Antica Locanda Leonardo
Somewhat more rural and quiet than the rest of the überfashionable Milan hotels is the Leonardo: a 19th-century flower-filled noble house, it is set back from the street through a private courtyard, and run by husband-and-wife team Mario and Chiara (her real Japanese name is Yumi but there is no ‘y’ in Italian). This friendly bed-and-breakfast is so-called because Chiara spent three long years translating a book on Da Vinci, and it attracts many art fans because of its proximity to his Last Supper. It comprises 20 three-star rooms on three floors (no lift, to preserve the antica feel). All are different in style: some are modern Japanese, some traditional Italian with repro antiques, some even with Chiara’s own art; all with cherrywood parquet floors and modest bathrooms. The best have a balcony overlooking the garden, which is full of flowers and foliage and white wrought-iron garden furniture. The common areas are homely: a living room with comfy velvet sofas, and a dainty breakfast salon and bar, where tea and cakes, aperitivo and Mario’s potent grappa coffees are served.