Milan, Metropolitan City of Milan, Italy
A Grandiose City Break in MilanMy most vivid memory of Milan is wandering around the main square, sipping macchiato and feeling overwhelmed by the grandeur and elegance of its buildings. The huge Duomo di Milano, the entrance to the luxurious Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II and several palaces and monuments compose this stunning area that will leave speechless even the most demanding of tourists. You will walk around mesmerized trying to retain as much of its beauty, while you will also make a recap of the architectural styles – Gothic for the cathedral, Neoclassical for The Royal Palace, New Renaissance for the gallery.
Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II is a jewel at the heart of the city, which connects the Grand Cathedral with another symbol of Milan – Teatro Alla Scala, the world’s most renowned opera house with a 780 square meters stage and a history dating back to 1778. Puccini, Verdi, Maria Callas, Luchino Visconti have crossed paths with this place. Its nearby museum will take you back in time to the world of Italian high-brow art.
However, tickets for opera representations are hard to get hold of, so if you are interested book early. Also, as soon as you have bought your city break, make reservations for Santa Maria Delle Grazie to see Da Vinci's “The Last Supper” or for a San Siro Stadium match, because they sell really fast. The stadium also has a long history and you can have a tour to convince yourself that the Milanese put elegance in everything.
Get your most stylish, but also most comfy shoes, because you’ll never stop walking in Milan. Consequently, finding accommodation close to the touristic attractions is essential if you’re staying only for a few days. I was very grateful for my rented apartment close to Lima subway station where I collapsed on the best mattress for back pain every night.
If you want to rest during the day, stop at Parco Sempione, a wide, lively and picturesque green space located behind Sforzesco castle.
One of the great experiences you can have in this city is to take a canal boat tour and then explore the bohemian Naviglio area, with its well-known antique market and numerous cafes, restaurants and art galleries. Also, don’t hesitate to hop in one of Milan’s vintage trams. If you want to impress your darling, for 70 € per person you can have a 2,5, hours voyage with a historic tram by night. Dinner with a four dishes menu and beverages are included.
However, if you’re into more contemporary entertainment, this city has a bustling nightlife. Of course, there is no shortage of sleek cocktail bars, but you’ll also find numerous backstreet clubs or huge dancing venues.
But fun in Italy starts early, the custom of the happy hour drink with a snack, called aperitivo can become the start of the party. If you feel like splurging on drinks, have a Campari where it was first created, at Zucca in Galleria, a fancy Art Nouveau establishment. I settled for cozier places, like Yguana Café, Princi, and Fonderie Milanesi.
After aperitivo and another glass or two of prosecco, you will head home in an extactic state, mind-mapping your next day. Or at least that’s what I did every evening in Milan.