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Charley Vezza
Creative Director, Gufram

A colour that represents Milan the best?
Greige, aka warm grey, as it is one of the greyest cities in Italy thanks to its post-industrial character and its geographic position. It is not exactly the Mediterranean stereotype. But its grey is warm, coming from its energy, and elegant like its heritage.

Which cultural figures have influenced Milan the most (past or present)?
There is a guy that I know with a big nose who put a giant middle finger in front of the Milan’s Stock Exchange right after the subprime crisis. A message to Milan and to the whole world…who’s that guy? What’s his name..? I never seem remember it…

Which buildings or pieces of architecture, apart from il Duomo, represent Milan the best?
There are many cities in the world with wonderful churches, great skyscrapers, beautiful royal palaces but no one has a cemetery like Milan. If you have ever walked around the Monumental Cemetery you must have realized that the best residential area in town is inhabited by the dead!

Some must see design locations around the city?
One above all: Hangar Bicocca; it never tires me to go there. And not only for the exhibitions but mainly to hang out. 15,000 square metres of an old industrial area converted in a cultural space, 30 metre high ceilings, a permanent installation by Anselm Kiefer…what else could you want?

Where to relax and unwind in the city?
Hanging out with friends at Teatro Continuo by Alberto Burri, in the middle of Parco Sempione.

Your favourite shopping spots (for clothes but also books or flowers or jewels etc….)?
Via Paolo Sarpi, the heart of the Milanese Chinatown. The truth is you can find everything everywhere nowadays, but that’s the only place you can find things you were not even looking for.

Your favourite place to stop for a coffee and pasticcino?
I’ve never drunk a coffee in my life and I don’t like sweets. But there is a street food truck under the highway bridge close to the Fiera with the best ‘nduja. Favourite restaurant(s)? The ones next to my house in Milan: Santa Lucia for a classic Italian dinner; Park Hyatt if I am not in the mood to sit at a table; Osaka for a real Japanese treat.

A spot for a drink in the night?
That’s what Milan is missing the most. An actual meeting point for a drink after dinner with a good vibe and good atmosphere. Let’s hope the upcoming Soho House will solve the problem.

Where to go to see and be seen?
There is no need to go anywhere nowadays…Instagram satisfies both needs.

Your perfect day in Milan?
The great thing about Milan is that you can basically walk around anywhere. The perfect day is during the first days of spring: you go out in the morning with perfect weather, sun shining and you can walk around until sunset, then you have a drink outside and finally go for dinner. All of this without taking a bus or a cab.

Your favourite secret spot in the city?
The Orto Botanico in Brera.

Why do you live in Milan?
If you want to keep the Italian way of life but you also want a bit of international atmosphere it’s the only possible choice.