This time last month I completed the last of my summer exams and my second year of university so to celebrate I spent a few days with friends in Milan, Italy. To be completely honest, I wasn’t overly excited to visit the city before I went. I absolutely adore Italy but I’ve often heard that Milan simply pales in comparison to the gondolas of Venice and Rome’s Colosseum.
It turns out, in my opinion at least, that these people were wrong. The sun was shining, the architecture was mind-blowingly beautiful and we even spent one marvellous evening sat on the waterfront basking in the heat and enjoying a cocktail or two (although, it turns out Negroni is made up of all alcohol and the following day was spent nursing the most horrific hangover of my life).
During our visit we didn’t stay in the city centre but rather the nearby town of Rho. It was peaceful and much more traditional than Milan – a nice contrast to the metropolitan city. We started each morning with a short train journey (24 minutes to be exact) before walking through the Milano streets towards the attractions. We didn’t have an itinerary for our stay so this is how we discovered our must dos / sees / eats.
Visit the Duomo
Dress: Brandy Melville
The Duomo di Milano is the most iconic building in the city and it’s pretty damn impressive. The piazza in front of it is the centre of all the action. Each time we passed through it was buzzing with people taking in the atmosphere and trying to capture the perfect shot of this masterpiece. There’s also a hell of a lot of pigeons that seem to have a real talent for photobombing an otherwise beautiful picture.
If big crowds aren’t your thing I’d recommend visiting in the early hours of the evening. It’s a lot quieter plus the sunset projects an ethereal light on the front facade, making the Duomo literally glow.
Window shop at Galleria Vittorio Emanuele
Situated just to the side of the Duomo is the magnificent Galleria Vittorio Emanuele, one of the world’s oldest shopping malls hosting a selection of luxury retailers as well as restaurants and cafes. Whether you’re looking to splash the cash or not, the grand arcade and domed roof are a sight to marvel at. Plus, window shopping has never hurt anyone, has it? The arcade is also home to the most wonderful gelateria called Amorino. The stracciatella gelato is easily the most delicious ice cream I’ve ever eaten and the perfect way to cool down in the summer heat.
Cycle to the Navigli District
The Navigli district is an area south west of central Milan made up of a system of interconnected canals and the restaurants, cafes and bars surrounding them. We hired city bikes from BikeMi and cycled there on our final evening in Italy. I might have almost been hit by a car but it was worth it because watching the sun set over the water was a beautiful end to our trip and the atmosphere was second to none.
Try pizza and prosecco at Eataly!
Eataly is a large multi-storey marketplace comprising of a variety of restaurants, food and beverage counters, bakery, kitchen items and a cooking school. There are multiple marketplaces in Milan and we visited the one on Piazza XXV Aprile as it was the perfect place to stop for a long dinner before heading to the train station. I ate pizza every day in Milan and this was by far my favourite (scroll down for a picture). The place also had a really relaxed vibe and was surprisingly inexpensive.
And remember, calories don’t count when you’re in Italy. The food is too good to care.
Dress: Brandy Melville (similar)
I think I can understand why people don’t fall in love with Milan in the way they do with the likes of Rome and Venice. It’s not a tourist’s city. World-renowned historian sites are replaced by skyscrapers and modern buildings. However, I fell head over heels. There may not be as many treasures but I can guarantee they’ll blow you away just the same.
And, on another note, it’s the first of the four fashion capitals of the world I’m visiting in 2018. Next stop: New York. When? Sunday!
Due to my trip to New York, I won’t be publishing any new posts until July 9th (bad blogger!). If you want to find out about my travels before then, you can follow me over on Instagram where I’ll be posting daily updates.
Peace and love, Bec