Sometimes it can start to feel a bit grey up here on The Cloud, and I begin to think that it is time for me to redecorate, so I visit the capital of fashion, Milan Italy
Did I hear someone say “shopping?”
Milan has two main airport options: Milan Malpensa International Airport (MXP) which is the largest and handles international flights and Milan Linate (LIN) which is close to the city centre but only offers domestic flights.
The most convenient mode of transportation from either of the airports to the city centre is a taxi, although a direct train (Malpensa Express) is available from Milan Malpensa Airport to Milano Centrale Station, the same station you would arrive if travel to the city by train. Public transportation, taxi, bike or by foot are wonderful ways to explore the city.
While not as picturesque as southern Italy, Milan is full of amazing sights and experiences. Here are my favourites:
Duomo di Milano – This fantastically ornate cathedral is made of white and pink marble and features a record-breaking number of sculptures. Construction began in 1386 and the final touches weren’t concluded in 1965! Head up to the rooftop for more amazing views of this intricate cathedral as well as of the city.
- Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II – Located just next to the Duomo, this is Italy’s oldest and perhaps most beautiful shopping centre. The building is embellished with elegant architecture; an attraction itself!
For a positive spin on things, it will give you good luck!
Here’s another Pro-Tip: While in Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, don’t forget to spin around on the bulls testicles (depicted on the floor) for good luck – you’ll have a ball!
- Quadrilatero d’Oro – Translated to the “Rectangle of Gold”, this luxury shopping street is lined with high-end brand name shops within lovely historic buildings.
- CityLife Shopping District – A more modern shopping mall with plenty of shops, a nice green space, cinema and supermarket.
Como esta, Lago?!
Day Trips – Milan Italy is in close proximity to many notable sights, and the many railways and high-speed trains make it easy to travel there.
- Lake Como – Situated against the foothills of the Alps, this lovely resort town is a great place to break from the city and enjoy a peaceful lake cruise or stroll through the ancient Roman streets. It can easily be reached by train from Milan in about 30 minutes.
- Verona – Just a two-hour train ride away, this medieval city is known for being the setting of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. You can also visit one of Italy’s best-preserved Roman amphitheatres which hosts opera performances.
- Venice – About 2.5 hours away, Venice can be reached via train or coach. There are plenty of wondrous attractions in Venice, which you can read all about here!
Here’s another Pro-Tip: Seeing an opera at La Scala is an unparalleled experience but can be pricey. Check with the box office an hour before a show starts and you may grab a returned or leftover ticket for a discount!
Pockets of deliciousness!
- Seta – A sophisticated Italian dining experience all the way from the restaurant’s décor to the carefully plated dishes. Outdoor seating available.
- Dongiò – A hidden gem and local favourite with quality homemade pasta, delicious tiramisu and wonderful wine pairings.
- Ratanà – Traditional Milanese food with some modern and worldly influences. The menu moves with the seasons.
- Eataly – the multi-shop high-end food court that has spawned copies worldwide. You’ll find fabulous sights, smells and, of course, tastes in a casual setting.
With a young, cosmopolitan and professional population, it is only natural that Milan is home to some of Europe’s best nightlife! The areas of Navigli, Brera, Corso Como and Colonne di San Lorenzo are the hottest spots to party after dark. The places I most enjoy sharing a drink with friends are:
I always love free spirits – especially in an Aperitif!
- Nottingham Forest – Named after a famous football (soccer) team, this unique bar creatively presents one-of-a-kind cocktails.
- Mag Café – A cosy space with an original design and unparalleled cocktails. Located in the heart of the trendy Navigli district.
- Backdoor 43 – Claiming to be the “world’s smallest bar”, this quirky hole in the wall, definitely requires a reservation, however they also offer drinks for take-away.
Here is where I suggest staying in this lively and bustling city:
- STRAF – An artsy and modern stay in an unbeatable location – just a short walk from Duomo Cathedral.
- Mandarin Oriental Milan – Comprised of four 18th century buildings, this luxury hotel offers stylish Italian rooms in the artistic Brera district.
- LaGare Hotel – Nearby Milan’s Central Station with a lovely spa, rooftop terrace and comfortable, contemporary rooms.
When I feel freshly inspired and my bags are as full as my heart and my belly, I know my trip to Milan was a success!