An American in Milan: A Day in Milan with Designer Emily Levine

Emily Levine is the ultimate cool girl. After leaving her home in New York at 18 to study in Florence and Hong Kong, she finally settled in Milan in 2014 for a designing job at Etro. It was in Milan where she met her husband Marco, and launched her charming collection of bags and accessories inspired by her travels. While she’s a New Yorker by nature, she’s a Milanese at heart. Below, she takes us with her through a day in her city.


Milan, 9am. Where should we wake up?

Grand Hotel et de Milan. (Also its restaurant Don Carlos is really yummy and famous to go to after a night at La Scala for dinner.)

10am. Brunch, where to?

Sissi, Marchesi, or home! I bring bagels from my favorite spots in nyc and freeze them!


11:30am. Ready for some shopping. What are the best insider shops?

Funky Table, Cavalli e Nastri (vintage), Massimo Alba, window shopping at Penissi and Veronesi for amazing antique jewelry, DimoreGallery for eclectic decor.


12:30pm. Feel like exploring the streets. Coolest neighborhoods and streets to stroll around with an Emily Levine bag? (Ideally somewhere spared from tourists!)

Brera on the weekends, back streets of Montenapoleone and Navigli

A place that feels like home?

Zaza Ramen at the bar eating late night ramen, sake and mochi! One of my most memorable trips was to Japan apart from the fact I have always loved a good ramen, this one is just around the corner.

Zaza Ramen by  Flawless Milano

Zaza Ramen by Flawless Milano

Milan’s biggest tourist trap/ place to avoid?

The Duomo, but then again it’s incredible and you have to go at least once. Avoid any bars between/near piazza duomo.

1:30pm. Lunch! Where should we go?

LuBar for a Sicilian dream meal with tapas style plates perfect for sharing and trying a little bit of everything, the owners enclosed the space with glass and built the restaurant from scratch giving it a greenhouse vibe with plants growing up in all corners of the walls. Don’t miss the quirky bathroom as it’s decoration and theme changes monthly. Paper Moon Garden, chic and delish.

Photo by  Italian Ways
lu bar.jpg

3pm. Best spot for dessert or coffee?

Gelateria Solferino will bring you back to basics with their amazing gelato, or Pasticceria Biffi in Corso Magenta for old school Milan energy.   

4pm. Best museum or art gallery only locals know about?

Poldi Pezzoli (I go there with my dad every time he comes to visit me) Villa Nechi Campiglio and Mudec.

5:30pm. Time for a drink! Where should we go for happy hour?

Fioraio Bianchi, the place is small, but cozy.

Makes you feel like you are having a drink in a local flower shop.

Photo by  Nafi UK

Photo by Nafi UK

8:30pm. Where do you go for a fun dinner with friends? Or a cute dinner with Marco?

Six Gallery, amazing food with interesting twists on Italian classics and their shop attached is not to be missed. La Libera is my home away from home for true Milanese cuisine, forget your diets and order the Fiori di Zucca ripieni and the Cotoletta Milanese. Da Giacomo Bistro aesthetically reminds me of my dad’s study growing up bringing a feel of nostalgia. Don’t miss “la bomba di Giacomo” for desert. Pacifico Peruvian goodness with lots of Pisco sours!

11pm. And for after dinner drinks?

N’ombra de Vin, a local favorite, Panika

for late night drinks and panino.

Milan’s best kept secret?

Pinacoteca di Brera, incredible library

and museum and Chiostro grande di San Simpliciano.