It has always been a dream of mine to visit Milan. Not only because it was where my mother went to university but because it had so much to offer in terms of design and fashion. And unlike other Italian cities, it isn’t filled with tourists in every corner.
The hotel my mom and I stayed in was located in Naviglio Grande. It was just a bit outside the main circle of Milan but with a 15 minute cab ride, you arrive right in the center. We choose that locaton because prices of hotels in the center of town were too expensive due to the Milan Expo. But that didn’t stop us from looking immensely for a hotel within our budget. I am so grateful that I found a hotel so quaint and dainty along the river. Enough of that…Here is what we got up to in the city.
That cloudy day, my mom decided to walk to to Sant Ambrogio. Then it started to pour! I honestly wanted to run back home but my mom still insisted to walk because she hates taking the Metro.(they say its dangerous) Anyway, it was about a 30minutes brisk-ish walk from Naviglio. Not the most scenic walk but at least I got to burn some calories.
|Another dramatic photo of the Sant Ambrogio|
|Inside the Castell Sforzesco|
This Castle houses a lot of medieval art and they also have a room of what Leonardo Da Vinci did and is still unfinished. But the way they presented it was really good, I felt like I was in the 1800’s. The ticket was only 5 euros each from what I remember. Also, this castle is like a maze. So hit the bathroom before you start.
|Not a surprise that I have my fair share of Duomo photos. It is just so pretty.|
|The duomo of Milan has got to be in my top 5 most beautiful facades I have ever laid eyes on.|
In well-known tourist sites like this, there are always predators. If you have been watching, hearing and reading the news, Italy has been getting a lot of illegal immigrants from the continent of Africa lately. A friendly reminder would be not to accept anything or buy from these vendors. They just go up to you of block your way so that they can sell you something. They are not only Africans but a lot of them are also tan. But with all that danger, the duomo still remains beautiful.
As of now. you need to have a ticket to enter the duomo. Worry not because its only 2 euros each! Our friends say they just started doing that because of the Expo.
Great Michel Angelo exhibit on the second floor!
|Dramatic photo for you there.|
|Galleria Vittorio Emmanuele|
Shopping Mecca for all them expensive brands. But it makes normal people like me feel extra poor. But don’t fret budget shoppers! Look up! This place is best known for the glass ceiling. It’s details are so intricate and tied with a light atmosphere.
|Along walking to lunch around Brera design district|
The Brera area is also known to have a good art school/museum and plenty restaurants, mostly Italian of course. Most of the residential buildings have internal courtyards. Tenants who have inner courtyards are considered lucky because it may be a bit noisy by the street at night.
|I was just in awe of the beauty of La Scala. Ante room for the guests during shows.|
My mom and I were lucky enough to enter the actual theater and watch the performers practice. It was so thrilling to watch it even from behind the scenes..
|Close to Via Durini.|
In the city centre of Milan, there are many wide walkways to go shopping or simply walk around. You might be lucky to find an alley with a cute cafe in it.
A circumference around Galleria Vittorio Emmanuele are more shops–my budget. It won’t hurt to follow a seemingly more narrow road because Milan is filled with hidden gems when it comes to fashion and furniture design.
Out of all the Italian cities I’ve visited (Rome, Florence, Siena, Como, Bellagio), Milan has got to be my top one. Some people don’t understand why I like Milan so much. I get that its a very industrial city. There isn’t as much to do like Rome, Florence or Pisa. But the thing that drew me in was that it was so real. Real in a sense that you can see the separation between a local Milanese and a tourist. Milanese are known to be very grumpy people–they say its because of the cold winters, which can sometimes be bad. But I don’t see it that way. I see it as a chance to get to see the authenticity in the culture and its people.
|Milano, que bella.|
Ciao Milano, Grazie Mille!
Hotel in Milan:
Stay tuned in the next weeks for the Part 3 of this travel blog!
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