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9 HOURS IN TORTONA AND NAVIGLI

INGRIDESIGN_reading outside the MUDEC

Last week I spent 9 hours around the Tortona & Navigli area of Milan. I really like it there so I thought I would share some of the things I did. It is a very trendy up-and-coming area of Milan full of cool café’s, creative shops, streetart & fashionable beautiful people everywhere you go. I would say it’s in a way Milan’s version of Brick Lane; a great place to have a wander if you are like me and in need of some inspiration. My aim of the day was to get to know the area so I decided on not bringing a map or using google maps on my phone. It went surprisingly good and is to me the best was to explore a new area, although it is good to have google maps at hand incase you get really lost.

My day started by taking the underground in to Porta Genova Station, which is right in the middle of where Tortona & Navigli meet and therefore the perfect starting point. It was then time for breakfast, which to me is one of the most important times of the day! I had done a bit of research online beforehand and decided to go to this place called God Save The Food which looked very appealing. They had croissants and cakes and a large colourful selection of smoothies (which I didn’t see until after I had ordered.. *sadface) but in the spirit of all things British I decided on a cute salmon & cucumber finger sandwich. As I was happy to discover that they had soya milk I also ordered a soya cappuccino which was very tasty.

INGRIDESIGN tortona & navigli GSTF breakfast

INGRIDESIGN tortona & navigli GSTF cappuchino

It was a nice place to grab breakfast because even though it is very popular and quite a lot of people they all seem to run out the door quite quickly after shooting down their espresso so most of the tables were empty.

INGRIDESIGN tortona & navigli GSTF interior

INGRIDESIGN tortona & navigli GSTF interior wall

After breakfast I had a walk around the area for nearly 2 hours exploring and trying to get familiar with it. I discovered that Napapijri has a showroom there (trust the Norwegian to spot the Norwegian flag), saw a lot of cool places I have put on my to-do list for another time and got a bit lost on the hunt for a shop called Bio c’ Bon. I eventually found it and had a browse before I ended up with this little vegan treat.

INGRIDESIGN tortona & navigli vegan snack

INGRIDESIGN tortona & navigli MUDEC exterior

INGRIDESIGN tortona & navigli MUDEC reflection

After the snack I walked a bit more before I arrived at the MUDEC museum and had a look inside to see what it had to offer. Their design store is great, almost like a little art gallery of it’s own, and the bistro was beautiful & modern with a lot of art on the walls. There is also a restaurant on the third floor of the building which I didn’t go in to, but it’s said to be ‘an elegant, exclusive setting for gourmet dining’.

INGRIDESIGN tortona & navigli MUDEC art wall

INGRIDESIGN tortona & navigli MUDEC art

As I wasn’t in the mood to walk around inside too much on this sunny day I decided not to go to the exhibition (but noted down that there will be a Barbie exhibition on later this year that I might check out.) I had a little snoop around inside the building though as I was curious to see the interestingly shaped hallway on the second floor.

INGRIDESIGN tortona & navigli MUDEC stairs interior

INGRIDESIGN tortona & navigli MUDEC walls interior

I found a lovely yellow chair outside in the courtyard and rested my feet for a bit while I read a book. It was a nice and peaceful place to sit, and that chair was so comfortable!

INGRIDESIGN tortona & navigli MUDEC outdoor chairs

“A multidisciplinary and multifunctional centre devoted to the world’s various cultures, the Mudec, Museo delle Culture, is designed to become a point of reference in Italy for research, dissemination and entertainment in the fields of art and creativity. The Mudec engages in constant dialogue with the international communities present in Italy so as to ensure broad expression of the multiplicity of cultures involved with no sacrifice of their complexity.” – MUDEC mission statement

At this point I was getting very hungry and as I was close by God Save The Food I decided to go back again for lunch. This time it was very full of people as there are many offices nearby, but there were a few tables still available so I didn’t have to wait too long. I was meeting my boyfriend for lunch and it was a lovely place for a little lunch date, although a bit noisy. My boyfriend had the club sandwich (which looked amazingly good but I forgot to take a photo of) and I had eggs & bacon which was also very good.

INGRIDESIGN tortona & navigli GSTF lunch plate

INGRIDESIGN tortona & navigli canal view

After saying goodbye to my boyfriend I headed to the Navigli district which surrounds the city’s historic canals and is the place to go in Milan for an aperitivo. As I was there around 3 and not really ready for a drink (yet) I decided to just walk along the canal in the sun. I have been there many times in the evening, but it is nice to see it when it is all empty during the week.

INGRIDESIGN tortona & navigli canal

At the end of the Naviglio Grande canal I ended up at the Urban Farmers Market of Milan called Mercato Metropolitano. It is a temporary 16.000 sm. area of streetfood, farmers, artisans and events created within the ‘Outside EXPO’ calendar “EXPOCITTA”. If you are hungry this is the place to go as it has all kinds of both Italian and international food available.

INGRIDESIGN tortona & navigli mercato metropolitano

INGRIDESIGN tortona & navigli mercato metropolitano market

Still feeling so full from the lunch earlier I ended up with a refreshing lemonade from one of the stalls and sat on one of the tables reading my book while people watching and enjoying what was left of the day..

INGRIDESIGN tortona & navigli mercato metropolitano pitstop

I really enjoyed the day in Tortona & Navigli, it is such a creative place with so much to discover around each corner. If you have any tips of any places you have been around there let me know so I can put it on my ever-growing list of things to explore!

// Photo credit: Ingrid Opstad

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SNAPSHOTS FROM PUGLIA

All photos by ingridesign

All photos by ingridesign

I just got back from a relaxing week of sun, food & fun in Puglia and thought I would share some photos on the blog.

If you don’t know what or where Puglia is, here is a short summery; Puglia (poo-lia) is a region in South Italy bordering the Adriatic Sea which forms the heel on the ‘boot’ of Italy. The region is 19,345 square kilometers with a population of about 4.1 million, and the capital city is Bari. Puglia is a great holiday destination as it has some of Italy’s most beautiful beaches, warm climate, a lot of fascinating towns & important archaeological sites plus amazing food!

I will also be doing a more in-debt post about the cute town Monopoli that we visited, so watch this space! But for now, here are some of the things I spotted (which is to be honest mostly beach related..)

Giant lemons from the backgarden

INGRIDESIGN_snapshots from Puglia :: watermelons

INGRIDESIGN_snapshots from Puglia :: beach

Beautiful & colourful floor tiles

INGRIDESIGN_snapshots from Puglia :: blue sun beach

INGRIDESIGN_snapshots from Puglia :: view

INGRIDESIGN_snapshots from Puglia :: saloon

INGRIDESIGN_snapshots from Puglia :: granita & reading

INGRIDESIGN_snapshots from Puglia :: empty beach

INGRIDESIGN_snapshots from Puglia :: house

INGRIDESIGN_snapshots from Puglia :: entrance

INGRIDESIGN_snapshots from Puglia :: indian figs

INGRIDESIGN_snapshots from Puglia :: storm aproaching blue sun beach

INGRIDESIGN_snapshots from Puglia :: details

INGRIDESIGN_snapshots from Puglia :: calippo bubble gum

INGRIDESIGN_snapshots from Puglia :: life is a beach

INGRIDESIGN_snapshots from Puglia :: arrivederci

Psst; want to see more of Puglia? Check out this video; #WeAreinPuglia

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A DAY AT THE EXPO

All photos by Ingrid Opstad

All photos by ingridesign

Last week I finally went back to the EXPO to spend the whole day there. It was very helpful to have had an evening there before (more about that here) to get an overview so that we knew exactly what we wanted to experience and see.

If you haven’t heard of the EXPO yet, here is a quick introduction;
EXPO Milano 2015 is a Universal Exhibition from May 1st to October 31st where 145 participating countries is showcasing their answer to a vital need: being able to guarantee healthy, safe and sufficient food for everyone while respecting the planet and it’s equilibrium. Under the slogan ‘Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life’ the 2 million square meter large exhibition space has become the place to be if you want to experience food, design and culture from all over the world.

EXPO milano 2015 passport cover

Visitors can purchase their own EXPO passport at the entrance which, like a normal passport, has space for receiving stamps from each country you visit. This means that you end up with a little visual diary, a great way to remember what you did and look back on later. I loved collecting the stamps, it is such a great idea for both kids and grown-ups to make the EXPO experience even better. Here you can see a sneak-peak inside my passport;

INGRIDESIGN EXPO milan 2015 passport stamps

The first pavilion we went to was the Brazilian Pavilion, because we had heard it was one of the best attractions and something that had to be experienced. The reason being it consists of a beautifully designed structure containing a large suspended net where visitors are invited to join in on a multi-sensory and immersive experience. It was fun trying to walk the net, and at one point I ended up hand-in-hand with an older woman needing help balancing as it was quite a difficult task to cross it. Underneath the net you can find a Green Gallery with different plants, flowers and fruits from Brazil.

“The net is the materialization of the concept ‘Feeding the world with solutions’ and act as a metaphor of flexibility, fluidity and decentralization to represent the bounds and the integration of different topics and players creating, once combined, the true Brazilian role in producing quality food to satisfy global demand in a technological and sustainable way, perfectly in line with Expo main theme.” – EXPO website

INGRIDESIGN EXPO 2015 MILANO brazilian pavilion

INGRIDESIGN EXPO milan 2015 brazil inside

After that we went to the Angola Pavilion. It has a spectacular exterior with a wooden geometric shaped surface which comes from the typical Angolan printed fabrics. The surface allows natural light to enter the rooms inside, and gives a nice effect throughout the structure. The exhibition area’s inside has the theme ‘Food and culture, educate to innovate’, and it shows the country’s natural food resources as well as focusing on the culture and soul of the nation in the four chapters; origins, growth, sustainability and future.

I loved walking through the exhibition learning about the country, and especially enjoyed the unexpected light and sound show that suddenly happened in the middle of our visit replicating a storm followed by tribal music and sounds. This happened as I entered the center of the sacred African baobab tree which made it even more magical.

“The Pavilion of Angola has an architectural concept inspired by a representation of the ‘imbondeiro’, the sacred African baobab tree in the Angolan culture. The tree will also be the starting point from which visitors start a cultural and gastronomic journey inside the Pavilion through which they become acquainted with the content of the Angola.” – EXPO website

INGRIDESIGN EXPO milan 2015 angola structure

Then it was time for a sit-down and a snack so we made a little stop in Belgium where we enjoyed some lovely fries before heading over to the Republic of Korea Pavilion. This was a very modern and simplistic structure where the use of highly advanced science and technology in the fields of food, environment, and human physiology was showcasing their diverse culinary practices. One of the main attractions was a robot show with two screens showcasing the process of fermentation in Korean cuisine.

“The overarching theme of the Korea Pavilion is to promote a more sustainable way of life through healthy eating. Under the banner ‘Hansik, Food for the Future: You are What You Eat’ the exhibition will showcase how a healthy diet can affect one’s outlook and appearance on life. What we eat and how we eat all reflect the way we are. A healthier diet will not only help us make the most out of life but also preserve the environment around us.” – EXPO website

INGRIDESIGN EXPO milan 2015 corea

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INGRIDESIGN EXPO milan 2015 south korea

After a walk around and a brief stop near China eating some Ramen noodles & gyozas we decided to go to the Italian area, and couldn’t resist checking out the Fab Food. The factory of Italian taste exhibition mainly because of this amazing entrance! It is spread over ten rooms and focuses mainly on kids, schools and families with a lot of games such as the ‘Juke Box of Wishes’ where visitors can play choosing their favourite Italian dishes and see how they are created.

INGRIDESIGN EXPO milan 2015 fab food

Next to the Fab Food exhibition is the L’aperitivo Italiano terrazza Martini, which offers a 360° view of the EXPO site. Here we could sit in the shadow underneath an umbrella away from the stress and crowds while enjoying a lovely Martini Royal cocktail along with a nicely presented aperitivo plate. La dolce vita!

INGRIDESIGN EXPO milan 2015 l'aperitivo italiano terrazza martini

INGRIDESIGN EXPO milan 2015 martini terrace

One of the other pavilions I had heard so much about and wanted to see was the Austrian Pavilion. Here visitors can take a breath in the small scale Austrian forest that provides 62.5 kilograms of fresh oxygen every hour. It is a very relaxing and refreshing experience, and you forget where you are for a moment. Perfect place to cool down on a hot day (which is most days in the Milan summer)..

“With ‘BREATHE’ Austria is making an incisive contribution to the theme ‘Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life’ at the Expo Milan 2015. ‘BREATHE’ highlights the No.1 source of nourishment and one of the most important resources for an international audience: AIR. Architecture, Nature, Culture and Research are brought together to offer the visitor a personal experience.” – Klaus K. Loenhart

INGRIDESIGN EXPO milan 2015 breathe austria

INGRIDESIGN EXPO milan 2015 austria eat

Then it was time to eat again, and we ended up going back to the Japanese Pavillion as we enjoyed the food there so much last time we went. I had the Chicken Katsu curry this time as it is something I used to eat quite a lot when living in London and can’t seem to find here in Milan, and it was very delicious. We ended the day again with watching the Tree of Life evening show which is a must, before heading home.

I highly recommend people to visit the EXPO, and would suggest reading up on it beforehand to have a view of which areas you would like to visit as there are so much to see and not enough time. I will definitely go back soon as there are still so many pavilions I want to experience, and also to hopefully fill up my passport! Get your ticket here.

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APERITIVO AT BUNS

All photos by ingridesign

All photos by Ingrid Opstad

Last week we went to the new BUNS Burger Bar & Restaurant in Monza for an aperitivo. Aperitivo is one of my favourite things to do in Italy. In short it means that if you purchase any alcoholic drink, you are free to eat as much as you want from a buffet table full of food and snacks.

INGRIDESIGN Buns Monza drinks

INGRIDESIGN Buns Monza pimms

As it was a very sunny and warm day I had a pimm’s, and it was very delicious. It was full of strawberries and orange slices, and was served in a cool mason jar. Thumbs up for both flavour and presentation!

INGRIDESIGN Buns Monza aperitivo plate

The food was basic Italian snacks consisting of ham, cheese, different small sandwiches, chips and olives; the perfect selection for a little aperitif before a late Friday night dinner.

One of the reasons why we went to Buns was because of the interior design. We’ve walked past a couple of times looking in, and really liked the Scandinavian industrial style. There are even small cotton clouds hanging from the ceiling, a nice little detail which adds a bit of fun to the space.

INGRIDESIGN Buns Monza interior entrance

INGRIDESIGN Buns Monza interior furnitures

INGRIDESIGN Buns Monza interior table

INGRIDESIGN Buns Monza interior

A little tip; go there on a Thursday for a 1 euro aperitivo. See you there!

12

L.O.V.E. MILAN

All photos by ingridesign

All photos by Ingrid Opstad

Yesterday we spent the day in sunny Milan. We had a wander around in the main shopping street which was quite full even for a Tuesday.

INGRIDESIGN duomo milan

For lunch we went to the Brian & Barry Building (again), for a piadina at Eataly on the -1 floor. I had the classic prosciutto, squacquerone cheese & rocket, and it was very good! If you haven’t had a piadina before then I recommend trying one in Italy as it is a nice lighter option to a sandwich. It reminds me a bit of a tortilla, but the difference is that it’s made from flour instead of corn for a softer flavour.

INGRIDESIGN brian&barry building  milan

INGRIDESIGN no logo tee

(The NO LOGO top is from Pull&Bear!)

INGRIDESIGN piadina at eataly

INGRIDESIGN eataly milan

Then we went to Piazza Affari to look at this 13 feet tall sculpture of a massive middle finger in front of the stock exchange. It was designed by Mauritzio Cattelan who pokes fun at popular culture, history, and religion with black humor. The sculpture is called L.O.V.E. which is an acronym of libertà (freedom), odio (hate), vendetta (revenge), and eternità (eternity), but is popularly known as just “The Middle Finger”.

“Officially it’s name is L.O.V. E. – so it stands for love – but everyone can read between the lines and take away the message they see for themselves.” – Maurizio Cattelan

INGRIDESIGN L.O.V.E. sculpture milan

The day ended with a coffee at the Juicebar, a nice place but I might have to go back to try one of their juices next time.

i love you a latte INGRIDESIGN

8

1ST OUTDOOR SPRITZ OF THE SEASON

All photos by ingridesign

All photos by Ingrid Opstad

So I’m in Italy again, and the first thing I had to do was to stop for an Aperol Spritz! We discovered this cool and trendy place called Santeria, hidden away in a back alley in Milan. It is like a little community with a bar & restaurant, a little independent shop selling records, books and clothes as well as open space offices for creative people. Very interesting concept and a lovely place to stop for a drink (or two..)

ingridesign santeria 2

ingridesign santeria 3

ingridesign santeria 4

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ingridesign santeria 8

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