• Monday, May 29, 2017

The Latest on Interview

Valeria Castelli, The Carrie Bradshaw of Milan
September 7, 2011
Valeria Castelli

Three words to describe myself: Happy (always), active (I never stop), calm (surprisingly). Like Milan and the real Carrie Bradshaw, I have many layers. A successful attorney, the beautiful and stylish Valeria Castelli epitomizes the Working Jet Set traveler, managing a demanding work schedule but also finding time for her passions of shopping, traveling and eating out. From the Castelli family of Milano, Valeria not only has clothing just as fabulous as Carrie Bradshaw, but even her very own Mr. Big. When Galavante travels to Milan, we call Valeria for the latest on where to eat, stay and play during our frequent stops at one of the best layover cities in the world.

Galavante: How long have you lived and worked in Milan?

Valeria: I was born, raised, educated and now work in Milan. Professionally, I am an attorney and practice civil, commercial and family law. My family, the Castelli’s, have been in Italy for generations, though my great grandmother was from Vienna and my other great grandmother was from London.

Galavante: As the expert on Milano, what do you think makes it a Galavante-worthy destination?

Valeria: Milan is a city of many layers, which you need to peel back. It’s beauty and enchantment are not immediately apparent since so much of the city is behind 16th century buildings. Inside these walls, you’ll find gardens and courtyards which make you feel like you are back in ancient times. Many of our streets are made of gorgeous pave, where you can spend hours just getting lost. While historic, Milan is also modern for the shopping and nightlife. I especially love the Milan tradition of aperitif hour, where everywhere, from 7pm onwards, hundreds of people fill the streets and bars enjoying beverages and snacks before heading home or heading out to dinner. People watching is also very enjoyable in Milan with frequent celebrity sightings like Madonna, George Clooney, Morgan Freeman, Orlando Bloom and Matthew McConaugheyThree words to describe myself: Happy (always), active (I never stop), calm (surprisingly). Like Milan and the real Carrie Bradshaw, I have many layers. A successful attorney, the beautiful and stylish Valeria Castelli epitomizes the Working Jet Set traveler, managing a demanding work schedule but also finding time for her passions of shopping, traveling and eating out. From the Castelli family of Milano, Valeria not only has clothing just as fabulous as Carrie Bradshaw, but even her very own Mr. Big. When Galavante travels to Milan, we call Valeria for the latest on where to eat, stay and play during our frequent stops at one of the best layover cities in the world.

Galavante: What is your typical routine of restaurants, sites, and bars when enjoying your city? 


Valeria: For local favorites, I love Torre di Pisa restaurant for authentic Tuscan Cuisine, which is in the Brera quarter. Here you will see stylists, industrialists, actors, intellectuals, models and Milan’s elite. This restaurant is one of the places to live it up, and has been so for decades. For aperitif hour, I go to the Bulgari Hotel. Actually anytime is the perfect time to go to the Bulgari. They have excellent cocktails at the bar in the outdoor relaxation area, with opulent white cushions and loungers, surrounded by magnificent tall hedges. They light candles in the evening which makes it even more special. 
Bistrot Giacomo is another favorite; it’s a spectacular Parisienne-style bistro, for lunch, afternoon tea or dinner. For coffee, I love Leonardo’s which is owned by Pupi Solari, a famous Milanese. I love to shop as well, and have my favorites near the best shopping areas. Close to Via Montenapoleone are the Armani Cafè, Nobu and for the nightlife Nobu Privè, an exclusive bar-dancing club. All 3 are in the Emporio Armani building, which will soon add the Armani Hotel on Via Manzoni. Most evenings you can see Giorgio Armani at the Nobu bar-cocktail lounge greeting friends. 


Galavante: Speaking of shopping, there is definitely a reason you are known as the Carrie Bradshaw of Milan. What are your favorite picks for those of us who would like to partake in the Milanese sport of shopping?

Valeria: Like Carrie, I love many of the haute couture houses but I have beautiful "secret" places for clothing too in the Montepaleone and Brera quarters. For shoes, I love Gianvito Rossi, who is the son of the famed Sergio Rossi. His shoes are even more fabulous than his father’s. On the Via Manzoni Mari is great, which has clothing for work and special occasions. I especially love their unique coats and the cocktail dresses are gorgeous. They sell their own label in addition to KristinaT, Paul & Joe, and many others. In Brera, Jamin Puech designs lovely bags, and every fashionable Milan girl buys something from the bijoux shop GAS. One of my absolute favorites is Pupi Solari, (who also owns the Café Leonardo I mentioned) the most luxurious shop for women and children, where many of the European nobility buy their clothes. Each piece is personally chosen by the owner, Pupi, and you will not find a more fashionable and unique store anywhere in the world.

Galavante: What a circuit you have in Milan — a quite enviable life indeed. What’s next for you? 


Valeria: Well, in short order: a Saturday at Bulgari spa, in the calm and tranquil atmosphere of the shining gold pool. I love to indulge in the "Escape", a two and a half hour treatment. 
In December I’ll spend one week in New York City, another great city for shopping. Afterwards, I’ll head to the South of France for Christmas vacation then head to Geneva to meet dear friends.

Galavante: Hope you also get your happy ending like Carrie did with Mr. Big. What is your typical routine of restaurants, sites, and bars when enjoying your city? 
 


Valeria: For local favorites, I love Torre di Pisa restaurant for authentic Tuscan Cuisine, which is in the Brera quarter. Here you will see stylists, industrialists, actors, intellectuals, models and Milan’s elite. This restaurant is one of the places to live it up, and has been so for decades. For aperitif hour, I go to the Bulgari Hotel. Actually anytime is the perfect time to go to the Bulgari. They have excellent cocktails at the bar in the outdoor relaxation area, with opulent white cushions and loungers, surrounded by magnificent tall hedges. They light candles in the evening which makes it even more special. 
Bistrot Giacomo is another favorite; it’s a spectacular Parisienne-style bistro, for lunch, afternoon tea or dinner. For coffee, I love Leonardo’s which is owned by Pupi Solari, a famous Milanese. I love to shop as well, and have my favorites near the best shopping areas. Close to Via Montenapoleone are the Armani Cafè, Nobu and for the nightlife Nobu Privè, an exclusive bar-dancing club. All 3 are in the Emporio Armani building, which will soon add the Armani Hotel on Via Manzoni. Most evenings you can see Giorgio Armani at the Nobu bar-cocktail lounge greeting friends. 


Galavante: Hope you also get your happy ending like Carrie did with Mr. Big.