World tour 2018: 16 best destinations
Melbourne, an unmissable 7-stop itinerary through ‘the world’s most liveable city’
Seven unconventional locations to discover in the Australian metropolis, recently crowned as the world’s most liveable city for the 7th time in a row
Melbourne, Australia, has been recently declared by The Economist 'the world's most liveable city'
A city with four and a half million inhabitants, overlooking the ocean. Nice, light and vivaciously cultured, Melbourne has recently been declared by the Economist the world’s most liveable city for the seventh year in a row. In order to enjoy its extraordinary life quality, here’s a 7-stop itinerary including art, design, handicraft besides small, exquisite pleasures.
Melbourne’s suggestive laneways significantly contribute to the city’s consolidated charm: narrow alleys that in the city’s Victorian past used to host buildings’ back entrances, and that today host celebrated restaurants, street art works, modern lofts and characterful clubs featuring a bold design style.
One among these extraordinary Melbourne hangouts is surely the Berlin Bar, in Corrs Lane. A sort of nostalgic, living vintage Polaroid picture, now become one of the city’s trendiest hotspots. Its interiors feature a triumphant display of iron Curtain-style atmospheres, as transported to the other side of the world. Divided into two sections – the East and the West – the Berlin Bar ironically revisits the old face of the German capital. While the West section boasts elegant 1920s ambiences, the East part features an eclectic combination of synthetic leather armchairs, essentiality and loft beds. The Bar includes a most peculiar reproduction of the Berlin Wall, and offers excellent cocktails along a brilliant schedule of live events (www.berlinbar.com.au).
Still amidst the Melbourne lineways, in Croft Alley, is hidden one of the city’s most unusual hangouts, The Croft Institute. Reachable through a series of dark, narrow alleys illuminated by the presence of colorful murals, the place offers curious visitors a unique experience. The ground floor, with its walls clad with white tiles and high shelves, recalls the image of a scientific lab, perfectly equipped with instruments for chemical analysis, coils and stills ready to distil 0-km vodka. Toilets feature creepy atmospheres, with 1930s hospital style beds and furnishings. On the upper floor, you can find the gymnasium, the hotspot’s most fashionable part, where to enjoy excellent cocktails by employing handy syringes, celebrating upon a rather unexpected green turf (www.thecroftinstitute.com.au).
The Fitzroy district in North Melbourne is home to the city’s alternative artistic scene, with galleries, ateliers, works of diffused art, second hand shops and studios of local designers. Amidst these streets, the Rose Street Artists’ Market comes alive every weekend, a true creativity oasis in Melbourne, inhabited by some seventy emerging artists and designers displaying their creations. Inspired by international realities such as New York’s D.U.M.B.O. Art Under the Bridge Festival, the Rose Street Artists’ Market is the perfect place for switching off a bit, discovering hidden treasures and new talents (www.rosestmarket.com.au).
In the selfsame Melbourne district, within a renovated warehouse, you can admire the creations of light designer Christopher Boots. In this sort of multi-purpose hideout – a hybrid space, combining studio, workshop and showroom functions – the designer can give full vent to his imagination and the passion for nature and light. Here, amidst industrial atmospheres embellished by touches of green and handcrafted lighting creations, a creative universe perpetually moves, kaleidoscopically populated by glass-blowers, ceramists, references to old Greek myths, and organic shapes (christopherboots.com).
Located in Melbourne’s Southbank, a spectacular edifice designed by Wood Marsh Architecture studio in 2002 hosts a real paradise for any contemporary art lover, a gathering place for both Australian and international artists and creatives. Hidden behind its faux-rust painted façade in sharp contrast with the hall’s shining glass and metal elements, the ACCA - Australian Centre for Contemporary Art welcomes works by famous artists, creations of up-and-coming talents, workshops and panel discussions (https://acca.melbourne).
Part shop, part gallery and part hotbed of talent, the Craft, located in Collins Street, is one of the biggest and most flourishing centers dedicated to the many different shades of handicraft from all over Australia. Through a rich program of exhibitions and public events, the structure hosts and promotes the works of the country’s top artisans, supporting them at each stage of their creative and professional path. A not-to-be-missed Melbourne destination for all tireless seekers of ideas, always ready to plunge themselves into new dimensions where manual skills, innovation and excellence are the bywords (www.craft.org.au).
Lastly, the world’s most liveable city could not fail to pamper us with its peculiar culinary treats. Why, therefore, don’t we indulge ourselves with a stop at the award winning restaurant Attica in Glen Eira Road, cocooning both taste and eyes with its beautifully balanced, modern cuisine? The Attica is the undisputed domain of New Zealand chef Ben Shewry, who has been nurturing his creativity since he was a kid and who, in his cuisine and food design concept, mixes light, raw materials, theatricality, colors and emotions. Located in Melbourne’s outskirts, intimate yet almost shaken by the constant coming and going of public transport, currently listed among the world’s 50 top restaurants, the Attica is the ideal place to discover the flavors of typical, still to become famous and often 0-Km Australian ingredients. Thursday is the right day for the boldest guests – a moment dedicated to experimentation, an exclusive way to gain entrance to the chef’s mind (attica.com.au).
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