Italy has produced talented designers, artistic decor and high-quality innovations for centuries.
In this tradition of aesthetic beauty and inventiveness, Milan holds a unique position, championing decorative arts — whether applied to residential or commercial spaces — and ruling as the world's design destination ever since the Salone Internationale del Mobile was launched in 1961.
Italy's style capital also inspires many a Quebec designer. Among them Igloo Design's Anna Abbruzzo and Alain Courchesne definitely exude Italian flare. Known for their affinity for Fornasetti's taste and genius, the witty duet creates fantastic interiors where different time periods, colours and motifs blend into a skilful mix of humour and cohesion.
Anna and Alain shared their favourite hangouts in Milan with us!
Corinne Cécilla: Where do you like to stay?
Anna Abbruzzo & Alain Courchesne: Usually, we enjoy staying at the Bulgari. Milan is considered a modern city and this hotel is a perfect mix of past and present. The attention paid to the details is impeccable.
CC: What's your favourite restaurant?
AA & AC: We love to have dinner at Café Trussardi. The location is ideal and the ambiance is both of the moment and timeless. We truly enjoy the Baglioni hotel's opulence at night. The traditional decor is a pinnacle of elegance. A perfect spot to see characters that have both substance and incomparable style.
CC: Where do you to go out for a drink?
AA & AC: 10 Corso Como — it's the ultimate Milanese experience: a glass of Prosecco and shopping par excellence. Their Pasticceria Bastianello is our favourite cappuccino.
CC: I'm sure anyone can guess, but I'll ask anyways: where do you love to shop?
AA & AC: At the Fornasetti store, of course! We always go there when we visit Milan.
Alain also loves to visit the Piombo shop on Via Montenapoleone [Milan's trendy shopping street]: it's a definite stop for contemporary men. As for me, I love to visit the Antonio Marras store; in my opinion, it's the best kept secret of Italian fashion.
CC: Where do you like to go when you want to relax?
AA & AC: We just love to go for long walks, without a specific destination in mind. It's our thing: strolling in the city for hours, discovering things that you can only find if you get lost!
CC: Do you have a favourite hang out?
AA & AC: Si! The Nilufar Gallery: Nina Nashar and her sister Nilu have an eye for art and design like nobody else. We discovered Michael Anastassiades for the first time in that gallery. We also love the Villa Necchi Campiglio museum.
CC: Your favourite airline?
AA & AC: Lufthansa: simply wonderful!
Igloo Design's best addresses for interior design in Italy:
Corinne's reading pick: Fornasetti, Designer of Dreams, Patrick Mauriès with an Essay by Ettore Sottsass.
1. Duomo di Milano, Vito Arcomano - Fototeca ENIT
2. The Last Supper, Leonardo de Vinci, Agostini Picture Library - Fototeca ENIT
3. Café Trussardi, Courtesy of Café Trussardi
4. & 5. Corso Como, Courtesy of Corso Como
6. Fornasetti Store, Courtesy Fornasetti
7. Joseph Walsh Studio Enignum VI Canopy Bed, Nilufar
8. Villa Necchi / Campiglio, Giorgio Majno