Milan possesses a beauty that is subtle and never ostentatious, which you can discover in the courtyards and beyond the walls of the modernist houses.


In its quiet streets without shops the city preserves architectural gems like Villa Necchi Campiglio, an upper-middle class home designed down to the last detail by Piero Portaluppi between 1932 and 1935, located in the central Via Mozart. In Piazza Castello you will find the Achille Castiglioni Archive—as if the designer were still there tinkering with his prototypes—lovingly managed by his daughter Giovanna who has a degree in geology.


To equip herself for this task she thoroughly studied the designs created by her father, an inquisitive man who collected all manner of everyday objects that often provided the inspiration for his projects. Indeed, I remember when he showed up for a lecture on lighting organized by ABC “Incontri sul Progetto”, with a construction site lamp he had found on the street and began by singing its praises, gesticulating excitedly as he always did. In Via Cino del Duca, at the intersection with Corso Monforte, there was the Skipper store.


From the window you could glimpse the large marble tables designed by Angelo Mangiarotti, an architect, city planner, industrial designer and sculptor, indeed it was to sculpture that he enthusiastically devoted himself in the last twenty years of his career. If you want one of his tables today, you must look for it in the Agape showroom located in a courtyard off Via Durini.