Lungarno Collection to open Milan hotel in restored seminary

The Lungarno Collection, a hotel management company owned by the Ferragamo fashion family, is expanding north to Milan, Italy, for its newest addition. 

When it opens in autumn 2020, the Portrait Milano will be the third hotel in the Portrait brand and the sixth hotel in the Lungarno Collection.

The Collection is making its debut in Milan in a historic building, the former Archiepiscopal Seminary at 11, Corso Venezia. The building, built in 1564, is considered Europe's oldest seminary and the second oldest in the world. It has a baroque entrance designed in 1652 by Francesco Maria Richini that opens onto a 3,000-square-meter piazza framed by a double-colonnaded loggia.

Lungarno Collection commissioned architect Michele De Lucchi's Studio MDL for the restoration work. "Although it closed at the beginning of the 21st century, the seminary in Corso Venezia is an architectural jewel in our urban fabric which very few people know about," De Lucchi said in a statement. "It is set to become a major destination for any visit to Milan...not least for the architectural value of the colonnade and the Renaissance perfection of its proportions."

The property, De Lucchi added, would combine past and present. "Instead of dominating a historic building, a new project must bring out the hidden beauty within its ancient walls. Many buildings have been transformed and reconfigured over the years, meaning that the unifying thread of history is often broken; it must be sewn back together to restore their stylistic consistency and, more importantly, the authenticity of everything their architecture has witnessed down the centuries leading up to contemporary times."

In adapting the seminary into a hotel, the design team is modifying pedestrian access through the fashion district by joining Corso Venezia to Via Sant'Andrea.

The 23-year-old Lungarno Collection includes four hotels in Florence—the Hotel Lungarno, the Gallery Hotel Art, the Portrait Florence and the Hotel Continentale—and one in Rome—the Portrait Roma. Last year, the Hotel Lungarno reopened following a six-month overhaul from Italian interior designer Michele Bonan.