Andrea Pallavicini, General Manager of LaGare Hotel Milano Centrale MGallery by Sofitel
and Camilla Doni, owner of Doni Hotels, tell us about Centrale District, a new project that involves them and aspires to give a new allure to the area around the Central Station of Milan.
What is Central District and how was this project born?
A. Pallavicini: Centrale District is an association of commercial activities in the Central Station area of Milan, created with the aim of participating personally in the “renaissance” of this area of the city.
The Central District project was born from the idea of the four founding members who, faithful to the claim “co-opetition is better than competion”, decided to join forces with the goal of uniting together, to organize in the area that goes from Piazza Duca from Aosta to Piazza della Repubblica events and cultural activities that make this area more lively and more attractive highlighting the peculiarities that distinguish it, thus opening the hotels, shops, art galleries to the citizens and aggregating, and not ghettoising, the different cultures that coexist in the area, and allowing the citizens of Milan to take advantage of an entirely new area. The idea was born from the fact that the Central Station of Milan is undergoing a major transformation, inside the Milan Central Station, shops, bars and bookshops have been opened, becoming the station a real small commercial park open from 7.00 to 23.00.
But this area of the city is constantly changing, across the axis of Vittor Pisani there are the main offices of large companies, architectural firms, furniture stores, and of course the restaurants and the great hotels that make Milan, often recognized and recognizable to the general public as an international place.
What activities have already been developed and which ones are in the pipeline for the future?
A. Pallavicini and C. Doni: This first year we have created and promoted events in collaboration with the cultural weeks of the city of Milan as, for example, BOOK city, Pianocity, and the premiere of La Scala, during which some of the hotels belonging to the District have opened their own doors to citizenship, becoming places of reading or listening to music. The citizens of our area for the first time have entered the halls of hotels to listen to a concert, to enjoy the reading and presentation of a book, to share their experience in locations that until that day they did not even take into account. And on the occasion of these first events, we have known who lives this part of the city every day.
In October, during Host fair, we made a first event in collaboration with Grandi Stazioni Retail, titled “Lienzos Sueltos por la Paz”: an exhibition created in Central Station with action painting performance. The event, started by Santo Domingo and attended by Councilor Rozza, transformed for a week the Central Station in the location of an exhibition accessible to all.
Our next projects? Many! 2018 opened with a great desire to do and achieve something for the city and for our area. For example, in February we were Bit’s partners with a series of themed aperitifs dedicated to tourism. The aim was to create thematic gatherings in some of the locations that are part of the Central District, for example at the Best Western Hotel Madison we made small tapas served with sangria for the many Spanish and Argentine guests in those days. We also asked customers to share the best images with a small internal contest, and the best image could win a “round of sangria” for free.
In 2018 we will keep up with the schedules of the most important events organizing collateral events during the BookCity and FoodCity. Last but not least, we are planning to create an event of our own in the summer on the occasion of the first birthday of Centrale District. And of course, there is a partnership with Ventura Project for the 2018 Fuorisalone.
What will you present on the occasion of the Salone del Mobile?
C. Doni: The Salone del Mobile, with the Fuorisalone, is one of the most important events of the year for the city of Milan. We wanted to be present in the meantime with a small project in order to allow citizens to get to know the new district that was established around Piazza della Repubblica and Central Station.
We have therefore closed an agreement with Ventura Projects that this year has left Lambrate and has moved its business to the former Raccordati warehouses positioned under the tracks of the Central Station of Milan. From the very beginning, a very close collaboration has been created, from which 30,000 maps will be created dedicated to the Milanese who want to tour the design city and want to get to know all the districts that make it up.
In the maps the Central District logo will be well placed, and, for the first time, it will be recognizable and geolocated by the citizens, and not only by tourists. The maps will be distributed by hostesses in Central Station and Piazza della Repubblica, in airports, in the offices of open tourism and of course, during events signed by Ventura Centrale. We will also be official partners of Ventura project and be present in their press kit and all their events dedicated to the city and the district area from 17 to 21 April.
To stay informed about our initiatives and events in Central District, follow us on Facebook @centraledistrict and on Instagram @centraledistrict.
We thank Andrea Pallavicini and Camilla Doni and invite you to participate in the upcoming Central District initiatives!