Lacking the outward charm and history inherent in most Italian enclaves, Milan has earned a reputation among some as the country’s least attractive city. For designer Nicola Gallizia, that’s a simple misconception. “The beauty of Milan is hidden inside its iconic homes, which not all people have the chance to see,” he says. Now, Gallizia has created a solution: Hotel Viu. Near both Corso Como and The Duomo Square, the new, 124-room stay was envisioned in the mode of a stylish Milanese flat, awash in rich wood, muted textiles, and Molteni furniture. Gio Ponti’s classic interiors were a privileged point of inspiration, and two of his armchairs now sit in the lobby, created with special dispensation from the Gio Ponti Archives.
If only a private residence could match the on-site Hotel Viu’s offerings. To start, few individuals have Michelin-grade chef Giancarlo Morelli in the kitchen, cooking upmarket Milanese dishes and international cuisine at his two tailor-made restaurants. Nor can they boast a massive vertical garden, filled with woven strands of jasmine, ivy, climbing roses, clematis, and wisteria cascading down the building. And just above, another rarity—the city’s only hotel rooftop with a pool. The Mediterranean olive trees circling the deck are a nice touch, too. As Gallizia says, “the fine details are the true protagonists.”