A trendy guide to a short sojourn in Milano
I finally made it to Milan after living in Italy for more than 1 year! Maybe it’s because I am very clearly a big city girl, but since my arrival in Italy, most people have tried to steer me in the direction of Milan.
Far from being at the top of my must-see list, I must admit I never had much desire to visit Milan before moving to Italy. All of that started to change when I arrived in Venice. Venice is quite a particular little city but it is also a small town, where locals see the same faces over and over again. Life in small towns can be quite repetitive with not a lot going on and I found myself becoming less and less inspired. On the recommendation of many Italian friends, I found myself drawn to the idea of escaping to Milan.
Due to excessive bad weather in Venice I was able to spent 4 days in Milan located in Lombardy, Northern Italy. We arrived in the early afternoon and headed to the apartment to drop off our stuff and explore the city of Fashion.
Below is a short guide for those of you who wish to spend a few days here.
No trip to Milan is complete without going to the duomo. Duomo is an Italian term for cathedral or churches built with the characteristics of a cathedral and this one in Milan is one of the most famous cathedrals in Italy. It is the largest church in Italy (not including the Vatican city), and it is the 4th largest church in the world. It took six centuries to complete and is designed in an Italian Gothic style. If that’s not enough to entice you, just think of how empty your Instagram page will look if you’ve visited Milan and you haven’t been to it’s most famous landmark. (Joking aside, it’s definitely worth a look).
Galleria Vittorio Emanuele fashionistas must make a pilgrimage to the famed galleria Vittorio Emanuele, Italy’s oldest shopping mall, dated back to 1877 and famed for some of the chicest stores in all of Italy. If you are a fan of Prada, Gucci and the like, browse the stores here. For those of you who are not that fussed about shopping look for the tile with a bull painted on the ground. Legend has it, if you spin on your heels 3 times on the bull tile you will have good luck.
Eat somewhere trendy. Having grown up in one of the most multicultural cities in the whole world I have developed a palate for a wide variety of flavours and one of my greatest joys in life is to try multiple dishes from across the globe. On my first afternoon in Milan I went to an Umbrian fast food restaurant named Testone which specialises in bread and sandwiches from Umbria. We enjoyed this place so much we came back multiple times throughout the trip. Another cool restaurant we went to was on Via Padova and was a trendy new Chinese hotpot chain with branches in Milan and Bologna. Food in Milan is far more exotic than in the smaller towns here and Uber Eats, deliveroo and other courier companies are set up here so you can also order to the comfort of your bedroom .
Milan Navigli: The Navigli are a system of interconnected canals around Milan. This part of town has always been described to me as the Venice of Milan (Which doesn’t really make sense if you think about it). It is a very cool trendy area. I was fortunate to be staying in this area when I was in Milan so I could literally roll out of bed and drink a cappuccino at one of the many trendy cafes for breakfast and come back home in the evening and grab a cocktail in one of the chic bars dotted along the canal. This part of town is a must-see.
Shopping in downtown Milan: Wander around the stores and don’t for get to take a peek at the stunning Bosco Verticale or Vertical Forest around Porta Nuova.
Novecento Museum is an incredible art museum a stone’s throw away from the Duomo which features works from artists in the 20th Century from Italy and across the globe. The museum displays around 400 works of art displayed in chronological order beginning from 1902 and pays a tribute to Italian Arte Povera (Italian Poor Art), Futurism, Avant-garde movements and artists such a Picasso, Kandinsky and Modigliani to name a few.
View some interesting art exhibitions and sip a cocktail at the The Prada Foundation & Bar Luce: This was definitely one of my favourite places to visit on this trip. The Prada Foundation itself is a little far from the city centre in quite an industrial looking part of town and it consists of multiple connected building which each host a multitude of art spaces perfect for the variety of exhibitions on display. We also went to see a movie in the cinema wing which screens international movies with English subtitles. Now, another special item here is Bar Luce, based on Milanese cafes of the 50’s and 60’s, it’s a bar designed exclusively by the acclaimed film director Wes Anderson famous for his aesthetics and incredible taste in music. You must come and sip a spritz or perhaps drink a coffee while thinking up your next screenplay.