Milan, Italy – Designers’ Hotspots

Milan, Italy – Designers’ Hotspots

In this article, Italian interior and product designer Francesco Rota gives his personal tips for the city of Milan beyond the well-trodden tourist sights of the Scala and the Duomo di Milano.

The tips

Aspesi Shop

Aspesi’s flagship store is nested in the heart of Milan’s shopping area. Apart from its straightforward modern interior, the store’s interior design integrates interactive installations and a careful selection of modern and antique pieces of furniture.


The café is situated in a portico of Villa Reale, adjacent to Porta Venezia and really close to our design office. A location of great historic and artistic value, it is our secret spot for the times we need to indulge in a brioche and a coffee or an after-work aperitif.

Fondazione Prada

The great thing about this venue is its industrial character, located in a former gin distillery from 1910. Fondazione Prada promotes a rich cultural multidisciplinary programme and is a must-see for architects and designers.

La Cantinetta

La Cantinetta is not a chic Milan restaurant – in fact its appearance is far from elegant. However, it’s the place where you can eat the best steak in town.

Villa Necchi

Villa Necchi is a masterpiece of 1930s Italian architecture hidden in the city centre of Milan. The interiors say a lot about the real lifestyle of the Milanese bourgeoisie.

These tips are from:

Francesco Rota, Studio Francesco Rota, Milan, Italy 

Francesco Rota is an interior and product designer based in Milan. He was born in 1966, graduated in product design in 1994 at Art Center College of Design, La Tour de Peilz (Switzerland), and in 1998 opened his own studio in Milan where he doesn’t limit his work to just one field. The secret to his long-lasting success lies in the wide scope of his interests: products, furniture, lighting, showrooms, offices, residential interiors, events, etc. In 2004 he lectured on a master’s programme at Istituto Europeo di Design in collaboration with Magis. In 2013 he was appointed creative director of Lapalma. Francesco’s long-term collaboration with Paola Lenti and Lapalma has been extremely productive. He has already been awarded at the Red Dot Design Award for ‘ADD’ and ‘Kanji’ in 2016. This year he received the Red Dot: Best of the Best for the product ‘Uptown’.

Among the many other awards in recognition of Francesco’s work are the WallPaper* Design Award in 2017, the Good Design Award in 2016, the Muuuz International Design Award and the Interior Design Best of the Year 2014 Award. He also received a Special Mention in the German Design Award and last but not least three Honourable Mentions in the Compasso d’Oro. The authentic values of Italian design – comfort, simplicity, functionality and visual appeal – are an integral part of Francesco’s philosophy and are present throughout all his works. He designs for various companies and environments, but always with innate feeling for composition, a delicate taste for colour and a focus on functionality. His works are aimed at complimenting their settings and contributing to the general feeling of comfort. This design effort is greatly appreciated not only by his partners but also by the audience, a fact that is evident in the increasing interest in his work.

By the way, you can also find these and other tips for Milan from Francesco Rota in the Red Dot Design App in Red Dot Maps.

More about Francesco Rota:

Works that have been awarded at the Red Dot Design Award:
Sofa Uptown

In our category “Sofas” on Red Dot 21 you will find more exclusive designer sofas and furniture for your living room in the category “Living & bedroom furniture“.

Posted on 04.08.2017

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