What about lunch in Wes Anderson’s Milanese fantasy world? Should you walk into the Fondazione Prada art center’s Bar Luce (and you should) you might think you wandered in a movie set. But don’t let the extraordinary decoration and impeccable attention to detail confuse you. You are in a bar, but you are in a bar designed by Wes Anderson. Now everything falls into place. The director’s fantasy “The Grand Budapest Hotel” world has come to life. And you can have lunch there!

Part of a former distillery in the Milan’s Largo Isarco neighborhood, early 20th century complex was converted by Rem Koolhaas’s OMA to an art space. It combines seven existing buildings with three new structures. That is were Wes Anderson designed Bar Luce, a tribute to the “old-school Milanese café” with details from the original building working perfectly with modern materials and technics. The place is impressive, full of air, yet every tiny detail is in its place. Jukebox, pinball machine, colorful glass jars with candies – everything is 1950s, yet so “Andersonian”.

Jukebox, pinball machine, colorful glass jars with candies – everything is 1950s, yet so “Andersonian”.

Classic wooden panels and vintage furniture are delicately decorated with USB-jacks for charging your mobile devices. And that is very much needed, because you will take many pictures in this colorful place. Famous late 19th – early 20th century director and teacher Konstantin Stanislavski (who’s ideas were adapted for American film school by Stella Adler, Lee Strasberg and other pillars of Hollywood) told directors, that if there is a rifle, hanging on the wall, even just for a second, it must fire. All Wes Anderson’s “rifles” fire, everything in Bar Luce has a meaning.

Two Italian Neorealist films, “Miracle in Milan” and “Rocco and His Brothers” are cited in Fondazione Prada’s press release as major influences behind Mr. Anderson’s concept. And we do feel like we are in the 1950s Italian movie, in a typical Milanese bar. For those who get distracted and forget for a second they are in Milan, walls and ceilings are decorated with the watercolor drawings of Galleria Vittorio Emmanuelle – one of the city’s landmarks. And you can get distracted if you come in the evening for aperitifs with alcoholic cocktails, tiny pizzas and other bites. Drinks are strong and delicious – dangerous mix. We loved the classic brioche and the variety of paninis (meat, fish, vegetarian, shrimps, etc.). Next time we’ll surely TASTE the cakes that are made by Bar Luce. Yes, we should come back to see Fondazione Prada’s performance art project “Atlante del gesto” in September-October 2015 and try the thrilling deserts… Diet be gone!