Congestion

Situated on the corner of via Francesco Sforza and largo Augusto is L'Arabesque Cafè. This great place reflects the style of its founder, Chichi Meroni, who also owns the Arabesque vintage clothes and design store next door. Arabesque Café offers clients a delightful location where they can enjoy a coffee or a sophisticated meal, or simply browse and/or purchase the fashion, photography, design, interior design, lifestyle and cookery books on display in the corner store.The restaurant offers typical Milanese cuisine with a modern twist. We haven't had dinner here yet, although it is next on our "to do list". We did, however, enjoy a particularly relaxing late morning coffee break at Arabesque Café! Well worth it. 
Largo Augusto, 10 Milan
02 76341477
Basara is a recent addition to the flourishing gastronomic trade in Corso Italia, just five minutes walk from Duomo. This small minimalist restaurant is a relaxed eatery by day and a more sophisticated restaurant by night. At lunchtime Basara offers day trippers and local workers a delicious selection of cold and hot dishes that are quickly prepared with fresh ingredients. Simply order at the cash register from the a' la carte menu or choose one of Basara's set menus (e.g. miso soup, a generous selection of sushi and sashimi and salad for Euros 20), collect your number and chopsticks and wait at your table until it's ready to pick up from the counter (your buzzer will let you know when as it leaps around the table). We can definitely recommend the rice and prawns (hot dish) and rainbow sushi from the a' la carte. In the evening Basara transforms itself. Hidden wooden wall panels are folded away to hide the drinks refrigerator and lunch time accessories. Tables are adorned with table runners and laid with proper tableware while the lights are turned down low. The evening menu is slightly different although equally delicious.  If you're in a rush, you can always order on-line (www.basaramilano.it) and have your order delivered or pick it up from Corso Italia, 6 or Basara's other restaurant in Via Tortona, 12 Milan 20144 (02 83241025).
Corso Italia, 6 20122 Milan
02 72020141
Biancolatte in Via Turati 30 is one of those places that puts you in a good mood as soon as you walk through the door. Biancolatte offers customers breakfast, afternoon tea, lunch, icecream, dinner, dessert, savoury snacks, food, fashion and home decor all under one roof!Biancolatte is the perfect place to take a break at any time of day or night as it's warm, inviting and expertly decorated. When it opened in 2008 it became "the" meeting place for the "Milanese" and it has livened up the end of Via Turati that leads into Piazza della Repubblica. Seven years on it's still packed at  lunch time and during the afternoon; while its difficult to get a table for brunch on Sundays so make sure you book in advance. The food is simple and seasonal, while the ingredients are super fresh and the desserts delicious. It's definitely worth a visit, even if you just want to window shop or take a look at the objects on sale: plateware, costume jewellery, candles, Biancolatte's signature white metal houses and so much more,  
Via Turati 30 20121 Milan
02 62086177
Tucked behind Via Dante in the heart of Milan's city centre is Palazzo Segreti; a brand new boutique hotel situated in a beautiful 19th century building. Unassuming on the outside, Palazzo Segreti is an oasis of calm on the inside, where one is able to leave behind the hustle and bustle of the Milanese streets. On passing the threshold you are directly transported into a relaxed and intimate environment with soft lighting, wonderful wooden flooring, dark coloured walls and furniture which are punctuated by furnishings and art work in vibrant colours. Palazzo Segreti has been designed to feel like a second home and offers clients 18 rooms, including one suite and 3 junior suites, all of which are decorated differently. Prices start from €180 per night. Please note that there are no connecting rooms.Palazzo Segreti also offers clients breakfast using organic ingredients: homemade cakes, freshly baked bread, croissants, cured meats and cheeses and fruit. Guests can also enjoy an aperatif in the "Winery"
Via San Tomaso, 8 Milan
info@palazzosegreti.com
02 49529250
I know what you are going to say...in Italy you can get wonderful ice-cream everywhere; why should I go to Porta Romana for ice-cream? Well firstly they deliver so there is no excuse not to try Gelateria Porta Romana's ice-cream and secondly it's  delicious. Gelateria Porta Romana offers a good selection of dairy milk ice-cream flavours you can have in a cup, cone or container to take-away, as well as ice-cream cakes and fantastic mono-portion desserts which are a work of art. However, the pièce de résistance for people like me, is that they make mouthwatering almond milk ice-cream (the hazelnut and pistacchio flavours are to die for and they're a 100% soya and dairy free). Gelateria Porta Romana also has a shop at number 126 (Corso di Porta Romana) which is close to the Porta Romana metro stop.
Corso di Porta Romana, 52 20122 Milan
info@gelateriaportaromana.it
02 94390580
Located on the 7th floor of the Armani Hotel, the Armani spa is the epitome of Armani style: luxurious, sophisticated, sleek yet simple and decorated using Armani's signature muted tones.The Armani spa offers hotel and day spa guests a selection of body and facial treatments, massages, waxing, pedicures, manicures and the services of a hairdresser (on request). For further details regarding treatments as well as prices please go to  http://milan.armanihotels.com/spa/spa_treatments_en.html . Make sure you leave enough time before or after your treatment(s) to enjoy the heated relaxation pool with amazing panoramic views of the Milanese skyline, Finnish sauna, Steam bath, Ice cascade, relaxation area with panoramic views and Fitness centre with Kinesis. One word of warning, the spa and its facilities are quite small and space is limited so try and choose an off peak time. Clients can also buy spa and gym subscriptions (see the website for more details), while gift vouchers are also available for any treatment of your choice and make an ideal present for someone special. Gift Vouchers are non-refundable and must be presented at time of treatment or purchase. 
Via Manzoni 31, 20121 Milan
milan@armanihotels.com
02 8883 8888
If you are looking for something a little different then take a look at the Agua del Carmen Boutique close to Via Edmondo de Amicis. Agua del Carmen has a great selection of clothes, bags, shoes, hats, scarves and costume jewellery by designers such as:  8 pm, AB A Brand Apart Apart, ABOÛT accessories, CAMPOMAGGI, Carlo Contrada, Chiara Ferragni, Collection PRIVÉE?, Destin, GI'N'GI, Hags, Jucca, Mavina, MCQ Alexander McQueen,  MM6, Martin Margiela, MOMA, NAYE, NEERA, OPEN CLOSED, Pink Memories, PREMIATA, radà, Rebecca Minkoff, Roberto del Carlo, Salvatore Santoro, Strategia, Tagliatore 02-05, Terre Alte and Virreina, as well as products by The Laundress and Ligne St Barth.Agua del Carmen also sells most of its products through its on-line store (www.aguadelcarmen.eu), while the section "Get the Look" gives you great ideas as to how to combine various items and create different looks which reflect the latest fashions as well as your own personal style.  
Via Cesare Correnti 23 20123 Milan
shop@aguadelcarmen.eu
02 8941 5363
As you step through the door of The Milk Bar you will be bowled over by the welcoming greetings and friendly smiles of the owners -  Kathy and Amy - who immediately put you at ease. This great space is a haven for mothers-to-be or newbie mothers, where you can drop in to change a nappy or feed your baby or use it as a meeting place to meet other women and find support. Part of an Italian chain, this boutique-style store doubles up as a shop specialising in fashionable maternity and nursing wear and a studio where Kathy and Amy host a wide variety of pre and post natal courses such a prenatal yoga, Mommy & Me yoga, birth preparation courses as well as English, music and dance and rhythm courses for babies and toddlers in a large luminous space below the store. The Milk Bar also sells international products and accessories that are hard to find in Italy, such as baby carriers, wraps, breast pumps, nappies bags or toys. For an overview of their regular courses in both Italian and English, please check out the Course Calendar on their websie. The Milk Bar Milano and its online store have also launched a new gift and baby registry service. Now you can create your own wish list of products, accessories, carriers and even nursing wear that you will need when baby arrives. 
Via Conca del Naviglio, 5 20123 Milan
02 5810 8973
It's impossibile to walk past Immaginaria without stopping to admire the latest window display of prints and works of art for sale; whether they be iconic black and white photographic prints, Andy Warhol reproductions, classic Chinese prints or oil paintings and water colours by up-and-coming artists. Immaginaria also offers a professional framing service with a good selection of frames, should you have any prints, posters or works of art that need framing. Inside there is also a fun selection of small photo frames and ornaments that make great gifts. Given that Immaginaria is situated on the corner of Corso di Porta Ticinese and Via Molino delle Armi parking can be tricky, however, the number 94 bus goes right past the front door!.    
Corso di Porta Ticinese, 53 20123 Milan
immaginaria.shop@tiscalinet.it
02 58102270
This fun little shop in Corso Genova is guaranteed to put a smile on your face as soon as you walk through the door.  Zoe Design is jam packed with hundreds of useful and fun odds and ends for your office, home or kids. Here you can find fun bookmarks or pen holders for your desk or a Queen Elizabeth washing-up brush for your kitchen or a Polaroid camera toilet roll holder for your bathroom, as well as wonderful vintage toys and items of furniture. What are you waiting for? 
Corso Genova, 15 Milano
335 8123175

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