great cultural phenomenon of the 1980s. The movement, led by Ettore Sottsass, was a reaction against the status quo. Drawing on Art Deco and Pop Art, they designed furniture, ceramics, glass and metal objects and fabrics, using a variety of bright colours and unusual shapes. In 1997 the name ‘Memphis’ was substituted for ‘Post Design’, which includes a wide range of collections created by Italian and international designers and artists.
Only a few steps away is Dimore Gallery, where Emiliano Salci and Britt Moran have created a ‘dialogue between past and present’. Here, objects from far-away worlds live next to sculptural furniture, and every room is designed to unveil a different emotion.
Our Welcome Dinner is held at Michelin-starred Cracco restaurant, in the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II. Decorated in grey-sky blue boiserie, its sophisticated menus offer unexpected dishes as well as traditional favourites. (Overnight Milan) BD
Day 3: Sunday 5 September, Milan – Turin – Milan
- Pinacoteca Giovanni e Marella Agnelli: Guided Tour of the Permanent Collection and Fiat test track (to be confirmed in 2021)
- Automotive Museum: Guided Tour
- UNESCO-listed historical centre of Turin
Today we take the train to Turin, situated about 140 kilometres west of Milan. A centre of design in its own right, with a UNESCO-listed historical centre, Turin was the first capital of the unified Italy. Here we visit two of the city’s most outstanding collections – and one of its outstanding architectural symbols.
We begin with a visit to the Lingotto building, which was once the main factory of Fiat. Dating to the 1920s, the interior of the structure was fully redeveloped by Renzo Piano in the 1980s. Today this is a multifunctional space; one level holds the Pinacoteca Giovanni e Marella Agnelli. Giovanni Agnelli was in 1899 one of the original founders of what became the Fiat motor company. The Agnelli family, ‘the Kennedys of Italy’, are also known for their ownership of Ferrari since 1969 and as majority owners of the Juventus Football Club. Donna Marella Agnelli, of the Italian noble house of Caracciolo, was a renowned style icon, garden designer, author and photographer, as well as art collector. She passed away only recently, in February 2019, at the age of 91. The Pinacoteca, opened in 2002, displays 25 masterpieces from Giovanni and Marella Agnelli’s private art collection. We shall visit the gallery known as the ‘Scrigno’, or ‘treasure chest’, which houses twenty-three paintings and two sculptures, including works by Matisse, Balla, Severini, Modigliani, Tiepolo, Canaletto, Picasso, Renoir, Manet and Canova.
We also plan to visit the former Fiat test track on the Lingotto’s roof – recognisable from film scenes such as the getaway sequence in The Italian Job (1969). This special visit cannot be confirmed until early 2021.
Turin is almost synonymous with car design and there is no better place to explore its history than the Museo dell’Automobile. Here we take a tour of the museum, which features a collection of over 200 iconic cars – produced in Italy, France, UK, Germany, Spain, Netherlands, and the United States – dating from 1854 onwards. After some time to enjoy Turin’s historical centre, we return to our base in Milan. (Overnight Milan) B
Day 4: Monday 6 September, Milan
- Studio of Lissoni Associati (by special appointment)
- Brera Design Apartment (by special appointment; to be confirmed)
- Fondazione Giangiacomo Feltrinelli (design by Herzog & De Meuron): Guided Tour
- Studio of Michele de Lucchi (by special appointment)
- Galleria Luisa delle Piane (by special appointment; to be confirmed)
This morning begins with a specially-arranged visit to the interdisciplinary studio of Lissoni Associati, founded by award-winning architect and designer Piero Lissoni. Recognised as one of the masters of contemporary design, he has worked with numerous brands including Alessi, B&B, Bonacina1889, Cappellini, Cassina, Fantini, Glas Italia, Illy, Janus et Cie, Kartell, Knoll, Olivari, Salvatori, and Viccarbe.
Close by is the Brera Design Apartment. Set in the heart of the Brera Design District, this once-inhabited apartment is a space for companies and professionals to meet and exchange ideas on design, communication and project culture.
After some free time for lunch, we meet up again to take a tour of the Giangiacomo Feltrinelli Foundation. Feltrinelli was an influential publisher and businessman active in the years after World War II. He became a militant and clandestine left-wing activist preceding Italy’s turbulent ‘Years of Lead’. We learn about the extraordinary life of Giangiacomo Feltrinelli himself, as well as the history of the foundation, and its current projects. Not least, we explore the way in which the building, designed by Herzog & de Meuron, relates to its urban environment, and the way its design serves its purpose.
Our last visit today is to the ‘Produzione Privata’ studio of award-winning architect and designer Michele de Lucchi, who has been a prominent figure in movements like Cavart, Alchimia and Memphis. Produzione Privata was founded in 1990 as a continuation of the Memphis movement. It aims to design and implement experimental objects, with maximum freedom of expression and independently from the logic of the market and industry. Produzione Privata is comprised of seven workshops, each dedicated to a material or a design concept: glass, wood, metal, marble, ceramic and porcelain, ready-made and minimal machines. Many of the objects make reference to literature, art and the observation of nature. We will visit the studio with one of the architects, and then go on-site to see one of their projects.
Finally, we visit the gallery of Luisa delle Piane. Luisa Della Piane has been a prominent figure since the 1970s in the promotion, research into and trading of design and art pieces, with a focus on art and design from the 20th and 21st centuries. The gallery hosts exhibitions and events dedicated to art, design and jewellery. (Overnight Milan) B
Day 5: Tuesday 7 September, Milan – Varedo – Meda – Giussano – Milan
- Villa Osvaldo Borsani (by special appointment; to be confirmed)
- Minotti Showroom (by special appointment)
- Molteni Museum and Complex, incl. Glass Cube
About an hour north of Milan, in Varedo, is the Villa Borsani, home of architect and furniture designer Osvaldo Borsani. With his twin brother, Borsani founded Tecno in 1953, and started manufacturing Italian design on an industrial scale. The rationalist-style villa, designed by Borsani in 1940, has modern lines and exquisite custom furnishings. Osvaldo Borsani died in 1985, and the villa stayed in the family until it was turned into the Osvaldo Borsani Archive in 1991.
We transfer to Meda to visit the Minotti showroom. Minotti, at the forefront of Italian furniture design, was established in 1948 and expanded into international markets in the 1960s. Spazio Minotti is located in an industrial complex. In an elaborate project, the industrial site was redeveloped and expanded to create an exhibition surface and a huge space in which the company displays its latest collections and most iconic designs.
A short drive away in Giussano are the headquarters of Molteni & C. Molteni was founded in 1912 and the artisan workshop was soon known for its high-quality furniture. Molteni’s Marketing and Museum manager will show us the Molteni compound, including the Museum archives, showroom, Quality Center, and the famous Glass Cube, designed by Ron Gilad and inaugurated in 2014. (Overnight Milan) B
Day 6: Wednesday 8 September, Milan
- Vico Magistretti Foundation: Guided Tour
- Villa Necchi Campiglio: Guided Tour (by special appointment; to be confirmed)
- Studio of Patricia Urquiola (by special appointment; to be confirmed)
Vico Magistretti was one of the 20th century’s most outstanding figures of Italian post-war architecture and industrial design. He won his first major award in 1948, when he won the Gran Premio at the 8th Triennale, and continued to be prominent in the design world for many decades. He started designing for Cassina in 1960 and products such as the Maralunga sofa of 1973 and the Nuvola Rossa bookcase designed in 1977, remain international best-sellers. The Fondazione Vico Magistretti, occupying the studio in central Milan where Magistretti worked throughout his career, displays objects he designed and archive documents, which enable an understanding of the design process.
Villa Necchi Campiglio is a true 1930s icon. Surrounded by a garden with a tennis court and swimming pool in the centre of Milan, this glamorous villa was completed by the architect Piero Portaluppi in 1935 for the Necchi Campiglio family. Many of the interior spaces are dedicated to the reception of guests: the dining room, the smoking room, the library and the grand salon. The villa boasts a splendid collection of Art Deco furnishings and artworks by Tiepolo, De Chirico, Picasso, Fontana, Modigliani and Matisse.
This afternoon is dedicated to the work of prominent architect and designer Patricia Urquiola. We plan to visit her studio and view examples of her work. (Overnight Milan) B
Day 7: Thursday 9 September, Milan: Tortona district
- La Scala Ansaldo Workshops: Guided Tour
- Armani/Silos: Guided Tour (to be confirmed)
- MUDEC: Guided Tour
- Six Gallery
- Galleria Rossana Orlandi: Introduction to the collection by Signora Orlandi
- Dinner at Bistro Aimo e Nadia
Today we explore Milan’s Tortona district, just south-west of the centre. In 1990, the Milan city council bought the old Ansaldo industrial plant, located in this area, in order to redevelop it and use it for cultural services. Its disused factories, authentic monuments of industrial archaeology, have been converted into studios, workshops, exhibition buildings and new creative spaces.
Much of the design and craftsmanship for Milan’s celebrated opera house, Teatro alla Scala, occurs in the La Scala Ansaldo Workshops. The 20,000-square-metre facility is divided in three pavilions dedicated to the director Luchino Visconti, the stage designer Nicola Benois and the costume designer Luigi Sapelli. Most of the handmade works for the production are carried out there – set design, sculpture, thermoforming, carpentry works, mechanics workshop, set assembly, costume workshops and design. The building holds more than 60,000 stage costumes, and includes practice rooms for the chorus and a stage area for rehearsals which perfectly corresponds to the theatre’s stage.
After touring the theatre workshops we walk a short distance to Armani/Silos exhibition. Located in what was originally a granary (hence, ‘Silos’), the exhibition space was opened in 2015. Giorgio Armani himself oversaw the renovation of the building and personally curated the exhibition, which features an overview of 40 years of his career. The collection includes 400 outfits and 200 accessories from Giorgio Armani’s ready-to-wear collections from 1980 to the present.
After some time at leisure for lunch we head around the corner to MUDEC, Milan’s Museum of Cultures. In a stylishly restored factory building, the museum holds an outstanding array of objects originating from Lombardy as well as many different corners of the world, from pre-Colombian textiles from Latin America, to painted bark from Papua New Guinea; from Japanese Edo-period armour to a study by Picasso. It is all arranged in such a way as to tell extraordinary stories of collecting.
Next we visit Six Gallery. Here, architects Fanny Bauer Grung and David Lopez Quincoces transformed a 16th-century former monastery into a design gallery, restaurant, florist and studio for their practice. The gallery combines designs from different periods and places, with the pieces on display ranging from collectors’ items to anonymous ones.
We are privileged to have Signora Rossana Orlandi introduce her collection to us. Signora Orlandi worked for more than 20 years as a spin yarn consultant for Giorgio Armani, Donna Karan and others, and works as a curator for various exhibitions in Italy and abroad; she has also collaborated with high-end brands in fashion, luxury and lifestyle. In 2002 Signora Orlandi opened her innovative gallery in Milan’s Magenta district. The space mixes together, showroom, a retail store, offices and a courtyard for meetings and events. We dine at Bistro Aimo e Nadia, which is next door to the Gallery and makes use of some of its pieces for its furnishings and decor. (Overnight Milan) BD
Day 8: Friday 10 September, Milan
- Guided Tour of Porto Nuovo and City Life districts, led by a local architect
- Studio of Matteo Nunziati (by special appointment)
- Pirelli HangarBicocca
This morning we embark on a coach tour of Milan’s Porto Nuovo and City Life districts. With a local architect as our guide, we view some of the city’s most iconic buildings. In the Porta Nuova district, these include the Ca’ Brutta, the IBM Pavilion (formerly Unicredit), designed by Michele de Lucchi, and the Bosco Verticale, or ‘Vertical Forest’. In the City Life district we view the Hadid Residential Complex and the Generali Tower by Zaha Hadid; Daniel Libeskind’s Residential Complex and Pwc Tower; Mario Bellini’s MICO Milan Convention Centre; and Arata Isozaki’s Allianz Tower.
We then take a specially-arranged tour of Studio Matteo Nunziati. Matteo Nunziati is one of the most influential architects and designers of his generation. His architectural projects include luxury hotels, wellness centres and residential projects and he has worked on projects as far afield as the Middle East, India, China and the USA. Matteo Nunziati has also collaborated with prestigious design brands including Molteni & C., Poliform, Flou, Lema, Fiam, Fontana Arte, La Murrina, Listone Giordano, and Florim. He was selected among the best 100 International Architects/Interior and product designers in the publication “Icon Architects 2018”.
From Matteo Nunziati’s studio we transfer to the Pirelli HangarBicocca. This non-profit foundation, established in 2004, has converted a former locomotive factory into an institution for contemporary art. It covers over 15,000 square metres and presents major exhibitions by Italian and international artists. In addition to its exhibitions program, Pirelli HangarBicocca also permanently houses one of Anselm Kiefer’s most important works, The Seven Heavenly Palaces 2004-2015, commissioned for its opening. (Overnight Milan) B
Day 9: Saturday 11 September, Milan
- Museo del Novecento (Museum of the 20th Century): Guided Tour
- L’Arabesque Gallery & Café
- Fornasetti showroom
- Lorenzo at Larusmani: concept boutique
- Bottega Veneta Milano BV Home: homewares boutique
The Museo del Novecento (Museum of 20th-Century Art) is housed in the Palazzo dell’Arangario, on the piazza facing the Duomo. The museum opened in 2010, displays about 400 artworks. While most are the work of Italian artists, it also contains work by Braque, Klee, Kandinsky, Picasso, Mondrian, Léger and Matisse. There are sections devoted to the Italian Futurists, artists such as de Chirico, and art movements such as Abstractionism, Post-Impressionism and Realism. A 2015 private donation to the museum included works by artists such as Daniel Buren, Roy Lichtenstein and Andy Warhol.
We proceed to L’Arabesque Gallery, with its kaleidoscope of contemporary ready-to-wear fashion lines, glamourous vintage costume jewellery, mid-century modern European and American furnishings, a rare collection of early and mid-20th century Japanese kimonos, Haute Parfumerie fragrances, design books and more. We lunch at L’Arabesque’s café.
The Fornasetti showroom, opened in Milan’s historical centre in 2016, is housed within a neoclassical palazzo that was once home to Filippo Tommaso Marinetti, founder of the Futurist movement. Each room has a different colour scheme and concept, and the visitor passes through a visual display of classic details, images and bespoke items.
We continue to Lorenzo at Larusmani, on Via Montenapoleone, which holds a collection of handmade pieces, ranging from desk accessories to knives, smoking and toiletry articles. Time permitting, we also visit Bottega Veneta Milano’s first-ever homewares boutique. Here, the focus is on furniture, lighting and tabletop, along with collaborations with Poltrona Frau and Koenigliche Porzellan-Manufaktur Berlin. (Overnight Milan) B
Day 10: Sunday 12 September, Milan
- Fondazione Prada: Guided Tour
- Farewell Lunch at Carlo e Camilla in Segheria (to be confirmed)
- Afternoon at leisure
Today we take a tour of the famous Prada Foundation. This unique complex, designed by Rem Koolhaas, and housed in an old gin distillery, includes a shimmering ‘Haunted House’ clad in gold leaf and a 60-metre-high white concrete tower. Inside, there are spaces for temporary and permanent exhibitions. The Foundation’s contemporary collection includes works by Anish Kapoor, Louise Bourgeois, Francesco Vezzoli and Nathalie Djurberg.
Our Farewell Lunch will be held at Carlo e Camilla in Segheria, where Michelin-starred chef Carlo Cracco and art director Tanja Solci have transformed a historical sawmill into one of Milan’s finest restaurants. The old sawmill’s rustic exposed walls and beams contrast with the opulence of crystal chandeliers. The cuisine makes reference to Italy’s gastronomic traditions but reworks them with a modern flair, original ingredients and flavour combinations. (Overnight Milan) BL
Day 11: Monday 13 September,
Depart Milan. Tour Ends.
- Airport transfer for participants travelling on the ASA ‘designated’ flight
Our tour ends today. Participants travelling on the ASA ‘designated’ flight will transfer by private coach to Malpensa airport to take their flight home to Australia. Alternatively, you may wish to extend your stay in Italy. Please contact ASA if you require further assistance. B