A Look Inside Bar Luce, The Quirky Cafe Designed by Wes Anderson

The offbeat world of filmmaker Wes Anderson comes alive in this Italian coffee shop

Photography: courtesy of the Author

Oscar-nominated Wes Anderson puts a visual stamp on his films like no other modern director and writer does. His movies, Rushmore, The Royal Tenenbaums, The Darjeeling Limited, Moonrise Kingdom, and 2014’s The Grand Budapest Hotel all carry his signature stamp—a combination of oddball characters, pristine and cohesive art direction, and whimsy that goes beyond the superficial. Anderson’s knack for universe building and all the details that come with it is incomparable.

If you’ve ever wanted to dive into one of Anderson’s films, there’s no better place to visit than Bar Luce.

A modern reinterpretation of a typical Milanese café, the pink and green-hued bistro occupies a spot at the Rem Koolhaas designed Fondazione Prada.

The seating area is a mishmash of classic coffee tables in an enviable teal, and individual spots with swiveling tray tables, perfect for people looking to down a shot of espresso on their coffee breaks. The formica furniture paired with the wood-clad walls create a fun, nostalgic vibe. The walls are decorated with illustrated wallpaper depicting Milanese windows in watercolor, peach-toned hues. 

Your eyes are immediately drawn upwards the thin Doric-inspired columns up to the ceiling, which is decked in architectural renderings of an arched skylight—a tribute to the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele, one of Milan’s most iconic buildings.

Bar Luce would not be complete without a bar, and the geometric lines of this mid-century-inspired set do not disappoint. With cocktails, coffee, cakes, and all manners of colorful confections decking the shelves, the bar transports you to another time and place.

Also in a lovely teal and pink, it is complimented impeccably by the pink terrazzo floor. Bar Luce’s servers look completely at home in their natural habitat too—outfitted in short-sleeved button-downs and black bow ties, they are spiffy and smart in a way that most characters in Anderson’s movies are.

One of the café’s most popular attractions is its entertainment area. Two pinball machines, themed after Anderson’s movies (can you spot Bill Murray?) as well as a jukebox bring an Americana vibe to the Milanese hotspot.


Aside from the delicious snacks, sandwiches and Italian coffee, making your way to Bar Luce is a must if you’re a fan of Anderson’s films, a design enthusiast, or if you need to up your Instagram game.

All angles are picture perfect in this lovely haunt—it may not be the Duomo or da Vinci’s Last Supper, but it ought to be a pit stop in any trip to Milan.

Bar Luce is located at Fondazione Prada, Largo Isarco, 2, 20139 Milano MI, Italy. Click here to learn more.

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