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Walking down the streets of Milan, among the fashion windows and the business offices potafiori, a little green spot full of plants and flowers is the perfect place for a sensorial experience. 

Words By Alessandra di Perna


The economic relevance of Milan from a financial and fashion perspective is not to be questioned. But Milan is capable of surprising and making anyone fall in love with her, not only for its offices and its trendy windows. In part due to the Europeanization towards which it is inexorably directed, and for the general functioning of the services offered to citizens, the Lombardy capital is now considered one of the top cities where to live and discover. From working environments to wellness and nightlife, the city has plenty to offer in every aspect. On the other hand, just think of the post-office aperitif and gourmet dinners: the late afternoon and evening events have found its natural exaltation over the years in the heart of the city, thanks to avant-garde and breath-taking venues which led the Aperitivo to be the most awaited time of the day.
Walking around the Porta Romana district, in the south-east area of the city, wine bars and dining spots adjacent to each other fill the even the narrowest streets. Among those, a green and refined one may catch your attention: Potafiori, born in 2015, immediately placed itself in the radar of the most curious experiments in Milan.

Rosalba Piccinni

The flower-bistro came to life from the vision and exuberance of its owner, Ms. Rosalba Piccinni. Born in Bergamo but adopted by Milan, she manages Potafiori alongside a flower shop in Porta Venezia district, a few steps away from it.

What renders this place worthy of notice? Potafiori can be defined as an experience, a room for your sense. For sure, the imprint is original as it reflects its creator Ms. Piccinni, her elegance with a touch of extravaganza given by her red hair matching her lipstick and shiny stilettos. Her profession is everything but similar to an ordinary entrepreneur. She defines herself as the Cantafiorista, which in Italian means literally the “singing florist” and combines her two passions, namely the green thumb and singing.

From the outside, one cannot fully perceive the mood. The room seems simple, filled with giant plants and flower compositions. But the place is anything but an ordinary location. It is enough to know Rosalba Piccinni, or just to have heard of her, to get an idea of ​​what Potafiori has become for Milan inhabitants.

Once you enter the flower-bistro it’s all about letting yourself be carried away by the physical sensations that this place arouses: your sense of smell, sight and hearing. It may seem like a melting pot of unrelated things, but it is a one of a kind experience bringing an unexpected harmony of perceptions and feels. It is enough to cross the window of this magical place or enjoy a glass of wine on the sofas positioned outside to make the magic happen.

If you cannot experience it first hand, we will bring you on a journey inside Potafiori by soliciting your senses.

Grey furniture and shelves with design garments, undressed tables with minimal decorations and a soft light give life to a delicate and chic atmosphere. The style of the owner is however observable from the care and the uncoupling of the conventions with which the service is offered to the customer or, we dare say, to the spectator: the simplicity of the design amplifies the cure and expertise of the waiters which go around with rustic dresses and basins to collect the geometric plates; two ways of doing which produce a graceful discordance and, at the same time, pamper the guests.

Roses, orchids, corollas, inflorescences, petals and branches embrace the visitors with a pleasant scent, smoothening the sharp corners of the squared tables and chairs. It is a fine path evolving as you take a tour around and meet all the different green creatures that you might also purchase.

Moving towards the heart of the location, the flowery meets the mellow wake coming out from the kitchen, which invites guests to remain to take a look at the seasonal menu to be tasted through a minimalistic mise en place but explosive bites.

Potafiori evolves throughout the day: it offers a relaxing alternative for having breakfast on a rest day, attracts workers who do not want to renounce quality for a quick pit stop at lunch and finally welcomes guests for a refined aperitif or a chic diner.

Potafiori by Paola Pansini

The same goes for the seasons: whether it is winter or summer, it is interesting to try the evolution of the menus, and the culinary innovations. The summer menu is noteworthy, with a wide choice of cocktails as regards the aperitif: the drinks, signed by the Milan bartender Luis Hidalgo, are a hymn to innovativeness. Together with a tasty drink, it would be a pity to miss out on the original tapas, delicate foods that blend Italian and foreign flavours. The originality of the tastes and the maintenance of classic ingredients is also the format for the dinner menu, capable of enhancing flavours of land and sea.

What really makes this place special is the combination of the aforementioned tastes, scents and visuals with an auditory pleasure. If you are lucky then, you might encounter Piccinni herself who will start playing music with her enthralling voice, as a solo or accompanied by a piano. Effortless and confident, she will catch the attention of the diners.

How can Potafiori guide us in the right direction? A cocktail of quality, uniqueness and care for the green side is the answer. The attention to the details is perfectly quantified in order to make you perceive the quality of the experience, but not as overwhelming as to provoke discomfort in the guests. The healthy atmosphere blends perfectly with the chic district in a city which is too often defined foggy and grey, allowing you to take a deep breath and explore your creativity taking part in Potafiori’s workshop and expositions, teaching how to behave with respect towards plants and flowers.

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