At number 11 of the very central Corso Venezia in Milan stands a monumental building whose entrance door is set back a few meters from the course of the road. This is the former seminary of the city. “Former” because the building doesn’t host young people with a vocation for the priesthood anymore and in a few weeks it will become a new luxury hotel in the fashion capital.
The “Seminario Arcivescovile”: a brief history
The entire complex was commissioned by San Carlo Borromeo and built in the area where the monastery of San Giovanni once stood. It was inaugurated in 1564 on a project by the architect Vincenzo Seregni who oversaw the modernization of the existing structures. Between 1569 and 1611 the works to expand the structure included the construction of a refectory, the expansion of the existing dormitory as well as the construction of the entire east wing.
The portal visible from the street was added in 1635 on a project by Francesco Maria Richini who a few years later will take care of the project for the Palazzo di Brera (now home to the Academy of Fine Arts).
At the height of the Napoleonic period in Milan, the entire building was occupied by the Ministry of War and subsequently (Napoleon abdicated in 1814) returned to the provisions of the diocese until 1930 when the new seminary was built and inaugurated in Venegono, forty miles north of the Lombard capital. .
Later the seminary saw a slow decline until 2002 when it was definitively closed.
The rebirth of a monumental building: The Portrait Milano Hotel by Lungarno Collection
The Ferragamo family‘s interest in the building in the heart of Milan was made public as early as 2018. The idea was to build a luxury hub that combines the different aspects of living well. A 5-star hotel, first in Milan for the Ferragamos after those of Florence and Rome, a restaurant, an area dedicated to wellness with SPA and swimming pool and a shopping arcade. The expected opening date was 2020 but the health emergency made it impossible to complete the works that have lasted until today.
The official date of the opening to the public of the Portrait Hotel in Milan will be November 23rd 2022 and starting from that date the immense square (3.000 square meters) at the center of the structure, which few Milanese have had the opportunity to visit until today, will finally become accessible to anyone.
In fact, the project includes the opening of a second access gate on Via Sant’Andrea, behind the main entrance and in the heart of the fashion district. This redevelopment will therefore make it possible to unite the Milanese fashion district with Corso Venezia, allowing citizens and tourists to enjoy a new path through the streets of luxury but above all among some of the most beautiful buildings that the city offers.
Portrait Milano: what to do, buy and eat
The insiders of the fashion world have already had the opportunity to have a preview of what will be the new hub of luxury in Milan. During the recent Milanese fashion week the Florentine brand paraded between the columns of the loggia that surround the entire square at the center of the building.
Right here, starting from the end of November will arrive, the Antonia multibrand retailer (founded by the iconic Milanese buyer Antonia Giacinti) which after the historic shop in Via Cusani is preparing to propose to the public the latest collections chosen with the wit and knowledge that made her famous.
A restaurant will also open in the former seminary. The chef Alberto Quadrio (born in 1990) who, despite his young age, boasts an important national and international experience has recently been appointed to lead the team.
A dedicated wellness area could not be missing with its brand new SPA and a swimming pool which, however, is only expected to open in 2023. And the offer is completed by the meeting and event spaces that will certainly find the favor of the Milanese meeting planners, always looking for that “something new” and Portrait Milano Hotel by Lungarno Collection certainly is that “thing”!
*Cover picture by @portraitmilano