It's always best to navigate Art Basel with an insider, so we asked our friend Anna Maria of Precious7, a cutting edge design magazine, for her Miami picks. Read on for her take on where to sleep, where to eat and what not to miss in Miami.
WHERE TO SLEEP
The Miami Mondrian is a perfect fit for everyone from families to fashionistas; it’s luxurious without being pretentious and whimsical without being cheesy. Based on the Sleeping Beauty castle (can you even??), the Mondrian is a white-washed dream with a floating staircase in the lobby, soaring ceilings and plush, cloud-like bedding fit for a princess. In other words, heaven. The pool and outdoor lounging area is a luxe, scene-y paradise perfect for celeb-spotting or sun-bathing. Any excuse I can get to hop a plane down to MIA and you can find me here!
WHERE TO EAT
I can’t possibly talk Miami without talking about visionary restauranteur Francesco Belcaro, one of the masterminds behind the recently opened Wynwood space, Made In Italy Gourmet. With a tagline like “Taste, Live, Share” you know this Italian eatery and market is all about providing locals and tourists alike with pure pleasure. I sat down with my dear friend (and godfather to my son!) to get the dish on his concept.
AMS: YOU’RE A NEW YORKER! WHAT MADE YOU COME TO MIAMI TO OPEN MADE IN ITALY GOURMET?
FB: I choose Miami because the antler was virgin for this concept, I thought it would be a perfect spot to try the first one.
AMS: OK, BUT WHY WYNWOOD?
FB: Wynwood is an area with incredible expansion of art, industry and residential buildings. The concept of a gourmet market / restaurant fit perfectly the area and also the rent was reasonable at the time that I signed the lease .
AMS: WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO GO WITH THE MARKET/EATERY CONCEPT?
FB: I noticed the big group like Eataly were going into the right direction but they have difficulty to duplicate the concept because of the size. I just said to myself - why not use my own brand Made in Italy and create smaller gourmet market / restaurant that’s easier to duplicate?
AMS: WHAT SHOULD WE EXPECT FROM YOU IN THE NEAR FUTURE? WILL YOU OPEN IN NYC OR DO YOU HAVE OTHER CITIES IN MIND?
FB: We have different cities in mind, for sure, and if we come to NYC (my home base!), it has to be done perfectly!!
WHERE TO PLAY
While it may be tough to tear yourself away from cocktails poolside, be sure to catch an Uber to the other side of the bridge for a little cultural stimulation in the Wynwood Arts District one afternoon. Teeming with art galleries, museums, coffee shops, bars and clothing stores too cool for school, the Arts District is the perfect escape to exercise your brain — rather than your bikini. Plus, the area is covered in the brightest, most creative murals - making it perfect Instagram real estate for your #ootd. Hop on one of the Wynwood Art Walk tours or head over on a Second Saturday to really immerse yourself in the neighborhood.
….Or head a little further inland and marvel at the modern architecture of the Perez Art Museum. Only just recently renovated, the lush greenery, sleek lines and expansive windows of the grounds and building are just as breathtaking to see as the incredible art collection housed inside. It’s a tranquil oasis that leaves you feeling far removed from the sexy South Beach scene (and trust me, sometimes, that’s a good thing!).