An oasis of peace in an ever-moving city. It’s the Residenza Ascanio Sforza in Milan, an XVII century residence whose apartments will welcome you with modern details and comforts, yet without losing the wise touch of another era.
The peaceful atmosphere that you breath when stepping into the inner courtyard of the Residenza Ascanio Sforza has something surprising to it. One minute you’re immersed in the crowded Navigli area, one of Milan’s nerve centres, and the next you feel like chaos has been left out of the door by an unknown guardian.
The same tranquillity will last for your whole stay at the Residenza, supported by the vast spaces of the apartments and by their perfect soundproofing.
Modern-looking rooms and countless services – from laundry pick-up to a guarded parking structure, from the vastly stocked breakfast corner to the exquisite bath products – make the Residenza an excellent foothold in Milan for both business travellers and families on vacation.
Still, the best way to get to know the Residenza is through the words of someone who knows, lives and takes care of it daily. We’ve had the pleasure of interviewing Mister Renato Badan, Chief Receptionist at the Residenza Ascanio Sforza.
What’s the story behind the Residenza Ascanio Sforza?
Speaking of the story, I like to remind that we’re inside a beautiful and carefully restructured XVII century palace, directly overlooking the Naviglio.
It’s interesting to know what inspired the birth of the Residenza: the owner had to spend some time in a residence, and yet the very thought of setting a foot inside his apartment depressed him. So, he decided to create a facility just like the one he dreamt about, with notably superior standards. That’s why the apartments have been studied and curated in great detail, putting together vintage furniture and modern elements, with vast spaces and generous dimensions.
Which are the stylistic ideas that have been followed to design the apartments?
A style was chosen that had to be at the same time welcoming and modern, with some luxury declination. Every room has been furnished with elements and objects that relate to the great architects of Milan. Last year, a renovation made all the apartments even fresher and up to date.
Being the Navigli an area with many attractions, great attention was also put on soundproofing, the guarantee the perfect relaxing atmosphere for our guests.
Which are the exclusive comforts for the guests of the Residenza?
First and foremost, for us, comfort means privacy and high-class service for the guests that are under my personal care.
Inside the apartments, that get cleaned on a daily basis, guests may find everything they need; even a
minibar, snacks and a Nespresso coffee machine. Moreover, they can take advantage of a small cafeteria where to have breakfast and some tables in the flowered courtyard.
At the reception, we provide maximum support to our guests; we can help with grocery shopping, and we can receive Amazon or laundry deliveries.
Inside the courtyard, we even have a unique garage structure which can host as far as 32 cars and it’s extremely convenient for our guests.
Another great plus is being located in one of Milan’s most exclusive areas, well served by public transportation and easy to reach from airports, highways and from the city centre.
Is there an ideal type of traveller for the Residenza?
There’s a great mix of clients coming here. We often have people from the fashion world, artists, musicians, businessmen but also foreign students and families coming to Milan for a weekend trip to museums, shopping malls and great music or sports events.
The apartments are well designed for long stays. In fact, there’re many managers and business travellers staying at us, even when they’re waiting for their permanent home in the city to be freed. That’s why we have agreements with many societies to hosts their officials.
Our largest apartments may reach 180 sqm, so they’re really sought after by families and large groups.
Since Milan has become a tourist capital, we’ve seen the Leisure travellers’ requests becoming higher and higher, and yet lately the Bleisure [Business + Leisure, N.d.R.] travellers are becoming increasingly interested.
Is there a typical Milanese daily routine that guests can witness from their windows?
The Residenza directly overlooks the Naviglio, and right in front of our entrance, there’s the Conchetta, one of the floodgates designed by Leonardo da Vinci, and still functioning. Leonardo greatly contributed to Lombardy’s water system, and Milan hosts many of his ingenious solutions.
This city also has the ability to charm you at each and every hour of the day. Here ideas, industriousness, research, beauty, art, fun and competition are an everyday occurrence.
The Navigli area, in particular, has always been one of the liveliest of the city. Historically, here took place the most part of the commercial activities, while artisans worked with wood, marble and iron in the old courtyards. Nowadays, a thousand venues, restaurants and pubs make the Navigli a really picturesque neighbourhood, both day and night. It’s a pity that the nightlife no longer takes place on the canal boats.
Which are Milan’s hidden corners that can be easily reached from the Residenza?
The Navigli area hides some poetic corners: the laundry workers’ alley, as beautiful as centuries ago, San Cristoforo’s Church, and many green spaces for those who love Nature.
Leonardo’s Conchetta also reminds us of everything that this genius has left here after his 20-years stay in Milan: not only the famous Last Supper fresco but also the Atlantic Code, the Naviglio’s floodgates, and the numerous brilliant drawings.
Within walking distance from the Residenza, there’s the Darsena, which, after the recent reconstruction, has now become a new Milanese centre. Here you may find a market and some restaurants and bars with interesting gastronomical offers.
If you’re in town for a cultural trip, within a 10 minutes’ ride you’ll be able to reach the Castello Sforzesco, the Duomo, and the most famous boutiques.
Finally, if you take a short walk from the Residenza, you’ll reach one of the most magnificient churches in town, Sant’Eustorgio, as well as the Museo Diocesano and the Conca del Naviglio.
Renato Badan | Reception Manager
Photo courtesy of Residenza Ascanio Sforza
Sito internet: http://www.ascaniosforza.it/