Milan is a very beautiful city. I visited half way through February this year, and loved the diversity of its culture. It was one of those places that I have always wanted to go for the fashion industry – it is still my dream to go to fashion week – but never thought much about the city itself. Why? I’m not sure, but I was missing a treat. There’s a really cool vibe to the city – and there’s lots of different things you can do. It has brilliant architecture and fantastic shopping, and it was so lovely you could even wonder up and down the side streets and still have a great day.
Here’s what I got up to in my fleeting 24 hour visit:
After flying into Bergamo airport, we caught a coach transfer from the airport to the city centre. It’s a long ol’ drive, taking over an hour, because BGY is not near the city centre. A return ticket with Terravision cost me no more than a tenner though, which is not bad going. Next, we caught an underground train to our hotel, which was located on the outskirts of the city.
We stayed in the amazing Hotel Da Vinci: https://www.booking.com/hotel/it/hotel-da-vinci.en-gb.html?aid=304142;label=gen173nr-1FCAEoggJCAlhYSDNiBW5vcmVmaFCIAQGYAS7CAQp3aW5kb3dzIDEwyAEM2AEB6AEB-AELqAID;sid=33379e72793c7c6b0f4fef7904a09ec2.
The hotel was fantastic! The rooms were massive and quirky, and the hotel itself was eclectic and upmarket. We managed to get a really good deal on our room, so it was super cheap for us to stay a couple of nights in a 4-star hotel – we felt really posh! (check it out on Booking.com). My only negative comment would be the expensive restaurant – definitely eat before returning to the hotel for the night – and that it is about a 10/15 minute walk from the tube station. However, the breakfast was MEGA, and I would go there again just for the breakfast because it was that good. Literally tables upon tables of breakfast food: from pastries, to fry up, to cake. (Yes, chocolate cake for breakfast – score!)
The first thing we decided to do was visit the Natural History Museum. It was about 5 euros for a ticket, and we were in there about 2 hours. Okay, a lot of the exhibition was taxidermy, something to think about, but some of the parts were plastic figures and those parts of the exhibitions were really cool and well thought out. It was a bit of a strange concept, and felt slightly outdated, however it was somewhat interesting – particularly the butterfly exhibit. Maybe not a must-do when in Milan, but still cool.
The Centre of Milan City is very beautiful. The architecture is super elaborate, and everything is really pretty. I think the Duomo di Milano is the most beautiful building I have ever seen in my life; I was actually gobsmacked by it when we climbed the stairs from the tube station and it came into view. The detail on it is insane – its a very striking building. We didn’t manage to have a look inside because the queues were horrendous, but just seeing the building in the flesh was enough for me. The photograph really doesn’t do the magnificence of it justice.
The L.O.V.E statue was my favourite thing ever. I thought it was really funny, and I suppose so would anyone who didn’t know about its purpose, but actually it’s a political message to Italy’s bankers, hence why it is placed opposite a bank building. It was hidden away in one of the side streets, and was difficult to find until we used Google Maps, but it was worth the search. Apparently, locals have wanted to get rid of this statue for ages, I mean you can understand why, but personally I think its fantastic – haha! I love it and the message portrayed by people standing up for their beliefs in a quirky artistic manner.
Along the Corso Vittorio Emanuele II, a main shopping street in Milan, there are some mega snack opportunities to sought out. You are spoilt for choice for places to have ice cream, pastries, cocktails, cake and most importantly – crepes. Nutella crepes are my fave, and boy did Milan served up a good one. I don’t think I’ve ever consumed as many pastries and pancakes in 24 hours as I did in Milan.
Shopping is another great part of Milan, especially if you love chocolate. We found a really great store called Perugina Chocostore, which served up chocolate everything. I brought some awesome chocolate liqueur, but there were loads of other quirky gifts and usual chocolate based foods. Even chocolate batteries! It’s located on the walk from the Duomo di Milano to Castello Sforzeco.
Next we headed to Castello Sforzeco. I would say it is a pretty impressive building, however we left pretty quickly because there were lots of people trying to sell us tat and hounding us for money for friendship bracelets. It’s free to wonder around the grounds, but you have to pay admission for the museums and the Michelangelo museums. It’s nice to have a quick look around, and even nicer if you’ve got the budget to go into all the other parts, but it wasn’t my favourite piece of what Milan had to offer.
The last thing I wanted to mention was the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II Shopping Mall. The architecture is simply stunning – we went just for the views because the shops within it were, unfortunately, not in our price range. It’s a pretty place, right next to the Duomo di Milano, which is on one of the main squares in Milan. Even the tiling on the floor was amazing. I felt classy just standing inside it tbh.
To round-up, Milan is an awesome place for architecture junkies and shopaholics. It’s also a hotspot for artists – but you’ll need a pretty big budget if you want to see The Last Super by Leonardo Da Vinci: 36 Euros!!! Geez. Personally, I was quite content going wherever my feet took me; popping into shops, checking out the food, or wondering down a side street to look at a pretty building… or an awesome statue (!), so Milan doesn’t have to been expensive. It’s a super cool place that every type of person would love to visit.