Milan: legendary centre of Italian design history and location for the leading international rendez-vous of the design industry - the Salone del Mobile. It's the 50th edition of the fair, an anniversary that marks the event's sharp ascendance. Anyone who thinks that the Salone was always the Salone is, sadly, wrong. Just 15 to 20 years ago, it was almost exclusively an Italian fair, while imm in Cologne was the leading international expo.
The fast growth of exhibitors and visitors, has, of course, its disadvantages, particularly for a business-oriented professional public. A critical mass appears to have been reached a while ago. Add to this the fact that some top-name manufacturers aren't showing at the fair, but across the Fuori Salone. This balances out the mass of visitors, admittedly, but it does make the idea of a fair, where an entire industry can be found under one roof, obsolete.
In spite of all the stress, we love this city and this event. Each year, we discover new things in this charm-filled northern Italian metropolis, and you'll be perfectly armed, too - in spite of the jam-packed fair halls, metro stations and streets - if you have the following two items with you: a pair of well-soled sneakers and our handy Architonic Guide, which, as ever, will lead you unfailingly to the exhibits of the best manufacturers and the best of the Fuori Salone.
The guide is available to pick up from all the manufacturers who feature in it and can already be downloaded as a PDF or an iPhone app. The app version will, in particular, save you a lot of time and searching in the city, thanks to the fact that Google Maps is built into it.