Duomo di Milano
Milan is a strange city … in half a day you can see just about everything you’ll find on a “must-see” guide, but after 25 years you can still be amazed by the number of secret and secluded places randomly getting in your way. It’s not the most popular of all the Italian destinations. If you are traveling to Italy on your honeymoon or on a simple leisure trip, Milan would most likely be just a quick stopover. Nothing wrong with that; Rome, Florence and Venice are so famous for their art, scenery, and historical background, that with limited time, it’s understandable going for a more traditional option.
Nonetheless, if you are curious enough, there are many things that you can and should do in Milan! Besides the obvious crazy shopping, let’s say you have one day, what do you do? Easy! Get lost! I’m not kidding … Leave the map in your hotel room, forget where you need to go and don’t even think about hiring a car. If you don’t know what to do in Milan, walk or get a shared bicycle, head towards the next random church, there will always some amazing mosaic or paintings that you couldn’t find on a guide. Then point to that little vintage shop, rest your feet in a patisserie with the most amazing cappuccino and brioches, sit on a church’s step for some serious people watching and relax in the sun.
The Basilica of St. Ambrose is the perfect place to start your tour. In the morning is probably the quietest time, the perfect moment to explore every detail and when the light is also at its best. Forget where you are but remember that this place has been there for the last sixteen hundred years … breathe silently, and feel the centuries fill your lungs!
You should try and book a visit to “The Last Supper” by Leonardo da Vinci, but remember to do so at least 6 months in advance. It’s a 15 minute tour through one of the most discussed paintings of all time. You will then find yourself wandering through via Meravigli, straight to “Castello Sforzesco” Milan’s own castle. Did you know we had a castle? A rather big one too … told you Milan is full of surprises!
Now to Brera, the artist quarter, with the Art Academy and Art Gallery. The famous Kiss by Hayez is here, together with some of the works by Raphael, Caravaggio, Tintoretto and more … and there’s always a temporary exhibition or two. Walk around narrow alleys, eat at Obika “Mozzarella Bar” for some serious buffalo mozzarella, indulge with an icecream at Amorino, and spend some time at the Cathedral, the Domme of Milan. Walk around Vittorio Emanuele, shop in “Via Montenapoleone”, “Via Manzoni” to end up in “Piazza della Scala”. Now, if you are on a honeymoon or a romantic holiday, please do yourself a favour and book a night at the Opera in one of the most beautiful and famous theaters in the world the “La Scala”. That is an experience you shouldn’t miss.
You would probably be exhausted after a long day like this, wouldn’t you? Well, take a nap because you are only half way through … Milan becomes incredibly alive at night, with hundreds of pubs and bars offering amazing cocktails along with delicious food, and of course you must try at least one of them. Sit down at the very fashionable Corso Como 10, or choose any of the stylish places in Corso Sempione.
Like every city in the world, Milan is moving and changing at an unbelievably fast pace, probably more than many other cities in Italy. Maybe the Expo in 2015 is giving this busy city something new and exciting to look forward to and it’s an amazing time to go and visit. You can breathe the change. There are buildings coming up at every corner and it seems that every little thing is always moving. So, all right I may be biased, but if you are planning a visit to Italy you really should give Milan a chance and spend some time over there exploring what it has to offer!
It won’t take long and I promise you are going to love it!
Photography by Miss Lilac
Ms Gingham says: I don’t know about you but I had real trouble concentrating after I saw the photo of those macarons! Mmmmmmmmm …..
Miss Lilac says: “I love writing, reading, finding and sharing. I love beauty, colours, fragrances, travels, the excitement of a breathtaking picture and the discovery of something that nobody knows.”
Follow Miss Lilac’s adventures on her blog.