MILAN, ITALY - JUNE 22:  A general view of the atmosphere at GQ Celebrates Jim Nelson's 10th Anniversary as Editor-in-Chief Party on June 22, 2013 in Milan at Villa Necchi on June 22, 2013 in Milan, Italy.  (Photo by Victor Boyko/Getty Images for GQ)

Getty Images for GQ

Villa Necchi Campiglio

Top choice in Milan

Designed by homegrown talent Piero Portaluppi, this exquisitely restored 1930s villa was commissioned by Pavian heiresses Nedda and Gigina Necchi (of the Necchi sewing-machine empire), and Gigina's husband Angelo Campiglio. When it was completed the trio were proud owners of a home that embodied ‘new’ luxury, complete with a swimming pool, central heating and electronic shuttering. Portaluppi's commingling of art deco and rationalist styles powerfully evokes Milan's modernist imaginings. However, purists will lament later classical renovations by Tomaso Buzzi, favoured architect of the bourgeoisie.

Quotidian details – silk evening frocks hanging at the ready, luggage for the sisters' many overseas jaunts and dinnerware designed by Gio Ponti – are as enthralling as the sleek architectural lines and big-ticket artworks by Morandi and de Chirico. Enjoy a drink at the cafe by the pool while you're there.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Milan attractions

1. Museo Civico di Storia Naturale

0.27 MILES

This grand neo-Romanesque building houses Milan's natural history museum, complete with dinosaurs, fossils and the largest geology collection in Europe…

3. Padiglione d'Arte Contemporanea


Art and design intertwine at the city’s ground-breaking contemporary galleries. Leading the pack is PAC, which mounts experimental exhibitions in…

4. Galleria d’Arte Moderna


Napoleon’s temporary Milanese home, the 18th-century Villa Reale, now houses Milan's modern art collection. Made up of bequests from leading Milanese…

5. Civico Planetario Ulrico Hoepli

0.34 MILES

Deep stargazing has found its place in Italy’s biggest planetarium. Not only will it open your eyes to the wonders of the universe, it does so in very…

6. Museo Bagatti Valsecchi

0.34 MILES

Though born a few centuries too late, the Bagatti Valsecchi brothers, Fausto and Giuseppe, were determined to be Renaissance men, and from 1878 to 1887…

7. Giardini Pubblici Indro Montanelli

0.36 MILES

A life story unfolds as you follow pebble paths past bumper cars and a carousel, onwards past games of football, kissing teens, a beer kiosk, babies in…

8. Quadrilatero d'Oro

0.37 MILES

A stroll around the Quadrilatero d'Oro, the world's most famous shopping district, is a must even for those not sartorially inclined. The quaintly cobbled…