BRERA MEETS BRERA


BRERA AND MARTINO GAMPER Valextra invites you to discover seven hidden spots throughout Brera with a photographic portfolio that serves as a mini-guide to the best Brera can offer. In the following images by Delfino Sisto Legnani, the Valextra Brera bags are presented in key locations perched on a selection of furniture by Italian, London-based designer Martino Gamper – one of Valextra’s long-time creative collaborators.

PINACOTECA DI BRERA Raphael, Caravaggio, Mantegna, Fattori and Canaletto (amongst others) are gathered within the Neoclassical structure of Milan’s most celebrated gallery, whose collection spans Italian art from the 14th century to the present day. Although its collection (presented in a setting that features exquisite contemporary touches, such as electric blue and burgundy walls and redesigned caption plaques) is an unmissable highlight when in Brera, it’s still worth wandering inside the building’s cloister and casually promenade by the vaulted porches to escape the busy streets of the city. BRERA COLLECTION

TRATTORIA TORRE DI PISA One probably would stop at this Tuscan restaurant because of the colorful curtains (which discreetly shield the restaurant’s patrons from the), and stay for the traditional, genuine offering on the menu. A popular haunt with the local fashion crowd, the interiors remain unchanged from when it first opened sixty years ago, and the food follows the same ethos outlined since the start by its founders: rustic, seasonal and made with the best ingredients. BRERA COLLECTION

FORMER CHURCH OF SAN CARPOFORO Leave it to the Milanese to perfectly balance the sacred and profane. This former pagan temple, then Catholic Church, was bought by the city of Milan and recently transformed into an art centre and school of applied arts under the aegis of the Brera Academy. Scenically tucked at the junction of two small streets, its unfinished façade hints at a troubled history, all the while offering a fitting visual representation of the district’s unique, no-fuss style. BRERA COLLECTION

ORTO BOTANICO DI BRERA It’s hard not to use the words urban oasis when speaking of this magnificent garden, extending over 5,000 square meters in the heart of Brera. Born as a research establishment in the 18th century and maintained until today as a collection of rare natural specimens, this is as green as Milan can get. The busy, well-manicured gardens are flanked by buildings adorned with rampant ivy and wisteria, contributing to the otherworldly effect of the place. BRERA COLLECTION

LA LATTERIA Locals know to arrive early at this Via San Marco establishment: with its no-booking policy and limited seating, you want to be the first at the door to be able to sample the simple cuisine without an excruciating wait. Because of its location, La Latteria has become an informal canteen for people working in the area, such as journalists from newspaper Il Corriere Della Sera, based nearby. The small venue is simply outfitted with awkwardly-arranged tables and decorated with an array of found images exclusively depicting roses, and its gastronomic offering is everything the Milanese love – small selections of pasta, meat, fish and vegetable dishes: what they’d eat at home, but better. BRERA COLLECTION

CHURCH OF SAN MARCO Just a quick stroll by this Baroque-style church is enough to take in its brick-clad façade enriched by sculpted embellishments, mosaics and statues. The church’s early history is somewhat murky, but mentions of its presence found as early as the 13th century, documents attesting Mozart’s visit in the 18th century, and the first performance of Giuseppe Verdi’s Requiem are enough to make this location the stuff of legends. BRERA COLLECTION

BAR JAMAICA There isn’t another place as seeped in pop culture history as Bar Jamaica. Founded by musicologist Giulio Confalonieri, who was inspired by Alfred Hitchcock’s Jamaica Inn, it quickly became a hub for art, culture and politics. Today, it has kept its original features – wooden bar, terrazzo floors, tiled walls – and stepping inside is like being transported back to the same mid-century spirit which made the café great. BRERA COLLECTION