On a private street in the cultural and commercial heart of Milan lies one of the city’s brightest jewels—the Bulgari. Not an impeccably turned out designer jewellery boutique, as the name would suggest, but this 18th-century Milanese palazzo is home to the brand’s iconic hotel.
Bulgari Milan represents the brand’s bold and contemporary style, as designed by architect Antonio Citterio and Partners and, uniquely, the hotel is home to a 4,000-sqm private garden—a natural extension of the nearby Botanical Gardens.
Inside, there are 58 rooms, including 11 suites, each one overlooking the courtyard or garden, and furnished with carefully selected materials, such as teak and oak, to give each room a warm and intimate feel. From fashion and architecture to fine-jewellery and travel, open spaces are filled with coffee-table books for guests to browse and the walls decorated with contemporary artwork.
Ranging in size and stature, the largest and most prestigious room is the Bulgari Suite, which impressively fills over 1,296-sqft of private indoor space and a wrap-around 968-sqft terrace on the top floor. The suite even offers floor-to-ceiling views across Milan from the serenity of the large carved Brera stone bathtub.
The hotel’s spa is considered one of Milan’s most exclusive retreats, offering an otherworldly-looking indoor pool, generous loungers to relax upon and a host of treatments and health and fitness facilities. The hotel is also home to Il Bar and Il Ristorante, as well as The Lounge, The Aperitif and the glamorous Dom Pérignon Lounge & Raw Bar.
Roberto Di Pinto, from Napoli, is the hotel’s executive chef. Di Pinto carries the Neapolitan culinary spirit through the heart of the kitchen, with his cooking reflective of his roots and the Mediterranean region.
A feast for the senses
Three years ago, the hotel’s chef Roberto Di Pinto helped established Epicurea, a food festival curated by the wonderful Andrea Petrini, as a leading event on the international fine-dining scene. Each year sees a line up of seven chefs, as selected by Petrini, perform at the Bulgari hotel to “create an inimitable voyage through the flavours and fragrances of the best cuisines on the planet”.
Each guest chef is assisted by Di Pinto and his team over the course of the Epicurea season, which offers the opportunity for diners to experience the unique tastes and flavours from around the world.
Epicurea has already drawn in a top selection of international chefs so far this year, including David Thompson of Nahm, Bangkok; Leonardo Pereira of Areias do Seixo, A dos Cunhados (north of Lisbon); and Dominique Crenn of Atelier Crenn, San Francisco.
The rest of the year will see more of the world’s best chefs in Milan, including France’s three-star Yannick Alléno from Pavillon Ledoyen, Paris (26 – 27 April); Matt Orlando from Amass, Copenhagen (17 – 18 May); and Jock Zonfrillo from Orana, Adelaide (14 – 15 June); culminating with Luca Fantin from the Bulgari Ginza Tower in Tokyo.
During a presentation to launch the new season last November, Di Pinto introduced Epicurea 3 while paying homage to last year’s chefs by creating a series of dishes in their honour. He chose a starter of oyster, avocado, chervil and Pisco Sour granita, dedicated to Peruvian chef Virgilio Martinez of Lima’s Central Restaurante. Next up he created a scallop and Strolghino salami tartare inspired by Inaki Aizpitarte and his Paris bistro Le Chateaubriand, followed by a dish based on cod cooked in beer, truffle and asparagus, which celebrated chef Magnus Nilsson and his Swedish restaurant Fäviken Magasinet. Other dishes celebrating the genius vision of Danny Bowien (Mission Chinese Food and Mission Burger in San Francisco); René Redzepi (Noma, Copenhagen) and Yoshiro Narisawa (restaurant Narisawa, Tokyo).
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