Quirky, to say the least—a dozen black cats are blissfully purring on the roof of the luxurious Hotel Galleria Vik in Milan. The team at the glamorous pizzeria Dodici Gatti on the 6th floor inherited these iconic wild felines when their long-term owner passed away. They take care of their needs in conjunction with the City Council of Milan and the Association of animal protection.
A big grin will appear when you enter the doors of Galleria Vik Milano and come face to face with Auguste Rodin's iconic bronze sculpture, 'The Thinker.' Then, look up at the ceiling and around the walls—you will be gob-smacked at the sight of Titans and Amazonians holding up the world, a dry fresco cloaking the reception area by the Italian artist Alex Folla and Russian-born artist Elena Trailini. This is no ordinary hotel. The visual feast flows throughout the hotel’s four floors of the legendary building, Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, sitting in Via Silvio Pellico, the historical heart of Milan. A private museum and a decadent hotel, Galleria Vik Milan oozes Italian charm and heritage while showcasing a diverse array of renowned artists' work.
Each guest room and suite is designed around a particular artist—like being in a private mini-art gallery. Walls come alive under masterful brushstrokes or a profusion of hanging art pieces, spacious bathrooms are marble decadence, and parquet floors compliment the overall décor in which king-size beds are swamped with fine linen. Suites have separate living areas and views that take your breath away as Milan is laid before you. There are numerous different configurations of guest rooms and suites to choose from; the palace suite has double-height ceilings and master suites have intimate lofts, while Grand Terrace rooms have their own private rooftop terraces to swan around. All rooms and suites include thoughtful amenities such as robes and slippers, complimentary WiFi, a safe, a hairdryer, and sublime boutique toiletries.
If you are not satisfying the hunger pangs at one of the 15 Michelin-star restaurants in Milan, head to the elegant in-house art gallery/restaurant ‘VIK Pellico Otto' to taste the creative masterpieces of fusion cuisine that are the embodiment of local and seasonal produce—a luscious plate of penne with salted ricotta cheese or that perfect dish of spaghetti with clams and mullet botargo (dried, salted and pressed roe). In between mouthfuls, delight in your surroundings of colorful marble tables, striking artworks, and a view over the famous Bull of the Galleria. Or, keep the kitties on the roof happy by indulging in a traditional wood-fired Napolitan-style pizza, pasta, risotto, or grilled beef dish on the menu of Dodici Gatti, and you can contribute to their upkeep. The outdoor terrace on the rooftop gives you the most incredible view over the Milan skyline.
Milan, the city that epitomizes Italian fashion, architecture, and art, is home to; the imposing Duomo di Milano Cathedral that’s a Gothic showpiece from the 14th Century, and the Santa Maria delle Grazie convent housing the mural of Leonardo da Vinci's 'The Last Supper.' It's a city of history that overpowers and seduces one's senses with its rich display in every nook and cranny. There are nine prominent municipal neighborhoods to stroll around, each displaying a unique character. The Duomo area is the city's historical center, where landmark architectural wonders are within meters of each other. Brera's pretty and boho enclave hides the Pinacoteca Museum, an astronomical observatory, and a botanical garden where you can tiptoe over cobblestones and sip espresso on the sidewalk. San Babila and Quadrilatero are the best neighborhoods for Italian fashionistas to thrash credit cards on the ultimate designer gear. While the hot spot areas perfect for sipping aperitivi can be found in Darsena and Navigli on the canal banks. Porta Venezie is a haven for the vintage fan into fossicking through quirky shops or the social creature chasing eclectic cafes, bars, and clubs. It's also known as the rainbow hub of the city where Pride Week events occur. And, the student hub of Milan can be found in the vibrant NoLo district, where there is a festival dedicated to street and graffiti art every June, the Looperfest.
Staying at Galleria Vik Milano is the quintessential Italian retreat where you will be amid the Piazza del Duomo and Piazza della Scala and all the best Milan offers.