Museums in Milan are not too exciting for kids; they could do with some re-styling and the addition of some hands-on activities. So when Esther came for a visit on one of the few rainy weekends in January, I was not sure where we could go with our four kids! (Shopping all day was definitely out of the question)!
I opted for a lunch at the cafeteria of la Triennale followed by a visit to the just opened Design Museum.
La Triennale foundation di Milano is a cultural institution that funds and hosts exhibitions and various cultural activities in the fields of architecture, design and contemporary art. Since 1933 it has been based in Milan, in the Palazzo dell’Arte, which is located quite conveniently (on a sunny day) next to Parco Sempione, a decent-sized urban park.
The choice couldn’t have been better… even though they were refurbishing the kitchens so all we could get for lunch were (nicely filled) paninis!
The cafeteria, Coffee Design, is actually an extension of the exhibition space itself and occupies a very large area with floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the Sempione Park and the (now being refurbished) “Bagni Misteriosi” sculpture by Giorgio De Chirico. Tables are nicely spaced and you get to choose among more than fifty designer chairs of many shapes and styles. Kids love to run around and try to sit on them all! The ambience is not stuffy at all, the patrons being mainly young thirtysomethings with an artistic twist.
The new Design Museum is an innovative collection which showcases Italian design with a selection of pieces ranging from the Cinquecento to lamps and chairs. It has been conceived as a dynamic museum that will renovate itself every 6 months. The exhibition is spacious although a bit dark because of all the films being projected on the walls. Kids will love the many strange objects on display, and will encounter very tolerant guardians who will happily close an eye (or two) if their behaviour is not impeccable!
(As usual, Italian restrooms do not come with changing tables but the sink counter-tops are wide enough to change your baby). So even though it wasn’t built with kids in mind, the Triennale turned out to be a pretty friendly place to be on a cold and wet Saturday in January!
I loved going to the Triennale! The café was so cool with all the design chairs – in fact, it weren’t just the children who liked trying out all the design chairs!
And true enough, the guardians ARE very tolerant – even when my daughter escaped my guard for a sec and I found her trying out the Mendini chair pictured above, they didn’t really seem to mind!
Wow, I lived in Milan form 1997-2001 (pre-kids) and that museum was terrible when I visited, even for an adult.
I must admit, while I was living there I distinctly noticed a lack of kid type things. Or maybe you just don’t see those types of things in your heady twenties.
I really like your blog, I can now imagine what I’d be doing with my two kids if I was still there.
[…] dishes. If the weather is nice it is definitely a good choice. If it’s raining, head for the Triennale, where you can have lunch at the Design Café. The cafeteria is now being refurbished, but it […]