While many people visit Italy because of its past, to visit Milano then, is to visit its today. Voted as one of the best cities to visit in the world, the Milan skyline, is one of the finest in Europe. The city has a modern twist while still nodding towards its great history.
Which airport to fly to! Malpensa, Liante or Bergamo Orio Al Serio?
Depends on where are you coming from, my flight landed in Malpensa and I freaked out because, when I googled, it seemed far away and costly to get to the city center by taxi, where I had booked my hotel. However, the best way to learn is through living it and I am sharing my personal experience with you, so you get the best bits.
Do fly to Malpensa, if the flight is cheaper and depending on where you are coming from. Then, TAKE A SHUTTLE BUS from the airport to the city center, it’s really economical, comfortable and convenient, plus it just takes around 50 minutes.
While on the subject of transportation
Inside the city, walk as much as you can. You also have the options of taking taxis or Uber and don’t forget to ride on the iconic Tram, it is an absolute Milanese experience, fun and because of their historical value, just unmissable.
Fashion and shopping
Milano is a fashion capital year-round, style-makers flock here from around the globe for a week-long look at the next season’s fashions during the city’s bi-annual Fashion Week with many delectable fashion shows. And no one can deny the Italian’s taste in fashion, just look at the high-end Italian labels and fashion houses like Prada, Armani, Gucci and Valentino.
Stop by Galleria Vittorio Emanuele — the mother of all shopping malls, with many upscale boutiques such as Louis Vuitton, Prada and restaurants such as Gucci cafe, as well as loads of art galleries, bookstores and what-have-you.
My time was very tight, so, exploring Milano in 3 days was a challenge. I didn’t get to see all the city but believe me, I will be back very soon and will consider this as teaser.☺
Not to be missed:
It’s the main cathedral in the city and one of the most famous Gothic churches in the world. It’s built of white marble, with hundreds of spires and thousands of statues on its exterior and famous façade. Don’t miss the chance to climb up to the roof and enjoy the magnificent views of Milan.
Saint Mary of the Graces (Chiesa di Santa Maria delle Grazie)
This small beautiful church is filled with a whimsical atmosphere and contains the famous painting “Last Supper” by Leonardo da Vinci.
Pinacoteca di Brera,
It’s the city’s main museum and holds the most important art collections of Italian artists over the centuries, featuring masterpieces and art icons like “The Kiss” by Francesco Hayez.
La Scala Theatre
The most famous opera house in the city, check their website and book your favorite show for a wondrous experience.
The Castello Sforzesco
This castle houses several museums and iconic attractions in Milan.
This area has a network of canals which designed by Leonardo da Vinci , it offers reasonably-priced restaurants and some of the city’s most exciting nightclubs.
Milanese food is really rich. Try the famous cotoletta, risotto and also cheese like Grana Padano, Gorgonzola and Taleggio. In Italy you can’t really go wrong with food.
Speaking of which, you just can’t miss the luscious Risotto Milanese.
The saffron-flavored, risotto alla milanese is one of the most famous dishes in Milan, this creamy deliciousness is served up with a generous amount of freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese.
Here’s a sweet little story about how it came to be:
“But the Milanese have a more romantic take on the history of one of their favorite dishes. Legend has it that on 8 September 1574, the daughter of Valerio di Fiandra, a craftsman making the stained-glass windows of the Duomo, was getting married. One of the apprentices, who used saffron to color the glass, came up with the idea of taking the white risotto that was to be served at the wedding banquet and turning it gold like his windows by adding the spice. The taste and golden color of the new dish was a hit with the guests and the addition of saffron to rice was widely adopted”.
Secret Gardens Cafes :
It’s a popular thing in Milano to have the beauty and magic of food, coffee & flowers in one place.
I find myself admiring this idea of leaving the city stress behind and stepping in discreetly for a floral therapy, while enjoying coffee or a light snack, surrounded by nature.
I visited the mint garden café and Fioraio Bianchi Caffè both of which, are highly recommended .
The Italian Happy Hour.
For Italians “happy hour” is more of a social event than a time to get wasted.
The concept is such, you can get yourself drinks and cocktails at a fixed price and this is accompanied by a free all-you-can-eat buffet with snacks, appetizers and finger food.
Most of the hotels and bars offer this lovely soirée and I will be covering it in my next post: Best Aperitivo in Milan.
So stay tuned.
And until next time!
Buy all your tickets (except the bus ticket from Malpensa) in advance, as it is almost impossible to find tickets especially for the main attractions, like the Last Supper on short notice.