Above Prada’s Galleria location, retro-chic Pasticceria Marchesi is the perfect escape from Milan’s slate gray winter days.
Climbing one flight above the pristine window displays of the luxury brand’s storefront, you are entering a jade-colored modernist retreat.
The marbled walls lead back through a narrow café that is elongated by linear lighting.
The striations make it feel like the café might go on forever.
On accent walls, a beautiful silk brocade adds a pop of detail against the brightly lit displays of pastel treats. Flawless cakes topped with fruits and merengue, as well as smaller pastries dipped in chocolate or filled with cream, beckon from behind glass and wood counters.
The experience is gorgeous and you will pay the price for taking it all in.
At the banco, your coffee and cornetto will run about 3 euro. However, should you choose to sit on the jade velvet chairs for table service, then be prepared to swallow your thrifty side.
A cappuccino alone will cost you 7 euro, and add 3 euro more for a croissant.
A standard hotel would charge that much for more banal offerings, so I was happy to spend the equivalent for the beautiful design and attentive service.
Jacketed waiters glide across the marble floors, bringing me hot water in a silver teapot for my DIY Americano.
The coffee arrived with a rich sheen of crema, and the sugared shell of the cornetto cracked softly as I bit into the pillowy center.
While not an everyday type of treat, Prada has transformed the classic bakery (in which it bought the majority share in 2014) into a chic, dreamlike space. I could see myself coming back for a spritz – but coffee and a cornetto will have to do for 10 am.
There are other locations, but I loved sitting by the window to gaze out at the Galleria.
Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II
Open: Everyday from 7:30 am to 9 pm