Opened in 1933 as the headquarters of the Triennale di Arte Decorativa (Italy’s decorative arts, industrial design and architecture triennial), this classical monumental-style building now houses a design museum. The rich permanent collection showcases the history of Italian design–it’s like a living catalog of the best Italian-made objects. The temporary exhibitions are often ambitious, like Rick Owens’ recent retrospective Subhuman Inhuman Superhuman, and the museum also hosts regular concerts and performances in its theater. In the summer, the Triennale’s back garden is buzzing with visitors who come to see the thirteen sculpture works on view, including the dreamlike “Mysterious Baths” fountain by Giorgio de Chirico, and stay for a coffee at the open-air café, where the designer chairs have been plucked from the museum’s collection.
Time Out tip: On the other side of Parco Sempione, almost directly opposite the Triennale, is the Civic Acquarium of Milan. Built for the 1906 Milan World Expo, it is the only surviving building from the event. While the aquarium itself is nothing to write home about, the Liberty-style building is stunning, with sculptural flourishes and tiled compositions portraying marine life.
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Viale Emilio Alemagna, 6