AROUND MILAN: DISCOVERING THE CITYLIFE – FIERA NEIGHBORHOOD
The CityLife - Fiera neighborhood in Milan is one of Europe’s largest urban regeneration endeavors, one where every corner tells a story of innovation and design. It is a true ecosystem where work, leisure, nature, and culture seamlessly intertwine, all underpinned by sustainable principles.
In the northwest area of Milan, the CityLife - Fiera district is a shining example of urban revitalization. . Formerly the site of the city’s historic trade fair grounds, which moved out of the city center in 2005, this area has been dramatically transformed. Gone are the old industrial sheds, replaced now with upscale residences, state-of-the-art amenities, green spaces, and futuristic skyscrapers designed by internationally acclaimed architects.
CityLife - Fiera is more than just a showcase of modernity; it epitomizes Milan's ability to evolve and eagerly embrace the future. The district serves as a key hub in Milan, blending the city’s vibrancy with sustainability and nature, and providing an unparalleled urban experience.
History and fun facts
Up until the early 20th century, the area now known as the CityLife - Fiera district was a serene suburban landscape dotted with farmhouses and cultivated fields. A significant transformation began in 1906 when pavilions were built for Milan’s International Exhibition. Over the years, this space evolved to become one of Europe's premier exhibition hubs.
Fast forward to 2005, and the pressing need for modern infrastructure and to address the city’s evolving urban requirements prompted the transfer of the exhibition district to the newly established Rho-Pero center. This move opened the doors to an extensive redevelopment of the vast 255,000 sqm space once occupied by the trade fair grounds. An international competition was launched to redesign this expanse, and the winning bid came from a consortium named CityLife.
The redevelopment works, initiated in 2007, were supposed to be completed in time for Expo 2015, but some phases of the project encountered delays. As it stands today, the bulk of this redevelopment is complete and the final project, City Wave, is on track to be finalized by 2025.
Today, the CityLife - Fiera district is home to several multinational corporate offices, upscale residences, and a state-of-the-art shopping center. Additionally, the district boasts green spaces designed for leisure and sporting activities.
What to see
The CityLife - Fiera district, which stands as a testament to modern architecture and environmental sustainability, beautifully demonstrates how urban regeneration can breathe new life into an outdated area, turning it into a beacon of innovation and elegance.
A good starting point for touring the district is Piazza Giulio Cesare and its prominent Fountain of the Four Seasons. Piazza Giulio Cesare and its prominent Fountain of the Four Seasons. Unveiled during the 1927 Fiera Campionaria, this fountain features three basins adorned with statues that symbolize the four seasons. Its captivating water displays, especially when illuminated by vibrant lights in the evening, provide a mesmerizing visual experience.
Strolling through the neighborhood, the grand scale of this urban regeneration project is evident. The residential buildings showcase meticulous design centered on eco-sustainability and energy efficiency, and their innovative architecture is a feast for the eyes: Daniel Libeskind's asymmetrical forms exude a sculptural quality, while the horizontal and curvilinear profiles of Zaha Hadid’s designs evoke the elegance of cruise ship silhouettes.
At the heart of the neighborhood stands the impressive Piazza Tre Torri, an expansive pedestrian plaza dominated by three architectural marvels: the Generali Tower by Zaha Hadid, the Allianz Tower by Arata Isozaki, and the PWC Tower by Daniel Libeskind. Due to their distinct shapes, these towers are nicknamed The Twisted, The Straight, and The Curved, respectively.
Directly accessible from Piazza Tre Torri is the CityLife Shopping District, a sprawling 32,000-square-meter luxury shopping haven. It boasts over 80 boutique stores, a supermarket, a diverse range of 20 restaurants and bars, seven cinema halls, and a medical clinic.
Yet, CityLife - Fiera isn’t solely a testament to modern architectural brilliance. Historical traces are evident throughout, such as the Palazzine degli Orafi, which features a distinct Liberty style and once housed the goldsmith's section during the international exhibitions. Another example is Palazzo delle Scintille, a grand reinforced concrete building that was the site of the city's very first sports hall.
The district is rich in lush greenery, with a vast park stretching over 170,000 square meters and home to an impressive collection of 2,000 botanical species. Within its confines lie the Orti Fioriti - green jewels filled showcasing a varied assortment of herbs, aromatic plants, and fruit trees. The park also hosts Artline, an open-air art gallery that displays over twenty permanent installations, open to the public and free to explore at leisure. On the note of art, a visit to the neighborhood would be incomplete without witnessing the iconic card castle situated in the gardens of Castello Pozzi, a symbol of the district.
Take note of these addresses
The CityLife - Fiera neighborhood boasts an exceptional variety of shops, eateries, and recreational areas. Notably, the shopping section shines with its array of high-end boutiques, celebrated brands, and exclusive locations, such as the world's first Nashi Argan salon.
Culinary enthusiasts will be spoiled for choice, with a diverse range of atmospheres and cuisine. Great spots include Cantun Bakery, which offers breakfasts with sweeping views; GUD, perfect for an alfresco dining amidst lounge chairs and umbrellas; and for a gourmet experience, “Da Vittorio,” a Michelin-starred restaurant from the province of Bergamo, has opened a branch in the Allianz Tower.
Throughout the year, the neighborhood comes alive with various annual events, including the Christmas Village at Piazza Tre Torri, the botanical and artisan-focused Flora et Decora festival, and the summer outdoor cinema at Piazza Elsa Morante.
The CityLife - Fiera district in Milan is easily accessible via the M5 lilac metro line, stopping at the Tre Torri station, which is right in the heart of the CityLife Shopping District. This metro line also offers a straight route to the Milano Garibaldi train station, making out-of-town travels a breeze. Additionally, there are nearby stops at Amendola for the MM1 line and Domodossola for the MM5 line.
For those who prefer to use trams or buses, key stops are Domodossola (Line 1), Piazza 6 Febbraio (Line 19) and Amendola (Line 68).
Getting around by car is also very easy, with ample underground parking facilities accessible from Piazzale Arduino and Viale Boezio. Plus, the area provides smooth access to major highways.
The real estate market in the CityLife - Fiera neighborhood
In the CityLife - Fiera district of Milan, there's a distinct ambiance brimming with services and opportunities for residents and professionals alike, making it one of Milan's most sought-after areas. The real estate market in this area primarily features luxurious homes and premier office spaces.
These are complemented by spaces in historic buildings that dot the streets around the neighborhood. The retail sector also thrives in this environment, with prestigious storefronts attracting prestigious international brands.
For investors, the CityLife - Fiera district is an exceptional choice, promising substantial economic returns. Families and professionals are also increasingly drawn to the vibrancy of the area, enhanced by top-quality amenities and abundant green spaces.