Bar Luce in Milan brings the filmmaker’s quirky fantasy world to life.

Wes Anderson’s fantasy world has come to life, and its name is Bar Luce.

The master of nostalgia-quirk is behind the look of Milan’s newest cafe, which opens this weekend. Attached to the Fondazione Prada, the filmmaker says Bar Luce’s design is meant to echo an “old-school Milanese café,” and is filled with influences from the city it sits in.

(Fondazione Prada)

Part of a former distillery in the city’s Largo Isarco neighborhood, the early 20th century complex has been redesigned by OMA as the cultural center’s new home. In Anderson’s cafe, details from the original building can still be seen, including an arched ceiling with wall decorations that resemble a mini Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II. The furniture, floors, wood paneling, and color palette all harken back to mid century Italy—an era Anderson has long admired.

Two Italian Neorealist films, Miracle in Milan (1951) and Rocco and His Brothers (1960), are cited in a press release as major influences behind Bar Luce’s look and feel. Both set in Milan, their style and representation of the city helped form Anderson’s concept.

Trailer for Miracle in Milan (1951)

Trailer for Rocco and His Brothers (1960)

Prada has teamed up with Anderson before, creating the 2013 short film Castello Cavalcanti, in which Jason Schwartzman plays an American race-car driver who crashes his car in the small Italian town his ancestors came from. Not surprisingly, it takes place in 1950s Italy.

Castello Cavalcanti (2013)

The entire Fondazione Prada, including Bar Luce, opens Saturday. That means after looking at a bunch of art, you can take your dolce far niente lifestyle to another level with a Negroni and some Steve Zissou pinball.

About the Author

Most Popular

  1. photo: bicyclists in Paris during a transit strike in December.
    Transportation

    Paris Mayor: It's Time for a '15-Minute City'

    In her re-election campaign, Mayor Anne Hidalgo says that every Paris resident should be able to meet their essential needs within a short walk or bike ride.

  2. photo: a wallet full of Yen bills.
    Life

    Japan’s Lost-and-Found System Is Insanely Good

    If you misplace your phone or wallet in Tokyo, chances are very good that you’ll get it back. Here’s why.

  3. Equity

    What Mike Bloomberg Got Wrong About Redlining and the Financial Crisis

    Comments about New Deal-era housing discrimination made by presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg echo a familiar narrative about minority homeowners.

  4. Equity

    The Presidential Candidates that Mayors Support

    Big-city mayors favor Mike Bloomberg after his late entry into the race, while leaders in smaller cities have lined up behind Pete Buttigieg.

  5. photo: Masdar City in Abu Dhabi
    Environment

    What Abu Dhabi’s City of the Future Looks Like Now

    At the UN’s World Urban Forum in Abu Dhabi, attendees toured Masdar City, the master-planned eco-complex designed to show off the UAE’s commitment to sustainability.

×