Milano. Often described as industrial, touristic and very expensive. A city with the kind of understated charm that takes a while to appreciate. High expectations? Not really.
But since I’m a huge Aperol and pizza lover, I was quite looking forward to this trip. And to be honest, this Northern Italian metropolis pretty amazed me.
We stayed in a small B&B located in Navigli, a cosy neighborhood that turned out to be my very favorite part of the city. If you’re longing for a restful break from the hustle and bustle of the vibrant centre, this district really is the place to be. Surrounded by historic canals, cozy restaurants and bars, the Navigli quarter makes a perfect blend of both Venice and Amsterdam.
Pasticceria Cucchi, Corso Genova 1
Mag Cafè, Ripa di Porta Ticinese 43
You can’t visit this city without being blown away by the enormous façade of Milan’s most famous touristic attraction, the Duomo. A massive gothic cathedral beautiful from the outside, but even more breathtaking from the inside. Since we aren’t born in China, we didn’t take pictures indoors.
Just a few steps away from Il Duomo, you’ll find the glorious Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II. Home to Prada, Gucci and Versace, this luxury shopping mall is a real Valhalla for big spenders. Tip: Don’t want to miss out on the fashion experience, but not having Kim K.’s wallet? Discover the Brera District for some less expensive, trendy boutiques!
Just like Navigli, Brera has a slightly different character from the city centre. Meaning: less touristic, less expensive and more hipster. Hooray! Brera, often referred to as the ’Milanese Montmartre’, is an amazing artistic quarter with pretty little shops, narrow streets and superb restaurants.
Parma & Co, Via Delio Tessa 2
After a while we were done with the shopping part and hunting for some green space. So we head to Parco Sempione, Milano’s very own version of Central Park. Romantic small bridges and many picnic grounds make it the perfect spot to escape from the urban jungle. Pieter enjoyed the quietness so much he even fell asleep after a few minutes. Close to this park there’s the famous Castello Sforzesco. Definitely worth visiting once.
Enough talking, time for drinks! Of course we couldn’t leave Milan without enjoying the aperitivo, one of the city’s oldest traditions and by chance one of my favorite pastimes. Starting around 6 pm, bars all over town lay out a large selection of pizza, meat and cheese, crostini, bruschetta, and lots more. You just need to buy a drink and you can eat your fill.
An amazing spot for aperitivo is 10 Corso Como. A nearly magical place that is far more than just an address. Hidden in a quiet courtyard at the centre of Corso Como, this conceptstore is a combination of everything trendy in Milan. A must-go!
And here’s the thing about Milan. It’s more than just world-class fashion. Milano has something for everyone. With its inspiring culture, heavenly Italian cuisine and bustling city vibe, this city definitely should be on your list!