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We're Here!

We're in Venice, Italy (pinch us now!) where we're kicking off BlogTour Milan and it's already been a whirlwind 24 hours. If this is any indication of how the rest of this trip is going to be, we're in for the most intense travel pleasure of our lives.

The group of bloggers that Veronika Miller from Modenus has compiled for the inaugural BlogTour Milan trip is seriously killer. We already adore them, and can pretty much assure you that we'll all be best of buds by the end of this trip. BlogTour is, after all, kind of like a week at sleep away camp. Think total closeness, bonding in an unfamiliar yet fascinating new place, and rapid immersion in one another's lives all in a very condensed period of time and you'll get the picture. If you aren't already following this crew please do as they are a virtual wellspring of interior design goodness with wonderfully varying styles and tastes.

Pamela Copeman | Posh PalettesCarmen Natschke | The Decorating DivaHolly Hollingsworth Phillips | The English RoomJoann Kandrac & Kelly Kole | Kandrac KoleTamara Matthews Stephenson | Nest by TamaraLisa M. Smith | Decor GirlRobin Plaskoff Horton | Urban GardensEric Schimelpfenig | Sketch This

Since BlogTour doesn't officially kick off until Saturday evening at dinner, we opted to arrive a day early to allow ourselves the ability to adjust to the different time zone and to just have some free time to take in the beauty of Venice at our own pace. Turns out we weren't the only ones with the same bright idea. Holly, Pam and Robin were all here early too so we knocked around leisurely and had an absolutely lovely day yesterday. We fell hard & fast for Venice and with beauty every which way we turned it was quite literally impossible not to. Here are some of the things we have loved most so far...

BlogTour Milan: We're Here! | CLOTH & KIND
BlogTour Milan: We're Here! | CLOTH & KIND
BlogTour Milan: We're Here! | CLOTH & KIND
BlogTour Milan: We're Here! | CLOTH & KIND
BlogTour Milan: We're Here! | CLOTH & KIND
BlogTour Milan: We're Here! | CLOTH & KIND
BlogTour Milan: We're Here! | CLOTH & KIND

Starting on Sunday, we'll be following this kick ass itinerary that Veronika and BlogTour Milan's gracious sponsors have put together for us. Sounds just about too good to be true (as written by Veronika), don't you think?

DAY 1 | TOUR OF VENICE We will be spending a full day touring Venice under the knowledgeable guidance of Cristina Gregorin of Slow Venice (special thanks for the introduction goes to Venetophile JoAnn Locktov) who has arranged for a visit to a private palace, a fabulous luncheon and a walking tour to see the endless treasures hidden in this most romantic place. Cristina has her doctorate in history and foreign languages, has been a certified guide for over twenty years and, as if that weren’t enough, focuses on sharing the real Venice in a tour that incorporates the history and contemporary stories of this singular city.

Our evening will be spent with BlogTour sponsor Clever Storage US at their showroom outside of Venice. We have their team to thank for our jaunt to Venice, so grazie tutti!

DAY 2 | HEADING TO MILANO A relatively short train ride will take us through Vicenza, Verona, Brescia and Bergamo as we make our way to Milan. We promise to perfect the pronunciation of these and many other Italian cities before we return. Wine, we are told, helps in this endeavor.

The Art Hotel Navigli in Milan

To make the transition from Venice to Milan as gentle as possible, we found a hotel on a canal in Milan. The Art Hotel Navigli is located in the eponymous area of Milan that is known for it’s many bars, design shops, art galleries and antiques markets and we’re quite confident our team will have a great time after a hard day’s work.

Our friends and BlogTour sponsors BLANCO are taking us out for classic Milanese dinner at Osteria di Brera.

DAY 3 | SALONE DEL MOBILE Our first full day in Milan will indeed be spent hard at work with a design filled day at Eurocucina, as we meet with our sponsors GessiCosentinoBlancoClever Storage and the NKBA in addition to exploring other parts of this gigantic trade show.

Because the show is so big we’ve decided to let the team divide and conquer during the day and reconvene on the hotel terrace after dinner for drinks and sharing of design finds. By the way, every team member will select 3 Top Design Finds for the tour which we will publish on Modenus' BlogTour page.

DAY 4 | TOUR OF MILAN, VIA TORTONA AND A FABULOUS EVENING Our fourth day allows us a bit of breathing room and we’ve offered an optional guided tour of the sites in Milan or our team can take the morning off and sleep, shop or explore more design.

A must see in Milan, Duomo di Milano

We will meet everyone for a cool gelato, courtesy of NKBA CEO Bill Darcy before wandering over to Via Tortona Design District which is only a stone throw from our hotel. Here we will find narrow streets, teeming with design lovers and lots of shops and showrooms that are participating in the festival.

Our evening will be spent at Cosentino’s VIP dinner followed by a drink or two at the fabulous Trussardi alla Scala.

DAY 5 | GESSI AND AN AFTERNOOON WITH A DIVA Ending our whirlwind tour on a number of high notes, we will spend the morning touring the Gessi showroom in Brera, followed by a lunch with the Gessi team, “somewhere in the neighborhood”.

Part of our afternoon is free to explore Brera and we look forward to seeing our friends at Design Junction and also at Spazio Pontaccio.

Set against the historic backdrop of Palazzo Morando, in the heart of Milan’s fashion district, EDIT by Design Junction is set to be the premier destination with more than 20 global brands showcasing quality, authentic design across all design disciplines.

Spazio Pontaccio will exhibit live, chef served dining scenes in its windows to amuse passers by.

And then….we meet up with none other than the grande dame of antiques’ tours, the Diva, the one and only Antiques’ Diva Toma Clark Haines for a tour of shops in Brera that ends in, what else, a visit to La Scala followed by the classic Milanese version of Happy Hour, Aperitivi.

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How's THAT for an itinerary?! Veronika, you've outdone yourself!

Lastly, we wanted to sincerely thank the wonderful sponsors of BlogTour Milan who have made this all possible. We're excited to see some of the friends we made at BlogTour LA again, like Gessi & Blanco, and to meet the new sponsors DektonCosentinoNKBA and Clever Storage.

Please stay tuned to Modenus' BlogTour for live feeds from all of the bloggers on this trip. For now, bella notte!