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Making Designs on Milan

Beyond the historical Duomo, beyond the boho-chic Brera, the southern district of Chiesa Rossa - ensconced between Porta Ticinese, Porta Genova, the canals and the art deco former central electric on Via Giovanni da Cermenate, was once home to factory workers but is now where young designers dream up the shapes of the future.

Before shopping yourself silly at the Mercato Comunale, you might want to get yourself a culture fill at the Fondazione Arnaldo Pomodoro - Milan’s answer to the Tate Modern, located in a former 1926 turbine hall, FondazioneArnaldoPomodoro.

But back to the shopping at the Mercato. This covered market has become known internationally as a miracle. What may seem natural in France or Britain feels revolutionary here in the land of Berlusconi: old local ladies sharing recipes and jokes with South American grocers.

Open Monday to Saturdays, this 1940s public market with its traditional Italian butchers and newly-arrived Peruvian and Argentinian grocers is a lively, colourful and aromatic meeting point for Milanese of all ages, right by the canals at Porta Ticinese.

After that you’ll need a coffee – which is not hard to find in Milan, but the best of the best is to be experienced at Café Divan, CafeDivan. Freshly baked brioches, panini and soup will keep you going while you surf the web for free surrounded by black candelabras and white stucco, black lacquered tables and giant white sofas.

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