Milano on a Shoestring

Milan is renowned for being one the main fashion and design quarters of the world along with New York, London and Paris. But this majestic capitol of the Lombardy region of Italy has so much more to offer. Also known as Milano, it is the 2nd most populous city in Italy, and with its humid climate and coffee culture it’s hard not to fall in love with the place.

We actually flew into Malpensa Airport and then got an airport transfer bus to Milano Centrale Railway Station. This grand, building with its art deco design was bustling and quite beautiful and offers commutes to all over Europe. Although there is an endless array of shops, designer boutiques and malls, Milan also offers a vast amount of must see architecture and history.

One of my favourites is the Milan Cathedral or ‘Duomo di Milano’ as it’s known locally. Probably one of the most stunning buildings I’ve ever seen, it is the 5th largest Cathedral in the world and took nearly 6 centuries to complete. Visitors can also go up onto the roof of the Cathedral (for a small fee) not only for views of the square but also to look at the forest of pinnacles and spires.

The Piazzo del Duomo “Cathedral Square”, home to the church is also very beautiful and is the centre piece of Milano. With endless shops, pizzerias, restaurants and chic bars there is something for everyone. If you’re lucky you may just catch live artists or performers at work here whilst you soak up the sun with a glass of bubbly.

Another must see is the Galleria Vittoria Emanuele II. One of the world’s oldest shopping malls, it simply has to be seen to be believed as it houses some of the most luxurious designers and restaurants that Italy has. With its glass dome and mosaic flooring donning the Coat of Arms it connects two of Milan’s most famous landmarks, Duomo di Milano and Teatro alla Scalla.

Teatro alla Scalla or La Scala as it’s more commonly known is world renowned and still to this day holds the most famous opera and ballet productions there is. And not far from here is the Porto Nuovo which literally means ‘new gate’. Whilst I was in Milan this was still a construction site but hopes to house over 20 high rise building for shopping and commercial use and should be finished this year.

Leonardo da Vinci’s Statue in Piazza della Scalla

We were lucky enough whilst on our hop on hop off sightseeing tour to pay the Armani Hotel a visit and buy some chocolates from the world famous Armani chocolatier shop. This should be high up on you list of things to do if you love fashion (and have plenty of money). Blenderino cocktail bar was another highlight to the trip. Situated near the Arco della pace, it is the smallest bar I’ve ever been in but has expert mixologists and every drink you can imagine.

Our trip to Milan was the last stop we had on our way home after a month on the road but we certainly made the most of it. We seen pretty much everything there was to see in 48 hours. Be careful though with you accommodation…our 4 star hotel was more of a 2 star motel. What a better way to end a trip than with a fantastic meal in Cafe de Ville, the perfect cucumber mojito and a pampering session in the oldest shopping centre in the world.

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