Italians have a saying that loosely translates to “Milan is just Milan.” Meaning that it lacks the charm, beauty, and grandeur of other Italian cities like Rome and Florence….that to them…it is just a city. But to me, it is a city undiscovered. A place I’ve never been. And a place I’ve always wanted to scratch off the list. Italy and Italian culture is a world and universe unto itself. And one that I adore and find endlessly fascinating. Coming from our time in Switzerland, I feel like after a four hour train ride we have stepped on to another planet in terms of culture and scenery. And while many people find that jarring, I find it thrilling. Milan is crowded and busy and all business. Our first day was so hazy I thought Milan had a serious smog problem. But Day two proved to be gorgeous so clearly I was the one in a fog. We visited the Duomo twice. And I will tell you rounding the corner of the block to see it, is something special. It is spectacular. And it is very hard to capture in a photo…because of the size…and depth…and angle and lighting. But we tried. And so did thousands of others with their selfie sticks and funny poses and families and couples.
We ate really well and that requires some research. Because there are so many tourist spots that prey on “people who fail to research” and stop at the first place that looks good. The food is beyond disappointing and if you come all the way to Italy – you want to be wowed. And you CAN be with some prior research.
Couple of crucial Milan tips
- Order tickets for “The Last Supper” painting online weeks in advance ( we failed to do this and so missed it)
- Visit Duomo early in the morning or late at night. With dusk being the best option. BETTER LIGHTING and you will avoid crowds.
- Research delicious trattoria options and don’t fall for first spot you see. Our final meal was so memorable because it was the most heavily researched one.
- Milan has 3 airports. Try to fly in and out of Linate…it is so much closer and easier.
- Eat the Gelato. Period.
- Have drinks at Armani hotel – because you can. It is beyond cool.
- Lunch – Ristorante Bagutta – old school and quirky and delicious.
- Dinner – Osteria Brunello – contemporary italian.
- Stay: NH Milano Grand Verdi Hotel – good budget hotel with great breakfast
- Shop: Madame Pauline Vintage – get ready to be transported to the 70’s