Milan Design Week
April 16 - 24, 2018 (9 days)
Imagine five days being guided through the world's biggest design event in Milan, followed by three nights to relax and recover in the beautiful lakeside town of Bellagio on Lake Como.
Unlike any other design event in the world, Milan Design Week is the undisputed ‘must see’ for anyone interested in design; an event every design lover should experience at least once in their lifetime.
Covered in all the design magazines and blogs, nothing beats experiencing the energy and excitement of the world’s biggest design event for yourself. With thousands of individual events, exhibitions, launches and presentations packed into less than a week, each year Milan Design Week delivers an unrivalled opportunity to soak up the absolute latest in design from around the world.
From the much anticipated new releases and latest trends, to up and coming designers and established global brands, Milan Design Week is the single most important platform for showcasing design products and launching design careers. In Milan everyone in design comes together to compete for your attention, in a celebration of design, creativity, inspiration and the business of design.
Milan Design Week incorporates Salone del Mobile at Rho showgrounds and the Fuorisalone, a series of events and exhibitions spread across seven districts in Milan. As highly regarded as it is, Milan Design Week (MDW) is huge and can be overwhelming if you've never visited before. What most seasoned visitors to MDW know, is that with thousands of competing events to choose from, enjoying MDW is all about choosing the best things to see, knowing how to get to them easily and efficiently, navigating the crowds and venues, and importantly – ordering and consuming top notch sustenance when you need it most.
Salone del Mobile alone has over 2000 exhibitors across more than 200,000sqm of exhibition space. And with 1400 incredible Fuorisalone events and installations also on offer, choosing the very best things to see is critical for getting the most out of MDW. With this in mind, our MDW itinerary includes carefully selected highlights from Fuorisalone as well as trade only access passes and customised maps of Salone del Mobile.
Being all about the latest up to the minute releases in design, many details for MDW aren’t announced until close to the time. In the lead-up to MDW we’ll track the releases coming out of Milan, and select the top highlights to attend. We may update our itinerary to incorporate the latest event details as they come out.
Once in Milan, we’ll get you to the events and provide a guide including maps of selected highlights from our recommended design districts, plus tips on where to eat and shop, and private tour details.
As much as we love Milan during Design Week, a trip to this fast-paced design and business capital wouldn’t be complete without a visit to the ultimate Milan antidote – beautiful Lake Como. After taking in MDW, we head to the lakeside town of Bellagio to rest, recuperate and enjoy some of the truly stunning sights of Lake Como.
Once you’ve checked in, join us for an apertivo followed by a casual dinner.
We meet up for café and cornetti then begin our highlights of MDW in Brera Design District, the heart of the Fuorisalone. One of our favourite areas of Milan, Brera is a casual and attractive inner city district with a great mix of showrooms, temporary installations, design boutiques and fantastic cafes and restaurants. This is where you’ll see established brands alongside local boutiques and design stores.
Brera is a great place to start Milan Design Week, wandering its key streets, meeting storeowners and showroom staff, and taking in some hidden gems in the back lanes. In Brera you can enjoy great design, great fashion and great food - quintessential Milan.
Heading out to Rho showgrounds, we hit the halls at Salone del Mobile with trade-pass and show map in hand. Salone del Mobile is the international benchmark event for furniture design, and in 2018 will also include individual salones dedicated to furnishings, accessories, and kitchen and bathroom design. In addition, Salone Satellite will showcase a select group of emerging designers under 35.
With thousands of exhibitor stands and installations to choose from, we’ll recommend highlights from the key manufacturers’ stands and bespoke installations. And with upwards of 50,000 visitors per day, queuing to order lunch at Salone del Mobile can cost you valuable time - we’ll take care of lunch and refreshments throughout the day, so you can enjoy the show.
Returning to the Fuorisalone we explore highlights of the 5 Vie and Ventura Lambrate districts.
Design destination Spazio Rossana Orlandi is a prolific design gallery and store, virtually hidden in a residential area of Milan. We’ll start our day with an exclusive private tour of this unique collection.
After our RO visit, jump on one of the city’s vintage trams and take a ride to Palazzo Turati and nearby Milan institution, the original Pasticceria Marchesi.
One of the highlights of MDW is experiencing the very best in contemporary design alongside superb historic architecture. During MDW several of the city’s beautiful palazzos host stunning installations and the latest design product presentations. Palazzo Turati is where we’ll see the latest in design from the Netherlands, at the Masterly the Dutch show.
A change of scene, our last stop for the day is the Ventura Lambrate design district. Another favourite of ours, Ventura Lambrate is where many up and coming designers (and to be honest some of the more interesting design work) of MDW are on show. Ventura Lambrate is young, hip and more edgy than some of the other MDW districts. It has a raw feel and offers some genuine fresh talent and innovative design.
Missed something? Want to check out another highlight for a second time? Day 5 is a free day, where you can visit other Fuorisalone events, revisit Salone del Mobile, shop or make the most of those fabulous pasticcerias, restaurants and bars.
We depart Milan for the stunning scenery and calm of beautiful Lake Como, arriving by private bus to Bellagio and checking in at our lakeside hotel. Unwind in the afternoon and enjoy the slower pace of life this part of the country offers.
Take a short ferry ride across the lake to visit stunning Villa Carlotta, and enjoy its beautiful gardens and glasshouse café. From there we’ll take a water taxi to the amazing Villa del Balbianello for a guided tour. Famous for its beautiful villa and gardens, Villa del Balbianello is the Lake Como location seen in numerous films, including James Bond’s Casino Royale and Star Wars.
We venture out on the ferries again, taking a short ride across the lake to the lovely village of Varenna, to explore its sights and beautiful villas before heading back to Bellagio for our final dinner.
Leaving Bellagio by private bus take in the beautiful scenery of Lake Como for a last time, before returning to central Milan.
Guests can book their own accommodation in Milan, tailored to their own requirements and budgets.
While in Bellagio we’ll be staying together at the lakeside Hotel Metropole overlooking Lake Como, chosen for its great location, local charm, comfort and service.
Who will enjoy this tour?
This tour is suited to design lovers, interior designers, decorators and furniture designers who either haven't attended MDW before, or want someone else to take the stress out of the experience. This tour is also suited to travellers who enjoy opportunity for independence on a tour as it offers some self-guided components.
- Accommodation – 3 nights in Bellagio hotel on Lake Como. (Twin share rooms, individual rooms available at an additional cost)
- Meals – 3 breakfasts, daily cafe & cornetti, 4 lunches, 3 dinners
- Transportation – Milan public transport day passes (valid on metro, trams and buses), private bus Milan to Lake Como, Lake Como ferries and water taxi, private bus transfers Bellagio to central Milan.
- Tickets – Salone del Mobile trade day pass (1 day). Villa Carlotta entry, guided tour of Villa del Balbianello and entry to Varenna villas.
- MDW18 guide – Our top recommendations for enjoying MDW, includes maps and useful information on what to see, where to eat and shop
- Flights to/from Milan
- Accommodation – 5 nights in Milan
- Airport and train station transfers – while we will assist with transfers, requirements will vary for each individual and as such they are not included in the tour price
- Travel insurance
AUD$4495 / US$3350 (twin share)
Supported by the Designer Society of America